While we were in the UK, we rented out the cute two-bedroom townhouse we've owned for about eight years. One of our tenants was a French brother and sister, who stayed four months and used it as a base for their NZ travels.
They also left a pile of French-language books (above) which our current tenants didn't want and, owing to our inability to string together a decent sentence in French, neither did we. So instead of binning the books, I called Wellington's Alliance Francaise who were definitely interested.
This afternoon I crossed the road from work to drop off the books. Not only was an unshaven-yet-hot Frenchman crooning into a microphone (Friday afternoon concert, anyone?), a similarly-attired group of French students and expats were milling around, sipping wine and enjoying the fact that they were whole time zones away from winter and the Euro crisis.
And then I got chatting to a most interesting woman, who told me how she'd been a doctor on the frontline in Iraq, had lived in a monastery in Tibet and who was travelling the world until she found somewhere she felt comfortable. It warmed my little Kiwi heart when she said she may have found what she was looking for here.
We talked of travel and love, of careers and buildings (she'd also done most of an architecture degree), of fashion and our mutual desire not to breed, of what's happening in her country and mine. And then I realised the errand I thought would take five mins had morphed into 50 and that work would be sending out a search party soon.
I do hope the interesting and engaging French woman decides to make Wellington her home; we need more like her here.