When I was a toddler I could not speak English; instead I used my own language.  The only one who could understand it was my older brother Colin, so it must have followed some linguistic rules and had a reasonably consistent vocabulary.  I spoke at length to my parents, resting my hands upon my father’s knees as I did so.  When they could not understand me I would lose my temper and my parents turned to my brother to translate.

I often wonder what on earth I was saying.

Now that I live in France I am speaking my grown-up invented language: pidgin Franglais.

It started when I forgot the English word for edible fungi.  It wouldn’t come and in the end the French name popped into my head.  ‘Cham, Champ, Chami,’ I would stutter.  Finally  it would come, or so I thought.  ‘Champrooms,’ I would cry triumphantly to the puzzlement of market stall holders and amusement of my wife.  Mushrooms, champignons, what the heck.  I love ’em whatever they’re called.  Especially with bacon in a sandwich.

Now there’s a French ex-pat story for another time.


About Martin Lake

Martin Lake lives in the French Riviera with his wife. After studying at the University of East Anglia he worked as a teacher, trainer and company director. A serious accident shattered his arm and meant that he had to rein back his work. He decided to concentrate on writing and is now writing full-time. He writes a wide range of fiction. His main interests are historical fiction, short stories and fiction for young adults. Martin has a series of novels 'The Lost King' which are set in the years following the Norman Invasion of England. They concern Edgar Atheling, last representative of the ancient English royal dynasty and his fight to regain the throne from William the Conqueror. Martin has also published 'Artful' the further adventures of the Dodger and 'Outcasts' a novel about fall of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem. His latest novel, 'A Love Most Dangerous' is about a maid of honour who becomes the lover of Henry VIII. Martin’s work has been broadcast on radio. He won first prize in the Kenneth Grahame Society competition to write a story based on 'The Wind in the Willows.' You can get the collection, 'The Wind in the Willows Short Stories' from Amazon.
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  1. Vladimir says:

    Oh yes, I am also an Champroom addict. 🙂

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