petite anglaise

May 5, 2005

when the cat's away…

Filed under: navel gazing — petiteanglaiseparis @ 11:31 am

How Mr Frog would spend a bank holiday, alone, in Paris


Peek through eyelids surreptitiously as frantic petite scampers around apartment readying travel bag and uncooperative Tadpole for weekend away. Groan at the merest suggestion of curtains being opened to facilitate packing of colour-coordinated clothing and hasty application of make up. Upon hearing front door slam closed, roll over and go back to sleep.


Ease self out of bed and into warm embrace of bathtub. Emerge only when skin has wrinkled to pruneau-like consistency. Dress. Head to neighbourhood McDo for takeout lunch, ignoring well-stocked fridge and kitchen cupboards.

Hop on Vespa and head H&M Opéra-wards, whereupon purchase ridiculous item such as WHITE trousers. Knowing full well that good lady non-wife will inevitably demand return of aforementioned garment on grounds of impractical nature and own manly aversion to involvement with washing machine/dryer/iron. (Real reason, not stated, is dubious nature of fashion decision. Previous shopping trips without spousal guidance have yielded: string vest (green) and cowboy hat. Case closed.)

Meet friend for coffee, make most of freedom by smoking entire packet of cigarettes.


No plans as allergic to making arrangements in advance. Dinner courtesty of Allo Pizza. Play GTA: Vice City whilst eating crisps and multi-pack of Haribo assorted sweets. Fall asleep on sofa while watching Fight Club/The Godfather. Again.
How petite is spending a bank holiday, alone, in Paris


Leap into action at sound of alarm. Feed, water and clothe Tadpole and put finishing touches to weekend bag. Bark various orders at Mr Frog emerging from bathroom only minutes before taxi due to arrive.

As front door slams, instead of taking book to bed as initially planned, experience sudden and overwhelming desire to clean child-free apartment from top to bottom, including waxing wood floors, reorganising wardrobe, polishing every single pair of shoes and scrubbing at limescale in bathtub with stiff brush.

10 AM


Water plants on balcony. Cold gust of wind serves as belated reminder that am wearing only jeans and bra at this juncture. Beat hasty retreat indoors. Wash hair. Write blog post.


The plan: make most of rare commodity that is “me-time” for much-needed bout of retail therapy (if shops open at Etienne Marcel). Which will happen, unless succumb to evil voices in head suggesting today would be really good day to clean windows/wipe down walls/wash pushchair cover/launder bedclothes.

Note to self: perhaps Ipod will drown out voices?


Chain self to computer, in attempt to finish off website for family business (work in progress since November 2004). Proof read text, sniggering like teenager at every mention of word ‘erection’. Break for ironing intermission.

Why oh why it is that even though I constantly lament not having any time to myself and a sleep deficit which must amount to about two months full-time bedrest, I feel compelled to spend a precious bank holiday Thursday (one of the rare jours fériés not falling on a weekend or abolished by government in 2005) doing chores?

This girl needs saving. From herself.


  1. Are you sure you’ve only got one child?

    Comment by Satsuma — May 5, 2005 @ 11:55 am

  2. I absolutely love your blogs…I am coming to live in Paris beginning of June 05..from Australia.. to live with Mr french man – who – by the way – won’t marry either..???? and …I have another aussie mate over there – same thing..she’s with a french man – won’t marriage either!!!..but they have just had a baby…I think this marriage thing needs investigating!! Keep up the fantastic blogs Ms Petite Anglaise!

    Comment by Narelle — May 5, 2005 @ 11:57 am

  3. Originally, I had planned to spend today having brunch with some friends, then going shopping for a fan and some window boxes, as I recently decided to stay for the summer and want to improve the flat. However, my hopes were cruelly dashed when my boss reminded me that I am employed under foreign labour laws and must work today, sitting at my desk while watching neighbours wander around their flats with no clothes on and playing radiohead very loudly. Of course, as usual, I take a few minutes of me time to read petite. But I was really looking forward to muffins and eggs at Joe Allen.

    Comment by EasyJetsetter — May 5, 2005 @ 12:44 pm

  4. Sooo cracking up about the white pants. I love white trousers by the way. But I’m from Florida, so what do I know.

    And it’s true, the upkeep is a bitch. Methinks good lady non-wife should have been brunching today ;)

    Comment by Coquette — May 5, 2005 @ 12:59 pm

  5. My husband has a pair of tight white jeans he bought for a song in New York. He has never worn them though, as each time he drags them out and says ‘But they’re Helmut Lang’ I retort with ‘They’re still tight white jeans and far too gay for you’.

    Comment by Claypot — May 5, 2005 @ 1:08 pm

  6. I think he was living Grand Theft Auto Vice City and thought he was ‘cop’ from Miama Vice when he bought those white trousers.

