On the left is the calorific bouquet I had delivered to the Frog’s office on his birthday. I’m now rather popular there, as even the Frog can’t get through 50 Chupa Chups without some assistance.
The Frog adores sweets: packets of fraises tagada are always mysteriously falling from supermarket shelves into our shopping trolley when my back is turned. If he ever leaves me it will no doubt be for his dentist, with whom he is spending increasing amounts of quality time.
As our expedition last weekend to find a suitable present was unsuccessful (he is very fussy), I thought I’d better have something up my sleeve on the day to make up for it. Actually, that makes me sound much less calculating than I really am: my primary motivation was to make him feel guilty that he never surprises me on my birthday… Not that when he thanked me over the phone through a mouthful of liquorice shoelaces he could have cared less about any intended subtext…
Last night we went out for a meal at Chez Georges, the Frères Costes’ über-trendy restaurant on the top floor of the Centre Pompidou. The experience made me remember why I love Paris: there is a marvellous view of the city skyline and all the major monuments are lit up at night. Inside the restaurant the view isn’t unpleasant either. The waiters are very suave, and the beanpole waitresses look like models. There must be a clause in the girls’ contracts which specifies that at least 1m20 of skinny bare leg must be shown at all times. Their outfits would have been more appropriate in a glitzy nightclub – never have I seen so many sequins (except perhaps in Miss Selfridge).
At the end of our meal, feeling I’d overindulged on rich food and bordeaux I asked our waiter for a carafe of water with the bill: meaning tapwater, not the mineral water on the menu at €8 a bottle (which even I know is ridiculously expensive). He looked at me calculatingly and said “de l’eau municipale?” I’ve never heard tapwater called by that name before, but I concede it is a very clever use of the word ‘municipal’, a word which conjures up images of street cleaners, sewerage works and dodgy lead piping and almost made me have costly second thoughts.
Incidentally, I stuck to my guns and got my tapwater, and as you can see I’m still alive, if a little “hanged over”.