A Good Home, Expatriates in France, Family Stories, Famous Places, Home, Living in France

At Home With Nancy Ing-Duclos

Nancy Ing-Duclos is a TV news producer and online publisher of INSPIRELLE.

Blog Photo - Nancy INSPIRELLE COVER 3

France has been home for almost 30 years.

She loves it. “I can happily say:  ‘Je suis chez moi’ .  I’m at home.”

This spectacular rooftop view of Paris, by the way, is from her home.

Blog Photo - Nancy Rooftop Terrace - Photo Credit Alexis Duclos
Credit: Alexis Duclos

Long before Paris, however, Nancy spent her childhood in Windsor, Ontario.

“When my father bought the house (in Windsor), we were the first Chinese family on the street and the neighbors, I’ve been told, drew up a petition. We felt the need to blend in and soon, the fireworks display on our lawn every Canada Day on July 1st  and our elaborate Christmas lights made our home indistinguishable from other Canadian homes.”

Nancy went to university in Toronto and got her first big job in TV news in the 80’s “at a time when Canada’s multicultural communities were finding and defining their voices.” 

That’s how we met.  Nancy and I were both young journalists at CBC TV.

But a car accident changed her perspective on life.

“So when I met my French husband, Alexis, six months later at a G7 Economic Summit, I said to myself, ‘You never know when tomorrow will be your last day’ ”.

Blog Photo - Nancy at Work

She moved to Paris and worked at various news jobs for years.

“Paris is truly one of the most beautiful, cultural and dynamic cities in the world but once the honeymoon period wears off, the reality can be rude. Moving abroad is a very humbling experience. No one knows you or knows what you have achieved or are capable of.

“I had to start from scratch. I read loads of books, attended classes, explored each of the French neighborhoods in my quest to become a “Paris insider”. And what I learned is I will never feel totally ‘French’ but ‘je suis bien dans mes baskets’. I’m comfortable in my sneakers.”

Blog Photo - Nancy and Alexis

Did she ever imagine this kind of life?

“I always thought the person who married me would have to learn to accept the Chinese culture ingrained in me. In fact, I’ve done most of the work in the relationship by learning to speak French, reinventing my career, tackling bureaucracy and understanding all the nuances of my adopted home, France.”

A car accident had changed her attitude to life.  And it was a car accident that changed her career:

“Covering the death of Princess Diana in a Paris tunnel landed me the position I still hold today with a major American television network.

“I have been privileged to interview presidents and pop stars, produce major live shows from iconic locations. It’s also been sobering to witness the tragic aftermath of plane crashes and terrorist attacks on French soil.”

Alexis built them a small house on a hill, next to the woods.  They and their son Jordan moved to Sèvres 20 years ago.

Blog Photo - Nancy - Paris suburbs drawing

Blog Photo - Nancy Alexis Jorxdan

“Retreating to the suburbs was the only way we could own a house.  I left the city of lights reluctantly but Alexis promised me that if I was unhappy two years later, we could move back to Paris.

“On my first night in my new home, I slept soundly. No more waking up to every creak of my Parisian neighbors, conversations sneaking through walls and babies crying down the hallway.”

Her son Jordan could walk to school and play in the woods. It didn’t take Nancy long to realize that they lived only a short drive to the Seine River; Paris was only 20 minutes away by car.  She decided to learn to drive in France.

Blog Photo - NANCY TABLE SETTING CORSICA

“Last summer, my entire Canadian family and close friends, 25 in all, traveled to France and Corsica to help me celebrate with my husband’s French family.

Blog Photo - Nancy and Family and Friends

“It was pure joy for two weeks. Never have I felt so at home with the people I love the most.”

In 2015, Nancy and two expatriate friends launched INSPIRELLE.

Blog Photo - Nancy INSPIRELLE Team - Photo Credit Alexis Duclos
Credit: Alex Duclos

“We created INSPIRELLE to inspire, connect and empower international women in France. Having experienced the challenges of living abroad, raising a family in an unfamiliar setting with different sets of rules and values as well as reinventing myself at work, I wanted to share stories and resources to help women in their personal and professional lives.”

