petite anglaise

July 31, 2004

competition time

Filed under: french touch — petiteanglaiseparis @ 12:13 pm

I saw a t-shirt like the above on a middle aged French lady yesterday. Non-english speakers seem to be willing to wear anything with English words on, blissfully unaware of what they might be advertising/whether the words make any sense whatsoever/or mean something dirrty.

If anyone can enlighten me as to whether there is a sports team in Eastham (Cape Cod, US) sponsored by readymix (concrete?) I’d be most grateful.

Describe the most inappropriate/ridiculous/nonsensical t-shirt you have spotted on a French person in the comments box below. Best entry wins a petite anglaise thong.

even classier

July 30, 2004

hot hot heat

Filed under: city of light — petiteanglaiseparis @ 2:52 pm

August is almost upon me again. A tedious time of year to be in Paris, unless you happen to be a tourist and you can get away with wearing shorts and flip flops. My neighbourhood has effectively closed down for the next month: favourite clothes are trapped at the dry cleaners until September, there are no decent bread/croissants on sale within a 500m radius, and the tobacconist has now buggered off too. No more cigs for the Frog (he might actually have to stop smoking instead of just pretending now).

Temperatures are soaring, and I think it’s time to call on Holmes, my trusty butler fan, so that he can stir the stale, polluted air round and round the flat. Follow my advice: never rent a flat with only south facing windows. I managed to fry an egg on my balcony last year. Top temperature measured in my bedroom at midnight: 40°C (using the thermometer which my exercise bike kindly defaults to when in ‘idle’ mode, its preferred state).

During the 2003 killer heat wave that significantly reduced the pensions shortfall in France and kept undertakers in business, I was on maternity leave and trapped at home with shutters firmly closed.  I’m almost thankful to be at work this time round, even if the transition from 16°C in the air conditioned office to 30+°C outside can be a little brutal.

I’m the one you saw on the metro this morning with a cardigan on, blowing my nose.

July 29, 2004

what not to wear

Filed under: misc — petiteanglaiseparis @ 1:52 pm

My favourite dress ever was a short, gauzy, off-white miss selfridge number with lots of sequins on the bodice which glowed under UV lighting. Not the most tasteful of outfits, I readily admit, but this was 1994. It was always worn with trainers as I have never mastered the black art of walking, let alone dancing for hours on end, in strappy sandals.

Sadly, since I moved to France this dress has had only one outing, accessorized with a wand.  To a fancy dress party. It has now been reluctantly consigned to the ‘dressing up clothes’ bag for the toddler to marvel at one day. In Paris, at least in the circles I move in, dressing down is de rigueur, and something of an art form. Sequins are scorned as cheap and tacky (with hindsight I tend to agree), and are not even acceptable on club wear. Exposing swathes of flesh is also seen as ‘unelegant’. (Teenagers of the UK take note: showing your goose pimpled midriff in December when you haven’t been sticking to government healthy eating guidelines is simply not attractive).

In my years as a Parisienne I have acquired a wardrobe of boring discreet, mostly black clothes which leave a little more to the imagination. The Frog prefers me to dress down and would love it if I consented to throw away my make up altogether. Male insecurity speaks: “you’ve pulled, so now let me drag you back to my cave and you need never attempt to make yourself attractive to the opposite sex again And none of that nonsense about how you are doing it for yourself, not for other men.”

Clearly I do not agree with this attitude, but as it happens the Frog needn’t worry. Since becoming a mother, my idea of putting an outfit together consists of finding the least crumpled clothes in the ironing pile and praying that they will match.

July 28, 2004

bonjour paresse

Filed under: working girl — petiteanglaiseparis @ 4:40 pm

Extract from an article in the guardian about a new French book called Bonjour Paresse – The Art and the Importance of Doing the Least Possible at the Workplace by Corinne Maier, “an anarchic anti-business bible”:

“…employees should shake off their shackles of loyalty and start footling around during office hours…”

I’m not sure what loyalty footling is, but am wondering whether an alternative translation could be “blogging”?

Note to my boss: please do not fire me. I have been a little distracted lately, but I’m not doing anyone any harm and I (nearly) always suspend all blog-related activities when something lands in my in-tray.

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