France has been my home for over 20 years now! I grew up in Jersey in the Channel Islands and, without a doubt, my love of France and the French language dates from my childhood. Many ancestors on my Mum’s side were from Normandy and Brittany: Mum is persuaded that France runs in my blood! Whatever the explanation, I just had to study French at University and I was able to combine my passion for France with my interest in law to do a combined Law and Language Degree, studying in England and France.
After qualifying as a Barrister and practising for a short time in London in Criminal Law, my love of France and French won the day and in 2001 I got a job heading the Legal Department of a French Property firm in London. In 2002 my French dream came true and I moved to France! Since then, I have lived in the southwest of France in a département called the Gers. A rural county, our nearest big city is Toulouse and Spain is only a couple of hours away. It is the heart of the ancient region of Gascony with Auch as its capital.
From 2002, I worked as a freelance translator and interpreter specialised in real estate and related matters such as probate, wills, companies etc. In 2005, I founded my own Estate Agency, Compass Immobilier, which I continue to direct to this day. I also received certification as a Property Valuer which is closely tied in with my work as an estate agent. This extensive professional experience in the industry is invaluable for the services that I provide as a translator, interpreter and consultant. Over nearly 20 years I have been directly involved in thousands of property transactions and running a French business with multiple offices and staff. Being in a rural area, some of the transactions include land and agricultural properties and businesses.
In 2019, demand for my services was high in the soon-to-be post-Brexit world amongst friends and acquaintances. That year, I helped numerous people with their residency permits as well as various other administrative and official situations. At that point, I decided to go back to studying because, pourquoi pas?! So in 2020, I started an MA in Translation. Balancing studying with full-time work, my young daughter and family life was a tough call. It took me a bit longer than hoped to complete the course (Covid didn’t help either…) but my dissertation is in and the final results are eagerly awaited!
As for my personal life, I am married to a Frenchman (the Maître in my name is not some lawyerly affectation but my married name!) and as just mentioned we have a young daughter. I am a nature and horse lover having learned to ride when I was a little girl. I have three horses at home although, like many horse owners, I don’t get in the saddle much these days! My main hobbies are reading, walking and swimming (I have a newly discovered passion for wild water swimming!) and I love skiing and trips to the coast (which always remind me of Jersey!). We like to travel as much as possible, particularly around France. We have three cats who I love to bits even though I am a dog lover at heart but sadly I do not have a dog at the moment. Living my life here in France, with its ups and downs and huge variety, as well as helping others with their lives means that I have a wealth of very diverse knowledge that I can draw on to help my clients. From water divining to social security audits and a whole host of things in between!
One thought on “Victoria Maître Headdon: A bit of background”
As her Mum, I am very proud of what Victoria (“Vicky” since primary school) has achieved. She decided at the tender age of 12 that she was going to study law and has worked ferociously hard ever since, and still does 😊