petite anglaise

May 26, 2005

the end of the affair?

Filed under: french touch, navel gazing — petiteanglaiseparis @ 1:58 pm

For today’s post, kindly follow me.

And my I point out at this juncture that I categorically do not wear red nail varnish.


  1. phew!!

    What with the croydon facelift and now the red nailvarnish!!! I was seriously worried!! ha ha
    Anyway you’re right,your love affair with France won’t end and I remember going back to live in England and was very confused by 2yk or 2ky!! everywhere
    when i lived in england last that was an intimate gel!!!
    love 4 u 3
    mary 9cube

    Comment by mary — May 26, 2005 @ 2:15 pm

  2. This is an issue I’ve pondered a lot. My Frogman & I did return to the UK for a while, and it was really wierd being a proper working, taxpaying adult there, having left like you as a student, but it was a real eye-opener. I found life easier, and it was a real luxury to have my family nearby. Also my daughters developed their Britishness – where previously their “other” culture existed solely in the form of another language and visits to and from members of my family, it now expanded to include the whole British thing – friends, nursery, school, food, humour, music etc, and of course the language, which they learnt to speak properly. When we came back here they found the transition hard, but they are now truly bi-cultural, bilingual and proud of their dual heritage.

    However if my relationship ever broke up (we’ve had our moments!) I don’t know what I’d do. I’d find the idea of going home permanently comforting but slightly depressing, and staying in France more exotic, even though day-to-day this is far from the case. I like being ‘foreign’ and a little bit different. Most of all, I’d hate to separate the children from their father and vice versa, not to mention all the emotional and complicated Channel-hopping that this would entail.

    So I’m hoping that Franco-British relations remain harmonious so we never have to make these decisions.

    I admire your choice, it is in some ways the tough option for you but will undoubtedly make things easier for Tadpole and Mr Frog. All the best.

    Comment by l'autre — May 26, 2005 @ 3:09 pm

  3. Yes; right, I think. To stay I mean. These kind of at home in exile things bite deep. Can’t send email to expatica because MAC won’t allow ir for some reason. I dreamed about you last night. These things are so hard. Bear up.

    Comment by grannyp — May 26, 2005 @ 3:11 pm

  4. And what on earth is BBC3?

    This is yet another of those “Maybe I am actually Petite but don’t realise it” posts ;-)

    Comment by Iain — May 26, 2005 @ 3:16 pm

  5. is the new prospect a frog as well ? I know, none of my business, but very interested… :p

    Comment by stephan — May 26, 2005 @ 4:02 pm

  6. 8 years is a long time to live together, beginning in your extended student life, but looking back I should have realised you two were growing apart.
    Obviously we are biased but there are two sides to every break-up and we are not going to apportion blame. We are fond of Mr Frog and he will always be the father of our lovely Tadpole. Its easy to say maybe things would have been different if…. but we all are what we are, and its not good to try to be what someone else wants us to be. In time we just want to be able to say that this was the best thing that could have happened.

    Comment by petite's mum — May 26, 2005 @ 4:29 pm

  7. ms petite anglais – not even on your toes? ever? :o

    Comment by pink — May 26, 2005 @ 4:41 pm

  8. Brava, petite!

    Comment by R J Keefe — May 26, 2005 @ 5:05 pm

  9. I am going to reserve the right to remain very coy about ‘new prospect’ for now Stephan. You’ll have to ask me on Tuesday…

    Comment by petite — May 26, 2005 @ 5:07 pm

  10. I’d have been more surprised if you had decided to go back to the UK. Besides, “Little Brit” just doesn’t have the same ring to it as “petite anglaise.”

    Comment by Bluegrass Mama — May 26, 2005 @ 5:24 pm

  11. From my own experience, I truly believe that whatever makes our parents happy (be it in relaionships, work, or where we live), will in turn provide the happiest environment for the children involved. At the age of 7, I moved from Ireland to Australia with my parents and siblings. My father passed away suddenly and my mother always regretted not returning to Ireland to be closer to family & friends. We as teenagers and young adults were very aware of her unhappiness.

    Do what is right for you Petite, with obviously consideration to Mr. Frog, and I’m sure it will be the right thing for Tadpole as well.

    Comment by Nicnu — May 26, 2005 @ 5:36 pm

  12. I completely missed this new prospect thing. Tell us more.

    Comment by Satsuma — May 26, 2005 @ 5:46 pm

  13. I feel the same about UK. I left France when I was a student and have never worked there. I think I wouldn’t fit in if I were to return to France. My wife is English and we’re planning to start a family in England in the near future (although I think I’d like my child(ren) to have dual nationality).

    May I also take this opportuinity to comment on the previous posts and say how sorry I am that you and Mr Frog decided to end up your relationship. I sincerely hope that you’ll work out a compromise for Tadpole and that you’ll find a new and better Mr Frog. I send you my best wishes.

    Comment by Froggie — May 26, 2005 @ 6:12 pm

  14. Discovering Paris and France could be your lifetime affair….
    I dream of the day I will get to re-locate to France. Every thing I do I keep that goal in the back of my head. Your blog helps that dream stay fresh in my heart.

