petite anglaise

February 16, 2006

la parisienne

Filed under: city of light — petiteanglaiseparis @ 12:23 pm

Oh my! Only yours truly could manage to co-star with a high-tech portapotty and a wheelie bin for my fifteen nanoseconds of fame.

I staggered into Starbucks on a rainy Wednesday morning en route for work, regretting not a little the liberal quantities of wine and champagne consumed the previous night. Nothing to do with VD, incidentally, as Lover was safely in Rennes, watching the football at the pub, hopeless romantic that he is. Instead, as it was my Tadpole-free night, I had kindly offered to help a couple of girlfriends celebrate their ill-timed birthdays.

Eight hours of sustained (proper English-style) binge drinking later, and we narrowly avoided being locked in a (closed) Etienne Marcel métro station.

But that’s another story.

So: 9.50 am, Wednesday morning, tired, emotional and rather nervous. Barely had I pushed open the door of the café when the journalist who had contacted me a couple of days earlier via my comments box (and who can’t have been more than twelve years old) accosted me (she had apparently already asked every other person in the building if they weren’t petite – I was late). Returning to her table while I ordered a restorative scone and coffee, she waited patiently for me to arrive. I cringed as my Christian name was shouted out when my drink was ready, not even noticing that it was also scrawled across my takeaway cup in marker pen.

Call me paranoid, but I’ve always been brought up to believe that journalists cannot be trusted.

*Flash* went her expensive looking camera, over and over again. I had been instructed to pretend to type something on the (borrowed) laptop, and the journalist actually wanted me to smile, but I could manage no more than a terrified, rabbit-in-the-headlights rictus. The other customers watched the sorry spectacle with interest.

As I made my exit, blushing furiously, I thought I heard a couple of people sniggering.

It was only when I arrived at the office, and a good friend pointed out that my skirt was unzipped at the back, revealing more of my tights and bottom than anyone but Lover should be allowed to see, that the reason for their mirth became clear.

Move over Bridget.


  1. That’s great! However won’t it now mean the end of your blogging anonimity with your work colleagues?

    By the way, your hair looks great so the small fortune you spent wasn’t wasted!!

    Comment by Hazy — February 16, 2006 @ 12:40 pm

  2. Si ça c’est pas la gloire… :)

    Comment by wiLLoØ — February 16, 2006 @ 12:42 pm

  3. oh my what?

    oh my thats a big one

    oh my bottom hurts

    oh my darlin Clementine

    Comment by andre — February 16, 2006 @ 1:05 pm

  4. ahh – see I didn’t click the link [just thought you got bored 2 words into a post – sorry]

    oh my

    Comment by andre — February 16, 2006 @ 1:07 pm

  5. It’s okay – no need to panic – your blogging anonimity will remain as the article is written in french.

    Comment by andre — February 16, 2006 @ 1:10 pm

  6. Ooh ‘eck

    Comment by greavsie — February 16, 2006 @ 1:19 pm

  7. j’espere que tu avais prevenu Mr Frog….sinon, a sa place je ne serais pas trop contente!

    il faut faire attention a la mauvaise presse que cela pourrait t’apporter!

    Comment by claire — February 16, 2006 @ 1:20 pm

  8. Oh my, indeed! To hell with anonymity, huh? In the end, I think this is healthy and inevitable. What’s wrong with being you? An awful lot of us seem to appreciate you. It’s a nice article on the whole, isn’t it, if about as superficial and full of inaccuracies as these things always are? And a lovely photo.

    Comment by Jean — February 16, 2006 @ 1:32 pm

  9. A double collection of wheelie bins?!?

    Comment by JonnyB — February 16, 2006 @ 1:35 pm

  10. it’s nice to see a complete picture of you.

    Comment by Sandy — February 16, 2006 @ 1:58 pm

  11. Wot JonnyB?

    “A double collection of wheelie bins?!?”

    – fantastique! The boundaries of Wheeliebinland finally cross The Channel.

