petite anglaise

June 6, 2005

sex, drugs and toddler taming

Filed under: good time girl, missing blighty — petiteanglaiseparis @ 4:28 pm

We sang carols outside a friend’s bedroom door, in the halls of residence, accompanied by an improvised shepherd, in the form of a vacuum cleaner wearing a makeshift head dress fashioned out of a tea towel and a roll of sticky tape.

We drank mushroom tea, and you saw furry spiders crawling all over my blue bedroom walls. Meanwhile I climbed into the linen cupboard and peeped suspiciously out through the slats in the wooden door.

You sent me weird, wonderful, nonsensical letters during vacations, and, when she overheard me telling you I loved you on the phone, my mum started to wonder if her daughter wasn’t, in fact, a lesbian.

We went on missions to Safeway, with your shopping trolley, John, and the badly drawn felt tipped pen drawings of Magic Roundabout characters on his belly.

We went to Glastonbury, and each year was slightly more surreal (and expensive) than the last. Although the lemon scented hand wipes in lieu of showers remained a charming constant.

I used to bury my head under my pillow when your boyfriend came round, wondering how it was that sex had to involve rattling every cupboard door and banging into every piece of furniture in your room.

We danced until dawn at Renaissance, convinced that we could see bursts of rainbow coloured sounds and catch them in our hands if we could only move fast enough.

* * * * * * *

This weekend, we sat in your conservatory, watching our little angels roaming around the garden and occasionally breaking up heated squabbles over favoured toys. We discussed toddler taming techniques and new beginnings over cups of PG Tips and the odd cheeky half of lager.

So much has changed since those university days – the best of my life so far – but you never do.

Thank you for being so unconditionally happy for me.


  1. That’s what real friends are for. Beautifully evoked.

    Comment by Zinnia Cyclamen — June 6, 2005 @ 5:09 pm

  2. I’ve called my best friend my wife since people started asking us how long we had been together whenever we would finish each others’ sentences in public. I get the lesbian thing from my Mum too. Glad to know I’m not alone.

    Comment by EasyJetsetter — June 6, 2005 @ 5:46 pm

  3. Ah, I’m getting all nostalgic now. We still have the tiny festival tent with mushroom-fuelled flowers and poems scrawled all over the inside in marker pen.

    We put Felix’s cot in it now though.

    Comment by Clare — June 6, 2005 @ 6:14 pm

  4. Ah you make me miss my friends back in Norway!

    lovely post!

    Comment by trine — June 6, 2005 @ 7:07 pm

  5. oh dammit, there was a bet on and I was supposed to get the word ‘merkin’ into that post, but failed miserably…

    Comment by petite — June 6, 2005 @ 8:41 pm

  6. I’m interested in the context that brought that bet about…

    Comment by Jim in Rennes — June 6, 2005 @ 9:49 pm

  7. Comment by Anonymous — June 7, 2005 @ 12:13 am

  8. I cried!
    As for the ‘merkin’ bet I’m pretty sure there were a few other things you were supposed to mention – but a few shandies on they escape me!
    And many thanks for reminding the boyfriend, now husband, of the cupboard door banging sessions … we’re about to head off to bed and I’m in all sorts of trouble! I’m content with a cup of Horlicks and a copy of Gardeners World these days!
    You have always been and always will be my very special little or petite depending where you are – I love you xxx

    Comment by prawn cocktail crisps — June 7, 2005 @ 12:30 am

  9. Confused!

    Comment by Tim — June 7, 2005 @ 12:54 am

  10. sorry Tim, I had logged on as petite at PCC’s house and she was struggling to comment in her own name. All is now hopefully a little clearer.

    And PCC – you soppy mare – what a lovely choice of pseudonym…

    Comment by petite — June 7, 2005 @ 8:32 am

  11. Bonjour,

    Je suis journaliste et je travaille sur un projet d’émission sur les rapports entre Anglais et Français. Dans le cadre de cette émission, je
    recherche des Britanniques expatriés en France qui pourraient raconter leur expérience.
    J’ai trouvé votre blog très intéressant et assez fourni sur le sujet et je voudrais en discuter avec vous, si vous le souhaitez.

    Vous pouvez joindre Laurence ou Laeticia au 01 55 04 76 83.

    Merci beaucoup


    Comment by Laurence — June 7, 2005 @ 11:04 am

  12. LOVE your style of writing, Petite! Am hugely envious..Oh, by the way, I don’t share either,so Jim is all yours as I’m sure he’s pleased to know! But this thing of seeing people on the web who could be like just next door is ultra strange. Here I am at work just next to Zara in Rennes centre ville and someone else could be doing exactly the same thing across the road!! Where abouts are you, Jim?