    Chin up, eyes open.

    Comment by Lucy — May 26, 2005 @ 6:48 pm

  15. As Iain said, yet another post that makes me wonder if Petite is me!
    I have never worked in the UK, I left as a student. I have never been an adult there. The UK will be forever associated with the past: with childhood, school and university.
    Exactly. I did work for one year in England, but knew from the day I started work in that horrible school that I was going to be leaving.

    Your moniker makes it clear how much France means to you. I am not surprised you’re staying – tho that’s a silly thing to say – what do I know about you? I wasn’t surprised to hear of your decision re Mr Frog, but I wouldn’t have been surprised if you’d stayed together either. After all, what do I really know about you? You write beautifully. Many of the things you say resonate with my experience. Some of the things you say make me reflect on my life. You remind me of what my life might have been had I too made the decision to stay in France, as I almost did. That’s why I keep reading.

    Comment by Susan — May 26, 2005 @ 7:43 pm

  16. photographs from your balcony please?

    Comment by andre — May 26, 2005 @ 9:26 pm

  17. Stay in France, if that is your wish, among those things and people you have grown accustomed too.But spare a thought for those few things you miss about Britain.(whatever they may be!)

    Comment by Colin — May 26, 2005 @ 9:27 pm

  18. Was that really your mum who posted ??

    Has Mr Frog ever posted ? Maybe he’s “dan”..

    Does he ever read your blog ? How could he not ? I would find it compulsive reading if I were him. If he’s never shown enough interest in it to come and take a look in the past, then you’re definitely right to leave him, because a lack of interest in your blog equals a lack of interest in you, and that’s not good, is it?.

    Comment by smartie — May 26, 2005 @ 10:00 pm

  19. Twas indeed my mum, yes. Mr Frog has never commented. He read it “when he had time”.

    André, the photo is for you sweetie.

    Comment by petite — May 26, 2005 @ 10:10 pm

  20. that was very well written, to the point where you may have to consider rephrasing your tagline from ‘lost in france’ to ‘found.’

    Comment by brando — May 26, 2005 @ 10:40 pm

  21. What a glorious sight/site

    Comment by andre — May 26, 2005 @ 11:29 pm

  22. Mum’s always say it best – well done Petite’s mum :-D

    Comment by Ellie — May 26, 2005 @ 11:41 pm

  23. Love the post. But hey, what’s wrong with red nail polish?

    Comment by Lisa — May 26, 2005 @ 11:43 pm

  24. Lovely what you wrote about France… I hadn’t realized that you had been in France that long.

    And that’s very cool that you mum commented! :)

    Comment by Flare — May 27, 2005 @ 12:05 am

  25. That’s a question I’ve asked myself as well. Would I go back to France if we separated. I’m not sure I could but I’m not sure I could live so far away from my family and long term friends without a “good reason” to. The big difference is probably distance. You can easily go back with Tapdole to the UK several times a year so even though she is more French than British, she still can get a taste of it once in a while… which is awesome. Good on you for wanting her to be able to stay close to her daddy cheri.

    Comment by Maurine au bout du monde — May 27, 2005 @ 1:39 am

  26. I really found your thoughts on France well said. I think the same way of the country. I felt comfortable, like I really belonged. Now I’m back in the states after living in Nice and Paris for a year. The reverse culture shock was incredible and I know I can’t continue living here. Forunately, I’m a student, though almost done, and I plan on moving there with my very own, wonderful Froggie. I hope to have a beautiful future in France as you have.

    Comment by juliana — May 27, 2005 @ 2:33 am

  27. Paris or France has its time in one life.Its the monumental feel for la difference and permanence that one feels living here.But one must rest from it from time to time.Like all cultures some can hold you longer than others.Its the souls needs like nourishments or self preservatioins.My experience told me that when one gets too close to your adapted land one must also distance from it.Like paradox for that adapted land is merely a mirror of your deepest desires to find your place.And just like a mirror, when you get too close to it, you will not see yourselves……

    Comment by same soul — May 27, 2005 @ 3:59 am

  28. …and when you cannot see yourselves any longer its time to leave …for a while that is

    Comment by same soul — May 27, 2005 @ 4:15 am

  29. Now i’m coming for sure on Tuesday ! :)

    Comment by schuey — May 27, 2005 @ 7:10 am

  30. mm, same soul, I am going to the UK for the weekend. Will that do?

    Comment by petite — May 27, 2005 @ 8:02 am

  31. <girltalk>

    red nail polish – not wrong per se, but pure unadulterated evil in the hands of a very inept petite anglaise. Tadpole’s colouring in is neater than my varnishing, so transparent polish is the only way forward…


    Comment by petite — May 27, 2005 @ 9:14 am

  32. Thank you for that picture petite! I used to go to France about 4 times a year with the family but when I got to 20 decided I was too old for family holidays.

    But that picture has made me want to go back again. I can’t believe how much I miss France. And its only been one year in my whole life that I haven’t been!