    Comment by Wheeliebinland — February 16, 2006 @ 2:06 pm

  12. Ahhhh I missed everything!!!!

    Comment by Miss Pink — February 16, 2006 @ 2:10 pm

  13. First thought that came into my head was ‘great hair!’

    Comment by redlady — February 16, 2006 @ 2:22 pm

  14. First thought that came into my head was ……… I really should have tried harder at learning French.

    Comment by Mia — February 16, 2006 @ 2:25 pm

  15. Petite! I had no idea you were such a beauty!! AND you can type…

    Comment by Louis — February 16, 2006 @ 2:41 pm

  16. Hello,
    my name is Charlotte Ribière, I’m a french journalist. I’m working for french TV, for “ça se discute” on France 2. I prepare a TV show for the 23rd on february about the french people. We need europeans opinions on french people.
    If you’re interested, join me at this number 01 53 84 31 22.

    thanks a lot

    Comment by Charlotte Ribière — February 16, 2006 @ 2:53 pm

  17. Cool! Well done. Hope your boss doesn’t read the Parisien…

    Glad they put you next to the bins and loos…

    Comment by kjr — February 16, 2006 @ 3:08 pm

  18. I still can’t believe that those toilets are now free.

    Comment by Nigel M. — February 16, 2006 @ 3:23 pm

  19. You’re so cute!!!!

    Comment by Sarah — February 16, 2006 @ 3:26 pm

  20. ooh yes – please go on ça se discute.

    it was one of the few french programmes I used to deign to watch. in my fully sky-ed up life these days it wouldn’t enter. my. head. to switch on french tv but I’d make an exception for the lovely jean-luc delarue if you were on…

    if you were worried about being recognised, I’m sure they could fix you up with one of those attractive black wigs and a big pair of sunglasses that they always stuck on women who were talking about having affairs/being call girls/actually being a man/etc

    Comment by kjr — February 16, 2006 @ 3:28 pm

  21. Oh my! Just as you commence winding down for a new life in sleepy old Rennnes you have become the flavour of the month for the metropolitan media scene…… but then I did predict that 2006 would be a great year for you, and its already kicking off rather well? Perhaps you had better start looking for an agent? Does Max Clifford have a Paris office? His sounds a sort of cosmopolitan kind of name.

    Comment by fella — February 16, 2006 @ 3:36 pm

  22. Please Petite, go on ça se discute!

    Comment by Kristina — February 16, 2006 @ 4:30 pm

  23. Oh that’s so funny.

    In university I was in a play and had a quick change between scenes. One evening I almost walked out on stage not realizing that the back of the dress was stuck into my pantyhouse. Luckily someone fixed it before I made my grand entrance and exposed all my kibbles and bits.

    Congrats on the article!

    Comment by Nicole — February 16, 2006 @ 4:39 pm

  24. Well, never mind about the skirt – from the front you look absolutely lovely. And I can understand a lot more French than I thought I could.

    Comment by christina — February 16, 2006 @ 5:20 pm

  25. I *totally* sympathize. I got interviewed last month for a small health magazine and had the photographer/journalist in the lab taking bogus photos of me not actually working at the bench or not actually looking in the microscope. It was fairly humiliating in front of my colleagues althought they ought to be used to this as our boss is a regular star on the Telethon… And think how authors feel about the photo that has to go on the back of the book – maybe you should get used to getting professional shots!

    I hope you contacted Charlotte there – ca se discute is a decent program although it is broadcast late. Nice ending to your post :-)

    Comment by Alethea — February 16, 2006 @ 6:23 pm

  26. So I’ve tried to work out what the article says but the only words I can understand are pigeons and wheelie bins?

    Comment by andre — February 16, 2006 @ 6:24 pm

  27. Well André, to be honest the young lass ignored most of what I said, and instead, stole chunks of info from the site, misunderstanding bits and pieces along the way, and making me look like a light hearted, Bridget Jones type. Which personally I feel is missing the point of a lot of what I do! But not to worry.

    I think it’s fair to say that Le Parisien (mieux vaut l’avoir en journal) is a national tabloid, not exactly renowned for its writing style or factual correctness.

    Comment by petite — February 16, 2006 @ 7:41 pm

  28. I don’t write anything terribly personal on either of my blogs, but I don’t think I’d like to be identified publicly as the author, either…

    Comment by katie — February 16, 2006 @ 9:25 pm

  29. A priceless “Bridget-worth” story, indeed. Well done!

    I do write some fairly personal things on my blog and since my blog links to my business website it’s easy enough for people to put 2+2 together. My challenge is not about protecting my privacy with the world at large, it’s about balancing my need to write the truth as I see it and dealing with the feelings of other people in my life that might find their way into my blog. It’s not easy to know where to draw the line between the need for honest self-expression and the reactions of others when they feel they don’t come off well in the story. Like when I have blogged about an ex-boyfriend who I discovered was “stalking” my blog and posting little comments in “code” waiting to see how long it would take me to figure it out. Or when I have blogged about my ambiguous relationship with my father and then discovered that he started reading my blog. So far my mother has managed to miss any of the posts where I may have been a tad uncomplimentary about her, but I know it’s only a matter of time before I’m “busted”.