    Comment by Lucy-Jane — June 7, 2005 @ 11:09 am

  13. Congratulations, this comments box has been chosen as a participant in Clare’s Clever Treasure Hunt.

    The 12th word in the secret message is “because”. Your lucky number is 7.

    Each player will receive ten crisp bills in the denomination of their choice. And their breasts will get perkier. Or their girlfriend’s breasts will get perkier. Or their dog’s. Terms and conditions apply.

    Here’s how to play. To find the 13th word in the message:
    (1) Go to the 10th blog on this blog’s blogroll (clue: the initials are REF).
    (2) Look in REF’s comments. Don’t forget to say Boo. Or Abracadabra, or something less annoying.

    To return to the beginning, go here.

    Terms and conditions:
    (a) When you reach the secret cave, you’ll need a key to unlock the chest. That’s what the lucky numbers are for. Just follow the instructions in the cave, and Clare’s your auntie. Innit.
    (c) If any of the participating blogs change their blogrolls in the next day or so, or delete any treasure hunt comments, we’re a bit buggered. Oh well.
    (x) But if you get stuck, you can go back to the beginning and ask for a clue. Don’t forget to say how far you’ve got.
    (b) No, I don’t know any dick enlargement spells.

    Comment by Clare — June 7, 2005 @ 11:10 am

  14. my comments are getting more and more surreal as time wears on. Any sane people still out there?

    Comment by petite — June 7, 2005 @ 11:56 am

  15. Still here, but unfortunately have never been sane in entire life. Good thing too, I reckon. Sanity is BORING… sane people don’t join in the pipi-caca joke thing and find it funny…

    Comment by Lucy-Jane — June 7, 2005 @ 12:14 pm

  16. Not sure what ‘sane’ means – but I think I know what the secret message is now (and my comments box appears to be working again).

    Comment by Zinnia Cyclamen — June 7, 2005 @ 12:28 pm

  17. Oh well, sod it, I’ll try your game Clare. But if my breasts don’t get perkier, I will be demanding compensation.

    Comment by petite — June 7, 2005 @ 12:31 pm

  18. Ooh yes, Zinnia’s comments are working again!

    Any chance of you deleting comment number 14, petite? Pleasey weasey?

    P.S. Perkiness is just a state of mind.

    Comment by Clare — June 7, 2005 @ 12:54 pm

  19. still more boo

    Comment by april — June 7, 2005 @ 1:52 pm

  20. boo

    Comment by k — June 7, 2005 @ 3:29 pm

  21. Boo, or should I say something less than annoying, perhaps the oft used HELLO greeting? Nah, what fun would that be? I passed here earlier today in a mad rush to complete Clare’s Clever Treasure Hunt. Now, I have returned to peek around a bit. Although I do love popping in here often. Please do not mind the perkiness – it is after all a treasure.

    Comment by Michele — June 7, 2005 @ 9:44 pm

  22. Le boo. (Now with French articles.)

    Comment by golfwidow — June 8, 2005 @ 1:25 pm

  23. I wonder how it is that my life became so dreadfully boring. I live in Seattle, WA, USA. Born and raised here. Married 9 years, divorced now for 15 years. Children (daughters both) 20 and 23, raised and independent. Where did the time go? The most exciting thing that happened to me (painful, though…) was getting fired from my job (by someone 20 years my junior and ZERO management experience). And finding this blog! I was looking for some song lyrics and found you instead. Help me hang on to my sanity; help me realize there is big lovely world out there to enjoy…Thanks for your words…Ellie-Anna

    Comment by Ellie-Anna — June 8, 2005 @ 8:10 pm

  24. Your words on friendship and the ensuing banter between prawn cocktail crisps and yourself has made me think. It’s so important to keep in touch with special friends and you seem to be doing a great job of it across two countries. And no, I’m sorry, England is not “juste à côté” as everyone maintains, as if we should be thankful not to be from the USA or Australia. As long as someone cannot be called on or called upon spontaneously, that person is far away. I did perhaps the impossible – formed a close friendship with a FFF (Fabulous French Female) who is now leaving for Lyon. I am bereft but even more conscious of my luck in still having the famously naughty Smartie nearby. I may give the impression of taking these two amazing ladies for granted, but if either of you are reading, it is not the case. I love you both and thankyou Petite for my wake-up call

    Comment by Lou — June 9, 2005 @ 10:35 am

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