    Comment by Lucy — May 27, 2005 @ 9:50 am

  33. I may not be British but Petite sounds like me too. I left the US at 22 and have made my adult life (work, family, etc.) here in France for the past 18 years. Whenever I go back to NY, I’m at home, but if things didn’t work out with my husband, I’m not so sure I’d leave France either… My “American” sons are oh so French…

    Comment by magillicuddy — May 27, 2005 @ 10:22 am

  34. If I may…

    I hear you peitie about the nail polish thing. I tried to give myself, ahem, a ‘French manicure’ yesterday for hubby’s office party. I wore flipflops, and looked like a freakish liquid paper disaster from the ankles down.

    Nice view. Thanks for sharing it with us… I hope, however, that it doesn’t draw any stalkers.


    Comment by sammy — May 27, 2005 @ 10:38 am

  35. What a lovely mum you have, Petite.

    I haven’t commented before on your recent news, but have been thinking about you a lot. When I couldn’t access the blog for a couple of days, it made me think a lot about how much I’d miss you, and others I read regularly, if you stopped; how weird to feel so involved with someone I’ve never met, and whose identity I don’t know.

    I wish you all the very best. And I very much agree with Nicnu – especially since a good friend of mine, with 3 kids, left her husband for a new lover, was given a very hard time by her extended family and went back after a week. She isn’t happy, she and the other guy still love each other – 3 years and little contact later. It’s so very sad, and I can’t believe that sadness hasn’t rubbed off on her husband and children.

    Comment by Jean — May 27, 2005 @ 12:40 pm

  36. Good on you, glad to hear that you remain a “petite anglaise” and that you live where you feel most happy.

    Can you hear people say ” A NOUS LES PETITES ANGLAISES”.


    Comment by Zed0 — May 27, 2005 @ 1:47 pm

  37. how nice it was to read your mum!
    she’s so reassuring
    bz for a peaceful ‘hot’ weekend

    Comment by mary — May 27, 2005 @ 4:13 pm

  38. Ahh… picturesque :-) personally I prefer greenery..the penines..or yorkshire wolds. But each to there own…besides you dont meet many French speaking people in Holme firth…well…not THAT many!

    Comment by Colin — May 27, 2005 @ 9:41 pm

  39. Excellent blog, this. I’m afraid you won’t be able to read mine, but most of my francophile visitors do have the English and will visit since I linked you on my site. Please send them back to me once in a while.
    I don’t know wether I’ll find the time to come visit often (bit like mr. Frog, I am), but you are in my bookmarks and I’m sure I’ll drop by once in a while.

    Greetings from a Dutch French countryside (71) dweller.
    Bon courage!

    Comment by Krek. — May 28, 2005 @ 11:52 pm

  40. Slightly different, because in my case I just can’t imagine ever staying in one place for more than three or four years at a time again. But when I left Brussels and before I went to Dublin I went and lived in my old home town in the Cotswolds for a few months. And I felt like a fish out of water far more than I ever have in any of the various cities I move around to. I felt like I was such a different person now from the one who left there over a decade ago, yet everyone expected me to still be that person. I think whoever it was who said “you can never go home again” never spoke a truer word. If your heart is in Paris, and Paris is in your bones, then Paris is where you need to be.

    Comment by Alan — May 29, 2005 @ 1:38 pm

  41. I have been pretty nomadic for the past 10 years or more, a bit like Alan.

    I’m still not sure I know where “home” is and I’m always open minded about moving on.

    I’m not ruling anything out. I may even end up back in France one day, if the BF will come with me.

    I know what you mean about losing touch with the “homeland” – I came back from France in 1994 to find everyone there was talking about “Friends” and “Four weddings and a funeral” – neither of which I ever really “got” because I missed all the hype.

    You say tadpole is French “first and foremost” – I hope you can ensure that she gets “the best of British” though ;)

    Comment by witho — May 29, 2005 @ 2:33 pm

  42. Hi petite,

    I’ve been pretty busy so it was a shock to come back and find out about your recent life-changing decisions. Of course, everyone’s said everything already, but I do just want to say I’m thinking of you too. And that it’s better to be happy over the long-term and suffer a little for it. On top of that, I wouldn’t move from your apt either! Happy that you are staying around.


    Comment by b — May 30, 2005 @ 1:14 am

  43. Petite, good luck with whatever life throws at you in the coming months. Congratulations on being brave enough to take your life back. It’ll be tough, no doubt, but surely better than living a stale life you’re too scared to change.


    Comment by amy — May 30, 2005 @ 1:52 pm

  44. doesn’t it make you feel a bit odd to be talking about you and your Mr Frog (as in frog prince?) breaking up?
    You’re not, are you?? Everyone seems to be getting divorced these days. :( i wish you all the luck in the world NOT getting divorced, as that would be tres, um, what’s the french word for sad? and i like red nail polish! in moderation.

    Comment by Teenie Martini — May 30, 2005 @ 7:12 pm

  45. Petite,

    The reasons you are staying are so very important. It is wonderful when a place can capture not only your heart but your spirit and that is what it appears to have done for you.

    Comment by Michele — May 31, 2005 @ 1:26 am

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