    Having said that, I don’t blame you, Petite, for wanting to protect your privacy. You live in a huge city and you have a child to think about. Under the circumstances I think anonymous blogging is very wise.

    Comment by The Bold Soul — February 16, 2006 @ 10:47 pm

  30. Yes petite … great hair. I also like the look of your skirt but when I went to click on it to see if I could get a closer look at the print … that little hand that appears made it look like I was … well … groping you! Don’t worry about not smiling … you look very suitably ‘interesting’.

    Comment by Kerry — February 17, 2006 @ 3:18 am

  31. Ah, the price of fame.

    Comment by Knecht — February 17, 2006 @ 4:32 am

  32. lol. Well I have sometimes had the thought of replacing zippers with sth less dangerous to ones image ;-) If there were no zippers there’ld be less blushes, less humiliation,…

    Comment by Dr O2 — February 17, 2006 @ 7:15 am

  33. …and if your boss does read “Le Parisien”, just tell him it was your evil twin. Or something. Your hair looks great, by the way.

    Comment by retailtherapist — February 17, 2006 @ 11:28 am

  34. By the way is that jacket from Gap ?

    Comment by P in France — February 17, 2006 @ 11:38 am

  35. P – there is nothing about my place of work on this site. I don’t think he’d mind, but I feel slightly uncomfortable about him being appraised of all the details of my private life.

    re jacket, it is from the oddly named Spanish label “Hoss Homeless” and I bought it in Madrid.

    Comment by petite — February 17, 2006 @ 12:12 pm

  36. Family reading blog – that’s another good point – as one of my blogs is my diary from when I was 11, I don’t post much they don’t know, but it links to my other blog where I often complain about them so I’ve not given them the link to that either.

    Comment by katie — February 17, 2006 @ 12:25 pm

  37. What a surprise. Having spent the best part of two years getting my (almost) daily dose of Petite, I now know what you actually look like. I’d imagined you slightly differently, but it’s really good to put the face to the writing.

    As always, I’m really enjoying it. Please don’t do a Belle de Jour and use Honnekah (or similar) as an excuse to end it.

    I’m back in Paris this weekend for my thrice-yearly visit. Catching up with old friends and heading to old haunts. But I’m going to be on the lookout…

    Comment by David — February 17, 2006 @ 1:40 pm

  38. The Parisien has to be the worst daily newspaper in France. It’s only purpose is to mop up spilled beer on the comptoir, or serve for kleenex when your (nose) is in a jam. Oh, I suppose the weather is fairly accurate, but certainly not its reporters. Move over Jayson Blair!

    Comment by MATTHEW ROSE — February 17, 2006 @ 4:09 pm

  39. The Parisien has to be the worst daily newspaper in France. It’s only purpose is to mop up spilled beer on the comptoir, or serve for kleenex when your (nose) is in a jam. Oh, I suppose the weather is fairly accurate, but certainly not its reporters. Move over Jayson Blair!

    Comment by MATTHEW ROSE — February 17, 2006 @ 4:09 pm

  40. As a freelance writer I can understand the reasons for the dogedness of the reporter. That said, since most people have the memory of your average squirrel, I wouldn’t worry too much about coming home to hoardes of people holding “WE LOVE PETITE” signs in front of your building. (Oh my, did I just make such a suggestion? ;-) ) Do check under your bed tonight though before going to sleep, just in case.

    Those street loos? Are they the ones that self clean? We had those in NYC for a few years, though I don’t know if they are there anymore. (I moved out 6 years ago.)

    As a side note, you are quite lovely. Jim, you’re a lucky guy……..

