petite anglaise

September 20, 2004

high maintenance

Filed under: french touch, working girl — petiteanglaiseparis @ 2:31 pm

I tuned into the French girls’ bitchy conversation in the office kitchen at lunchtime today, while pretending to read my book (Stella Descending – Linn Ullmann, brilliant). It went something along the lines of:

“And I told him (boyf) that if he couldn’t be bothered to come over (I gather he was on the other side of Paris at a friend’s appartment and it was midnight) and get the keys, then he shouldn’t have offered to stay in to wait for the plumber in the first place….we argued and I hung up…”

“…and then the next day he wouldn’t come ’round and pick me up for tennis and I had to carry all my stuff there myself so we had another fight and I slammed the phone down on him again…”

“..then he told me that he didn’t have the kids next weekend after all and so we could have gone away and now I’ve made other plans and he is just sooo inconsiderate and I always come last in his list of priorities….”

I don’t know how French blokes cope. They are not allowed to see their friends, have to provide a chauffeur service, deal with tradesmen and take their girlfriends away for the weekend on a regular basis and in return, they get nothing but grief . High maintenance doesn’t begin to cover it.

So engrossed in the conversation was I (usually their discussions are conducted at a not quite audible whisper which is quite frustrating) that I took a plastic cup and microwaved it for a minute instead of putting it in the coffee machine and pressing the button.

I pray they didn’t notice.

September 19, 2004

flying low

Filed under: misc — petiteanglaiseparis @ 1:01 am

There I was reading in the metro on my way home last night, minding my own business and just glancing up occasionally to peer through the carriage window and check I hadn’t missed my stop (which I have been known to do when immersed in a good book).

As I glanced up at one station, craning my neck to see the sign which was way off to my right, I noticed the middle-aged man sitting opposite was grinning inanely. One of his shirt buttons appeared to be undone, and out of the corner of my eye I could see a bit of flesh sticking out of the gap…

Except it wasn’t his shirt that was undone. And not only was he grinning, but also pointing southwards with his fingers.

What is one to do in such situations? I pretended not to have noticed, buried my face in my book, counted the metro stations in my head and then fled without a backward glance.

Dear blog fairy, I have plenty of material. Please don’t put me in awkward situations like that just so I can write about them. Honestly, I can manage without you…

September 16, 2004

kinky baguettes

Filed under: french touch — petiteanglaiseparis @ 1:00 pm

There are not many things I can think of that are nicer than a freshly baked baguette when it’s still warm… Mmm (Miam). No meal is complete unless there is bread on the table in this country, and I think I’d drop a whole dress size if it wasn’t so damn moreish.

When in England, I’m embarrassed by our pathetic attempts at making French bread. Surely it is just a question of following a simple recipe? The things masquerading as baguettes in Tesco are in my experience just long thin loaves of English bread. The true test being that the longer you keep them, the soggier they get.

Anyone who is well acquainted with French baguettes will know that after approximately half a day they are past their best, and if you keep one overnight the only possible use you could have for it the next day is if you want to beat someone unconscious with it.*

Unlike English bread, the important part is the crust. In fact the Frog scoops out the soft middle bit (la mie) and leaves it in squished up balls on the side of his plate. At the bakers you can ask for a well-done baguette or a less well-done one. A word of advice: if you intend to tuck the baguette under your arm in truly clichéd fashion, well-done is better suited to this purpose. Anything else will bend in the middle and dangle flacidly down at both ends.

*ok, I admit I can think of some other uses. My extensive research yielded the following fact of the day: in Ancient Greece, Athenian lower classes (who couldn’t afford expensive dildos) used to make do with baguettes baked in the shape of male genitalia. So there you go. Can’t do that with a floured bap now, can you?

September 15, 2004

having an SJP moment

Filed under: city of light — petiteanglaiseparis @ 1:27 pm

Petite anglaise, strolling carefree through the streets of Paris on a sunny autumn day, casually elegant in her floaty skirt and pale beige mac. (Well, if you must know, she was dashing frantically to the nearest Decathlon sports shop during her lunch break to purchase a swimming cap for the Tadpole, but the rest was accurate).

*SPLASH!!!!!!!!! (or *PLOUF!* if you want to do this the French way)

Petite anglaise swears and gesticulates angrily at the back end of the open-top bus which has just soaked aforementioned skirt and mac. And yes, I do gesticulate when I speak French. It’s compulsory.

Parisian streetcleaners have an ingenious way of disposing of the debris they sweep off the city’s pavements. First, it is swept or blown with a leaf-blower type device into the gutter, and then they turn on special hidden taps – whose existence you would never suspect – in the gutters themselves so that water gushes out along the roadside and carries the detritus far away into a distant drain. Special rolled up pieces of mangy carpet appear as if by magic and are strategically positioned so as to ensure the temporary stream flows in the correct direction. I have no idea where these pieces of carpet come from/go at night but they do not look very hygienic and I wouldn’t like to get too close to one.

So of course I wasn’t just wet, I also had bits of leaves and I dare not think what else all over my person.

Another glamorous day in the city of lights.

« Newer PostsOlder Posts »

Blog at WordPress.com.