Panos Athanasopoulos wrote beautifully about bilingualism in April 2015 in The Guardian Weekly, a piece that moved me to write my first public love-letter and reflect on the language of love.
I spent six months in France to immerse myself in a culture I have loved forever and a language I haven’t spoken for 35 years. The mental workout your brain derives from travelling back and forth between two languages can be likened to the beneficial physical effects of regular visits to the gym: increased flexibility, stamina and occasionally the overwhelming desire to have a lie down and a sleep afterwards.
Love is a word that should be used judiciously.
Love of a newborn child is immediate and unconditional but most other forms of love evolve over time. Throughout my own loving childhood, such exchanges between parent and child were rare. Love was demonstrated rather than spoken of.