Blog Photo - Nancy - INSPIRELLE_cover

Sixty contributing writers share advice, expertise, and personal stories on how to navigate and celebrate life in Paris.

Nancy, Alexis and Jordan are now thinking about a bigger home to accommodate visiting relatives or friends.

It will have “a large kitchen with a long dining table to host dinners. We figure the only way to afford that is to move a bit further outside of Paris. We’ll build a beautiful house so everyone will want to come to visit us.

“For me, home is where I am surrounded by family and friends.”

~~

 

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A Good Home

International Childrens Book Day

And here’s another wonderful thing I didn’t expect. Thank you, Jo Robinson! And for your commitment to Myrtle. I’ve been so busy with helping others, I have been ignoring my own books!

Jo Robinson

Today is International Children’s Book Day. It is also Hans Christian Anderson’s birthday. The annual event is sponsored by the International Board on Books for Young People and has been celebrated since 1967. Each year a different national section gets to be the international sponsor of the day. An author from that country writes a message to the children of the world and a well-known illustrator designs a poster for that year. The 2019 sponsor is Lithuania, and both the message and this year’s poster are by author illustrator Kęstutis Kasparavičius, with the theme for the year being “Books Help Us Slow Down”.

The objective of the day is to share great children’s books, so of course, who but the fabulous Myrtle the Purple Turtle could I share on such a day?

Written by Cynthia Reyes for her daughter Lauren, the first Myrtle book shares the lesson that while…

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A Good Home

An Honest House

Just when I least expect it, THIS! Thank you, Kevin Cooper!

Kevin Cooper

**WINNER OF THE DIAMOND BOOK AWARD FOR BOOK OF THE YEAR***~~Cynthia Reyes has done it again. Weaving together the strands of her life — the pain, the joy and the totally unexpected — she shares in this new book intensely lyrical stories of life with her husband in their historic farmhouse north of Toronto. As in her first book, A Good Home, Cynthia pulls you right into her life – into the couple’s kitchen, the bedroom, the verandah, under the ancient apple trees, and in the prolific gardens she and her husband created before a car accident changed their lives. After years of being held hostage in the farmhouse by her injuries — post-traumatic stress, a head injury and excruciating pain — the author takes the reader with her on her search for joy, beauty and faith.You will experience her daily challenges, but you will also find…

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A Good Home, Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Great News, Helping others

From A Baby Shower to The Gift of Mobility – 3 Great News Stories

There’s a lot of good in our world.

Blog Photo - Baby Shower

Announced today:  a royal baby shower like no other, organized by the “Sussex Squad” of women from around the world.

Anyone can donate to the designated charities: Camfed, WellChild and Mayhew.

Gifts of time or money may also be donated to local charities around the world as part of this initiative. In fact, donations already started early today.

Blog Photo - Credit WellChild Awards

From a virtual baby shower to a badly-needed wheelchair for a young woman — and providing shelter after a cyclone – these events have uplifted me.

2) Remember Kamala-Jean Gopie, the Canadian woman who, after a chance meeting in a Cape Town market with a young man named Happy, ended up collaborating with him to build a school in Malosa, Malawi?

Blog Photo - Kamala-Jean CU

Blog Photo - Kamala-Jean Women smile in schoolyard

That school has found a new temporary use in a crisis, providing shelter to many families after the recent cyclone that killed hundreds and left many others homeless.

Blog Photo - Kamala-Jean -- New Building complete

Kamala-Jean was on CBC Radio this morning.

https://www.cbc.ca/listen/shows/metro-morning/segment/15683147

3) And the good work of CanUgan, a Canadian charity that provides assistive devices to people with disabilities in Uganda. My son-in-law Tim and his uncle Jack have a connection to this charity, which — among other deeds — recently provided a wheelchair to young Katusime Florence who badly needed it. 

Blog Photo - Florence

Tim was privileged to visit Uganda and see her experience “the gift of mobility”.

Next week, I will share the story of the excellent and moving results this initiative has achieved. 

Cheers to all the good deeds in the world!