People often ask me why I moved to France. The answer's surprising really. Quite simply, I'm the last remaining member of my family. Apart from our children, all my family died from cancer.
Researchers at the Institut Nationale d'Etudes Demographiques have studied lifespans and quality of life across the EU. Apparently, French men can expect to live until they are 78.2 years old, French women 85.3 years - the longest life expectancy in Europe. Those with the shortest life expectancy live in countries like Bulgaria and Slovakia, where women can expect to live only to the age of 77.4. My mind races to my family's eastern European origins. Is this the reason for my health fears?
So, armed with this knowledge, I asked our new family doctor in Gaillac. I recounted briefly my family's terrible medical history, then told him the steps I was currently taking: daily consumption of 75 mg aspirin, a glass of red wine, raw carrot, tomato, leafy green vegetables, sunshine etc. 'Doctor, is this enough? Will it override the huge genetic risk I face from cancer?''Je ne suis pas le bon D.ieu', he says, shrugging his gallic shoulders.
I turn to Him indoors, who asks the doctor: 'So, French people live the longest?' 'Yes, says the doctor, but you've got to remember, you're not getting any younger.' 'It's not younger I want to get, but older!'