As a rule, I don’t much enjoy memes and usually pretend I haven’t noticed when someone tags me. But Meg and I live on the same street and run into each other practically every day, so I didn’t fancy my chances of successfully dodging this one.
I’ve dutifully picked up the nearest book, Une Pièce Montée by Blandine Le Callet, turned to page 123, skipped to the fifth sentence and below are the next three. Note how differently the French punctuate speech.
I haven’t started yet, I must confess, but page 123 catapults the reader straight into the midst of a domestic dispute about wedding arrangements, albeit a somewhat restrained and polite one.
Le Callet’s novel, the cover blurb of which describes her pen as “acerbic”, apparently sets about mocking the rituals of bourgeois weddings. I stumbled across it while seeking an anti-Valentine’s present for The Boy, then ended up popping it in my virtual shopping basket for myself.
Because one thing I love about the French is their ability to couch the most bitter of arguments in the most irreproachably polite language.
The Boy’s Valentine gift, in case you are wondering, was an otter adoption package, complete with soft toy otter and a packet of ‘otter droppings’, aka chocolate raisins.
We might be eschewing most of the more traditional wedding day customs when we tie the knot, in late spring, but I do plan on having a pièce montée. Whether it will be made of macarons or a choux pyramid coated in caramel, remains to be hotly disputed.