Here are some details on the author of these pages!
Born in Paisley in Scotland, in October 1946, the second of three children of a Protestant minister, Ian W. Mitchell had a relatively busy childhood!
His parents, forced to follow the call of God, changed often their homes in Britain, so he had to change, even schools, friends etc. .. !
School (semi-public school in London) was eventually followed by entry into the service of Her Majesty, that is, the British army.
For years he was stationed in a place called Detmold in Germany, then Berlin (West) and elsewhere, he was finally able to use his knowledge of the language of Moliere (a French poet and playwright) when his Regiment (Royal Dragoons - later the Blues & Royals) was sent in 1966 to the South of France to the Camp Larzac , in the Aveyron, a small region of France.
He served as liaison between the British and the French (military and civilian) in several areas, particularly for the purchase of local fresh produce for the Regiment (circa 500 people!)
A very informative period in his life!
Selected as "Liaison Officer" he was entitled to stay permanently (ie "all the year") at Camp Larzac, thus independent of the Regiment.
This required a "commitment" to the "Foreign Legion" making him eligible for entry to military installations for his work.
He stayed a soldier of Her Majesty but was at the same time a "Legionnaire", thankfully without the duties of a Legionnaire...!
This commitment lasted 2 years before the General de Gaulle took France out of NATO .
He then returned to his regiment stationed in Detmold, Germany.
After a few weeks, a new challenge presented itself, and he was sent to Berlin (West) at the time divided into four sectors, British / French / American and Russian.
He was still used as a link between French forces and British, often requested by the Americans, and also the German services.
He ended his commitment to Her Majesty's armed forces in Berlin in 1973, and returned with his wife to London, England both as Civil Servants in London.
After a year or so, he received a call to return to Germany, this time as a civilian attached to the Military as a liaison in Berlin ( West).
With his wife, he remained in Berlin until the year 1978, and then took the military retirement offered by authorities.
For details on this period it will not be possible for him to give details until the year 2028, and then you may request them, by letter to the Minister of Defence, London!
After his return, he served again in England, London, as an official at the Central Government, and then - change of direction and meaning of life in Britain:
He decided to absolve a period of 3 years qualifying as a Professional Caterer (including Cuisine, Wine, Service, Accounting ... etc.).
After short stays on several continents the couple finally installed themselves in Bavaria, southern Germany, in a region called Allgau.
He was retired, and used his knowledge of the German language by becoming a part time "Skilehrer" (Ski instructor) for British tourist groups and American / French groups, or sometimes other nationalities (I remember a Japanese group who spoke English, for example!)
During this time, relations with the South of France had been kept up, with the installation of a small caravan, and then a mobile home (trailer home) on a private plot, purchased by himself and his wife, close to the Thau lagoon, well known for it's wines and oyster/mussel production.
The idea was to take their final retirement, after the retirement of his wife - in that area.
Unfortunately, the wife of Ian W. Mitchell - KATHLEEN ODELL-MITCHELL - died in 1992 of cancer.
After this event, and after a first heart attack, he moved permanently to the south of France, settled in a place called Castries, then a place called Perols, in the the Region called the Herault.
After some years, he "re-arranged" his life, leaving the Camping / Hotel way of living, and went to install himself in a town called Vauvert, in the Region called "The Gard", where he lived, with his cat named "Granite de l'Oasis "(see photo and Picasa Web Photos link). Here it is - if it works! My photo albums on the Internet (all of 'em) (just click and choose)
He had surgery for a triple heart bypass in February 2006, and with a relatively stable health, and after a very, very busy life, he tried to pass a quiet life - not easy these days!
In 2007 to 2008, after several disappointments, he decided to take things in hand, and thoroughly cleaned his "contacts" - "friends" - and other useless things in his life.
Once you narrowly miss death, you love trying to live what remains, fully - in your own way - without those useless attachments.
He was happy now to wait for the reunion with his wife, to live peacefully but fully- if they let me do so ......until the fateful day, quite recently in 2010 when he met a younger lady called Tina Concetta MARZOCCA - and everything changed!
The future, possibly short, possibly long, awaits us - and we are both looking forward to attacking all the problems it will present, but also of enjoying it.
Ian W. Mitchell (mr le Marquis) - Vauvert,France - June 2011