petite anglaise

June 16, 2006


Filed under: missing blighty — petiteanglaiseparis @ 9:00 am

On the occasion of my trip to London this weekend – a trip which makes me a very excited girl indeed as I will get to see lots of my favourite people AND eat gourmet fish and chips AND go to Top Shop – I am going to go cold turkey and not lay fingers to keyboard for three whole days.

In my absence, I leave you in the capable hands of my mum, who has kindly offered to moderate comments in my absence.

Soyez sage!

June 14, 2006

latin lover

Filed under: misc — petiteanglaiseparis @ 10:59 am

Meet Segafredo.

Fredo, as I like to call him, was gifted to me by a kind reader who spotted that Mr Frog, while he graciously left me most of the furniture, did however make away with our coffee machine.

For my first date with Fredo, I consented to an expedition to the Rive Gauche to meet him in a café. Something of a rarity for me, as I am a definitely a Right Bank girl at heart. But I did not regret it. For me at least, it was love at first sight. There was something about his particular brand of Latin retro chic which I found irresistible. From the moment I laid eyes on him, I was simply itching to get my hands on his frothing attachment.

I knew, all along, that this would only be a fling, as Fredo was officially on long term loan only, as kind reader’s husband was a little dubious about the idea of his good lady wife giving a wedding present away to a stranger, even if a spangly new nespresso machine had recently stolen Fredo’s place in his affections.

My new Italian friend was heavy, weighing in at a good seven kilos, but I battled valliantly home on the métro, cradling him in my arms, reasoning that, in fact, he only weighed the equivalent of half a Tadpole. And I was confident that Fredo would prove to be rather less fickle than my daughter.

How wrong I was.

Don’t get me wrong, Fredo and I have shared some rare moments of complicity these past few weeks. In times of stress, he was there for me, without fail. Frothing milk, I have discovered, has a profoundly calming effect on my nerves, so we have made cappuccino after cappuccino together. His espresso looks and tastes simply perfect, a dark bitter body topped with a delicate creamy head. Fredo and petite: a match made in heaven.

Until one morning, without any warning, he lost his temper with me and grew violent. I watched with alarm as grainy water gushed over the top of the filter and sullied the cappuccino I was preparing. Gasped and brusquely flipped his switch to “off” as I saw his arm begin to swing sideways under the influence of some evil impulse. Took a step back and watched in disbelief as the filter arm detached itself altogether, seemingly in slow motion, splattering me, and my entire kitchen, with boiling coffee grounds.

Today this occurred for the second time in as many weeks.

I eye Fredo, reproachfully, while applying burn spray to my left arm.

“I’m warning you,” I say, in my most menacing voice. “Three strikes and you are out. I’ll save up my paypal donations and buy myself a new friend. Throw you out on your ear. You may be fiendishly handsome, but don’t make the mistake of thinking you are irreplaceable.”

I realise that I probably should have paid more heed to my mother’s warnings about Latin males.

June 12, 2006


Filed under: good time girl, single life — petiteanglaiseparis @ 9:50 pm

Thursday – “The Stripper Who Came to Tea”

The doorbell rings, and Tadpole shrieks with delight, always ridiculously pleased to welcome a new visitor. At the door, an elfin slip of a girl with a rucksack twice her own body weight. And a laptop bag. Definitely a blogger. Hot, slightly flustered: it’s Mimi in Paris!

We eat. We drink. We wait impatiently for another blogging friend to arrive bearing multiple bottles of champagne. The conversation veers from the banal, to the satisfyingly crude, and back again, with many shades in between. Utterly fascinating.

Afterwards, I was thoroughly pleased with myself for having thrown caution and convention to the wind, by welcoming yet another online acquaintance into my offline life, letting my gut feeling guide me, poo pooing my mother’s objections on the telephone.

Mum: “A stripper? Will Tadpole be with you?”

Me: “Mum, she’s an Oxbridge graduate stripper, and anyway, she’s hardly going to teach Tadople how to hang upside down on a pole while my back is turned for five minutes, is she? And even if she did,” I add mischievously, “I’ve always thought children should be made to earn their keep…”

My only cause for disappointment, on this particular occasion, was that I couldn’t entreat Mimi and her sister Piu Piu to stay on in Paris until Saturday, the night of my upcoming party.