    Coquette – shouldn’t YOU be doing some work btw?

    Right. Am off to SHOP! Talk amongst yourselves.

    Comment by petite — May 5, 2005 @ 1:20 pm

  7. Washing machine noisily chewing sheets and duvet cover, hoover panting with effort, toilet duck reeling from exertion. Newly acquired Glen Duncan book sits unmolested next to stripped bed. What is it about Bank Holidays? Mind you, if I had any work, I’d be doing that. Self employment cancels more holidays than even the French government! I might still get an hour reading in the Thabor Park later if I’m lucky. Hope you get some fun “me-time” Petite.

    Comment by Jim in Rennes — May 5, 2005 @ 1:31 pm

  8. Woo Hooooooooo. Men really do rule.

    Mr Frog is our King.

    Comment by Watski — May 5, 2005 @ 2:28 pm

  9. Can I join in? My Frog is working (as ever) so it’s just me & girls. My washing machine is also groaning from the excess load of sheets and the Jif/Cif and Dyson have had a good workout. Seem to have mislaid children – haven’t seen them since 10am (check next door?). Relishing peace and smug satisfaction of shiny taps and dustball-free floors and have just sat down with Pompeii (brill latest read) when grubby arguing girls burst in demanding nourishment. Will all need an outing later so might see you at the Thabor, Jim. I’ll be bookless, alas.

    Comment by l'autre — May 5, 2005 @ 2:35 pm

  10. Spent my bank holiday (was monday in UK) doing ironing- 3 machine loads. How boring! Weather was not great though.

    BTW I did get my Frog to marry me- but it took 9 and a half years to persuade him!

    Comment by Joy — May 5, 2005 @ 3:34 pm

  11. I love you even more, Petite, knowing that your Frog and my Boer think about free time in the same way. He’s the most wonderful hardworking man, but when he has nothing to do, he spends his time running down pedestrians and screwing hookers who he later robs in GTA. I don’t know what it is about that game.

    PS Don’t forget to take care of yourself. Tadpole will pick up on mum’s stress if you don’t keep an eye on that.

    Comment by Leslie — May 5, 2005 @ 4:39 pm

  12. Sighing wistfully at the memory of what the bank holidays used to mean. Now that I am self-employed, I no longer have “holidays” in the same way and tend to work whenever I need to/feel like it – which might be a Saturday night (but I would take a Wednesday off). The holidays used to be more fun the old way!

    Comment by Lisa — May 5, 2005 @ 5:08 pm

  13. you girls are all so lucky that your frogs can even get white trews to fit!!my frog is 2m05/6ft9 and i would love to see him in white linen trousers mmmmm!
    things are getting serious between readers,petite et moi-i think i have just shared a fantasy with you all!!
    anyway,i too have done as much laundry as i can possibly dry and am now at my friends doing hers!!
    what is it ’bout washing clothes etc that makes us feel good?
    are you doing the ‘pont’?
    mary 9cube

    Comment by mary — May 5, 2005 @ 5:32 pm

  14. I am not off work tomorrow no. No RTT’s for petite and no ponts either.

    Which is why Mr Frog (who does have a pont) and Tadpole have headed for the In Laws without me and I am following with some reluctance on Friday evening.

    Do I have any readers at the SNCF who could arrange a strike on the Paris Besançon line?

    Comment by petite — May 5, 2005 @ 7:04 pm

  15. Don’t worry a bit about the strike, petite. As often as they have been having them lately, you should have about a 1 in 10 chance of getting a train on this weekend de pont.

    And if there ISN’T one, you can always say that there was. Do you really think anyone will verify that information?

    Comment by sammy — May 5, 2005 @ 9:21 pm

  16. i howled with laughter this morning after reading this one, well and the others too….so much to relate to, but you tell it all too well. perhaps you’re so good at this writing from all that reading from a young age.

    Comment by jan — May 5, 2005 @ 11:02 pm

  17. And there was me thinking Paris was the fashion capital of the world, I demand a picture of Mr Frog wearing white trousers, green string vest and cowboy hat….

    Comment by morphess — May 6, 2005 @ 3:56 am

  18. He is actually quite a natty dresser, in a distinctly metrosexual kind of way. It’s just that occasionally he seems to think – “Oh, I know, I’ll buy that just in case we get invited to a fancy dress party”.

    Which of course we never do.

    H&M has a lot to answer for.

    Shopping trip yesterday was fairly successful. Four tops. No bottoms. A few tears shed when I caught sight of my post-Tadpole rear in the mirrors. Vowed to diet. Then bought a really yummy panini.

    Comment by petite — May 6, 2005 @ 9:39 am

  19. Mary, my frog is 6″11 (2m09) : Where do you find clothes that fit??????

    Comment by Maurine au bout du monde — May 9, 2005 @ 3:44 am

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