A Fortuitous Foray into France opens with former ABC sports broadcaster, Gerry Collins, panicking. Having earned an extraordinary opportunity to be an international university exchange student at the age of 63, he is in the first lecture of the course to which he was most looking forward when he finds himself struggling to understand and feels this exchange to the University of La Rochelle in France may prove to be a disaster. It was one of many major challenges which he was to encounter and how he handled problems of understanding and being understood, the bureaucracy of universities, the big age gap between himself and his fellow students and finding that even in your sixties exam nerves don’t go away, makes for an interesting read. Balancing the frustrations is the excitement of an undreamt of adventure in a little piece of heaven on the French Atlantic Coast. He finds the opportunity to converse with locals in their native tongue stimulating and their acceptance of him warming. He becomes immersed in local history and finds himself swapping roles from sports broadcaster to sports fan as he does his best to immerse himself in the French way of life. The reward is an experience beyond his expectations.
After a long career with the ABC, broadcasting major sport from around the world, Gerry Collins had good reason to involve himself in books. With a major in English literature, he relished teaching high school English before moving into the media, going from newspaper editor to sports broadcaster. After hosting many book launches, he was approached to write No Bull, the memoir of Australian Test cricketer, Andy Bichel. Inspired by that involvement, Gerry found that he just had to write about an amazing experience he had while studying French in retirement. That proved to be a Fortuitous Foray into France.
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