Because no party is complete without a stripper…

Friday – “proceed to checkout”

Mr Frog calls from the airport to say that he has landed on time, and will be able to take Tadpole for the evening after all. It is Friday night, and due to his previous uncertainty, I have made no firm plans for the evening. I resign myself to a night in, catching up on “Grey’s Anatomy”, my latest addiction, and trying not to think about the boy who wants to be friends without the addition of inverted commas.

A friendly little message arrives on meetic chat, out of the blue. In English, which is very refreshing indeed, as participating in chat, in French, on meetic, is comparable to having your fingernails slowly pulled one by one.

A little light-hearted banter ensues and before I know it, I have agreed to go out for a drink that very same evening. I will draw a veil of mystery over what happened next, but suffice to say that there were mojitos. Many mojitos. And a hasty “walk of shame” come Saturday morning, just in time to attend a fête with Mr Frog and Tadpole at her future playschool.

Just what the doctor ordered.

Saturday – “throwing quails’ eggs at parked cars” or “does my bum look big in this age 3-4 fairy outfit”

It is 3pm. I am immersed in a cool bath, having just taken 2 nurofen tablets, and am massaging my throbbing temples to no avail. In my kitchen there is a forest of mint, a dozen or so limes, and a large bottle of rum. Because, of course, the plan had been to make a vat of mojitos for my party. And now, quite frankly, I wouldn’t be sorry if I never have to smell another mojito as long as I shall live.

Bad planning.

Thankfully, by 9pm, when the guests begin to arrive, I have perked up considerably. The apartment is however like a furnace, on account of the rather too clement weather we have been having, so we all repair to the balcony at regular intervals to admire the view and cool off.

“Look at my gorgeous view – it’s my masthead image!” I cry.

This elicits blank looks from most people, bloggers included, and I realise that the mojitos are causing me to speak in tongues. And apparently no-one else present speaks xhtml or css.

5.30 am. Only the hardcore remain, including nardac and steve, elmer and chris. I don’t remember clearly what possessed us to fetch all of Tadpole’s headgear from her toybox, but everyone seems to share my enthusiasm for donning reindeer antlers, bunny ears, elephant and monkey masks and sparkly tiaras. Elmer in particular looks very fetching in Tadpole’s fairy outfit, complete with wand.

We throw quails eggs – which no-one seemed to want to eat, and why would they? – at parked cars, and pose for a series of deeply unflattering photographs.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Monday: still tired. Wondering if I will be able to afford rehab if things get too much. Slightly apprehensive about the prospect of a sweltering day at Disneyland Parc tomorrow for Tadpole’s belated birthday celebration.

But every time I think of my weekend, I have to stifle a delighted giggle.

Thank god for the internet.

June 7, 2006


Filed under: single life — petiteanglaiseparis @ 5:12 pm

The conversation is stilted, maladroit. We blunder around in ever decreasing circles, searching, in vain, for our habitual articulacy. So many words hanging in the air uselessly, devoid of actual meaning.

This sorry state of affairs is my own fault.

The previous night I proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that 2 G&T’s + gmail chat + petite do not comfortable bedfellows make. And now I hide behind my hair bashfully. Afraid my eyes will mutely implore something, against my wishes, when all I want is to keep a few precious fragments of my dignity intact.

Granted, something had to give, sooner or later. We both agree that the transition from banter to bedroom has become more awkward, more contrived, with the passage of time. An unnatural transaction.

But my laborious preparations, the nail varnish, moisturiser and depilatory cream, bore witness to the fact that I had still hoped for something, tonight. Something which was not forthcoming.

I bolt the front door behind him, with an audible sigh I pray he doesn’t hear. Tell myself I should be relieved to put an end to all that ambiguity; the gnawing, insidious incertitude.

And yet I can’t help wishing I could just rewind the clock to the previous night. And pour myself an orange juice instead.

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