petite anglaise

May 19, 2006

dancing curls

Filed under: Tadpole rearing — petiteanglaiseparis @ 11:59 am

“Look mummy, the trees are dancing,” cries Tadpole. Her curls, which I painstakingly combed only moments earlier, are blowing in all directions. Sometimes I wonder why I bother trying to make her look presentable. Her hair is always unruly; her sleeves inevitably covered with felt tip pen, or worse, if there are no tissues to hand.

“Yes, it’s very windy, isn’t it,” I reply, prosaically, wishing I had something with which to tie my own hair back. It whips across my face, gets tangled in my glasses.

“The wind is like music, it makes everything dance!”

To illustrate her point, Tadpole waves her arms, as though they were branches.

I smile to myself, thinking that if she can manage to conjure up poetic little similes every day, I’ll be able to sprinkle them liberally across my blog, and take all the credit.

Bad mummy.

May 17, 2006

sleeping with ghosts

Filed under: mills & boon, parting ways — petiteanglaiseparis @ 11:15 am

I think we both knew, or at least suspected, from the moment we agreed he should come to Paris and see the concert with me, that no-one would really be sleeping in the spare room.

However ill-advised it might seem, in theory, to see the person who had cast me adrift only two months previously, I knew I was ready. I still love him, granted, but in a completely different way. Whenever I think of what might have been, and wasn’t, I am, quite simply, overwhelmed with relief. Relief which is admittedly tinged with a little regret at how uncommonly compatible we were in some ways I now miss.

When the time came, I was an adrenaline-fuelled wreck, so preoccupied with other worries that I didn’t have time to get excited, or nervous, or both, at the prospect of our meeting.

All I wanted that night was to feel his familiar, strong arms around me. To be taken outside of myself, even if it was just for a few short hours. To share something precious, without incurring any guilt, any pain. To be soothed by the sound of his slow, regular breathing at my side. To be lulled into the first good night’s sleep in a week.

In the morning, before we parted, there were comforting echoes of our old routine: tea, toast and marmalade.

He told me he felt absolved in some way; as if a weight had now lifted. We acknowledged that we have both moved on, but continue to care deeply about each other. There was no awkwardness, no inequality. No sense that one of us was clinging, desperately, to the wreckage, wanting something more.

Only one thing made me feel mildly uncomfortable: at times, doubtless because I was so strung out, I was painfully conscious of a separation of mind and body.

A nagging feeling that I had succeeded in appropriating for myself the very detachment I recently observed, with regret, in someone else.

May 16, 2006

cute overload

Filed under: Tadpole rearing, Tadpole sings — petiteanglaiseparis @ 9:05 pm

After two whole weeks in the provinces with mamie and papy, Tadpole has returned, albeit in her French incarnation. Singing songs I have never heard before. Reciting the alphabet, in French. And, somewhat randomly, obsessed with camels.

Over dinner this evening, as I attempted to shovel a forkful of green beans (frozen, bad mummy) into her mouth, she nearly made me fall off my (ikea, child’s) chair when she said:

“Maman, comment on dit dromadaire en anglais?”

a rossignol, a princess and a tower

alphabet city

May 15, 2006


Filed under: single life — petiteanglaiseparis @ 12:44 pm

A good friend of mine revealed to me the other day that she had signed up to the meetic online dating service. I told her a cautionary tale, about a girl I know who was stalked by an over-enthusiastic meeticboy, who bombarded her with texts, emails and calls when she declined to see him for a second date, until finally a male friend was drafted in to warn Mr Unwanted Attentions off, for good.

I advised her to meet prospective beaus on neutral territory, preferably by day, and to avoid revealing where she lived (or letting any gentleman, however gallant he might seem, escort her home after a first date). Deliberated with her about the pros and cons of adding a photograph to her profile.

Then I thought little more of it, preoccupied as I have been with somewhat unexpected and dramatic events in my own life.

That is, until hordes of meetic-matched couples began to waylay me at every turn.

First, there was an acquaintance at a party, who pointed out a guy at the other side of the room, whispering conspiratorially in my ear: “lui, c’est mon mythique”. At first I frowned, unsure as to what she meant. Later, when the conversation turned to online dating, the penny dropped, and I realised I hadn’t misheard, only misspelled.

A couple of days later, invited to a picnic by the Seine in honour of the first balmy evening of Spring, I listened, fascinated, as an attractive couple, ostensibly in the grip of that first heady rush of infatuation, recounted their online meeting, and compared the pros and cons of meetic versus match.

Faced with the evidence that perfectly normal, well-adjusted, good-looking people use the services of this kind of site, as a means of meeting new people, outside the confines of their immediate circle of friends, I am beginning to wonder if I’m not cutting off my nose to spite my face by holding back. After all, I did meet Mr Frog in not dissimilar circumstances, albeit on someone else’s blind date.

And I regularly meet fellow bloggers and commenters, both male and female, so why should meetic be any different?

Two things are currently holding me back. The first is this famous blog, now published as a book, chronicling a year of casual meetic encounters in explicit and misogynistic detail.

The other is the fact that men have to pay, but women can sign up for free.

The jury is still out.

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