How we met: ‘She stood right next to me. I assumed she fancied my PhD student’

Neuropsychologists Chris Moulin and Céline Souchay, 47, fell in love after a conference in 2004. They live with their sons in Grenoble

Although Chris Moulin and Céline Souchay met at a scientific conference in France in 1999, they didn’t make a lasting impression on each other at the time. “I remember that Chris had long ginger hair,” says Céline. “I asked him some questions about a presentation he gave, but couldn’t understand his response, because my English wasn’t good.” She says he sounded “a bit posh and pretentious”, but it was “probably due to the language barrier”.

By 2004, Céline had moved from France to Plymouth to work as a lecturer, while Chris was living and working in Leeds. In September that year, he invited her to a British Psychological Society conference he was organising in the city. Although he had read her work, he didn’t recall having met her five years earlier. “She stood right next to me at the evening reception and I assumed she must fancy my PhD student,” says Chris. But Céline thought he was amazing. “I didn’t recognise him, but he looked so trendy and happy. I was frustrated, because I wanted to speak to him, but there were lots of people around. I stood nearby to show I was interested.” Although there was a spark, they kept things professional. “I asked him to read something I had written, as an excuse to keep in touch.”

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