Francoise Janod-Groves
2 min readNov 25, 2020


Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

I didn’t like to read, or write, until…..

I was born in France of French parents. My father went to work in London, England, when I was about 3 years old. I started school at about 4 in the English system, and switched to the French system, the French Lycée in London at about 8 years old. My mother told me later that in the English system children were not taught the read and write until quite late, reading and writing was done in some kind of phonetic way. I must say that I do not remember this and don’t quite know how this could work, but I guess I believed my mother. By the time I arrived in the French school students had learned to read and write a long time ago…

Result: reading and writing were not my favorite. But of course I eventually could read and write in both English and French.

Let's talk about writing. Before I retired I was working in the scientific world. I was a lecturer in Physiology in Sydney, Australia. I was teaching and also doing research. I had to write reports and mark scientific essays. I was good at this. It wasn’t pompous or flowery writing, just the facts. So, I guess that my writing abilities these days are to the fact, and probably boring, not what I would call smooth writing. I do my best..

What about reading. Well that’s a different story. I am a very slow reader, I have to read every word, and the whole word. Very slow. I didn’t like to read books and explained that by the fact that I didn’t learn to read well as a child. But I realised at one point, that the real reason was that I hate the smell of paper: newspaper, books, even wrapping paper. Then a miracle happened: computers appeared and books could be read on screens. I then started reading and found that I quite liked it. I didn’t start with the easy stuff, I started with George R R Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire”, yes, that’s where I started, it was 2012. I really enjoyed this and have been reading since then, not always as intense stories as this but, I read.

Photo by Alex Blăjan on Unsplash

I joined Medium to see what people write about and I am amazed at the variety. Until now I have only read pieces and maybe I will try and write a little more. One never knows…as long as I can do this on a computer!