    Comment by Dave of the Lake — February 17, 2006 @ 6:26 pm

  41. The same article got loads wrong about the ‘In Paris now’ blog ring. Great picture of you though petite.

    Comment by Anne — February 17, 2006 @ 8:32 pm

  42. Now is it me, or has French adapted English words as commonplace nowadays? (i.e. “boyfriend?”) Not speaking French myself, I was a bit surprised to find this word blaring out in the middle of all of the French surrounding it…………

    Comment by Dave of the Lake — February 17, 2006 @ 8:52 pm

  43. Please tell me that’s not your orange flowery rucksack on the seat next to you…

    Comment by Mancunian Lass — February 17, 2006 @ 9:20 pm

  44. Now Now! We’re not all apathetic, some of just need more sleep than others. However, my votes are cast and all in your favour. I can even affirm that they were won entirely on merit, not by virtue of that charming photograph. And, if that’s the hung-over, bleary-eyed look of Petite on the way to work after a night on the tiles, imamgine (and can we have, please) another picture of glammed up Petite in her best gladrags pose? Apparently, we are only granted one opportunity to vote so scold as much as you like but some of us can do no more! The result is surely a foregone conclusion anyway, whe else would the newshounds be gathering by your door?

    Comment by fella — February 17, 2006 @ 9:44 pm

  45. They should not ask u as a guest for a show, they should give u one. The cable-tv at the parisian hotel last week was awfully boring , your blog a delight.
    It’s the Bridgets that color the world.

    Comment by judy — February 18, 2006 @ 7:39 am

  46. Oh my god, a very Bridget moment indeed! Petite, you’re just as lovable as Bridget!

    Comment by Tracey — February 18, 2006 @ 10:30 am

  47. indeed it is not, manc lass, it belonged to a stranger sitting opposite and is more offensive than the wheelie bins and toilets.

    Comment by petite — February 18, 2006 @ 1:50 pm

  48. PA, you do well to decry any awful Bridget analogy. This has been done to death, and was done far better in a literary fashion by Jane Austen or even Mills and Boon. (Desperate girl, needs Mr Right, is emotionally dysfunctional without him, cannot find any meaningful life without him over men fighting over her.) At the first sign you feel like resorting to this emotional wallpaper, please press delete and stick to your far better expat diary.

    Comment by Dr Analyst — February 19, 2006 @ 2:16 am

  49. Starbucks??? You were seriously meeting up with this little chicky in a STARBUCKS??? In PARIS??? Well,that in itself speaks volumes. You would had to have been more than “hungover”…Try “comotose”! EWWW…Starbucks.Sounds like it all played out accordingly considering your chosen meeting place (however convenient). That’s just Nasty! Hee Hee.

    Comment by Beth — February 19, 2006 @ 7:23 am

  50. “Dr Analysis” has previously shown him/herself to be a wind-up merchant. What s/he wants is an outraged reaction to her/his post 49. So let’s agree to ignore it completely – and this one too.

    Comment by Jude — February 19, 2006 @ 12:45 pm

  51. Beth – the photo was meant to be taken outdoors, but the weather did not agree.

    Comment by petite — February 19, 2006 @ 1:04 pm

  52. Ooooh I say, you do look good in the photo. Reminded me somewhat of the comedienne Jenny Eclair. (Is that a bad thing? It isn’t supposed to be.) My first time here and I like it. I’ll be back again. Congratulations on the awards, petal. :o)

    Comment by Urban Gypsy — February 20, 2006 @ 8:40 pm

  53. Petit – kudos on winning the best personal blog. I don’t read a lot of these blogs, but I love to read yours because it’s real and it shows how senitively you observe your life. Thank you for all the fun and feeling…

    Comment by eric — February 20, 2006 @ 8:41 pm

  54. The price of fame. Soon everyone will recognize you. (The glasses may give you away). I’ve only been blogging a short time so I dont think anyone recognizes me yet hehehehe

    Comment by Tracy (AsianWildRose) — February 20, 2006 @ 8:42 pm

  55. wow! You’re hot!

    Comment by mimi — February 22, 2006 @ 6:05 am

  56. The Jenny Eclair comparison occurred to me too, but Urban Gypsy got there first.

    I loved the description of expat bloggers as “digital homing pigeons”. A marvellous image.

    Comment by Rob — February 24, 2006 @ 4:56 am

  57. er, well, having had a look at her, I think it’s the glasses. I would feel better if you said “a much younger Jenny Eclair” actually.

    Comment by petite — February 24, 2006 @ 8:51 am

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