petite anglaise

August 2, 2006


Filed under: misc — petiteanglaiseparis @ 3:34 pm

I am eating a lambs lettuce and Cambozola salad in a discreet restaurant somewhere in Kensington, marvelling at how much a life can change in a very short time.

After navigating through the streets with my cumbersome weekend bag – a bag which began the trip weighed down only by an outdated edition of the Writer’s Handbook and a change of undergarments, and which is now crammed full of hardbacks – I have completely lost my bearings.

I pinch myself, firmly yet discreetly, under the table, wondering if it is time to wake up yet.

My head is spinning slightly, from the wine, the heat, the dashing around and all the superlatives which have been bandied about in the last forty eight hours. I think I am supposed to be feeling excited and confident, fingertips itching for a keyboard.

Instead I am a bottomless pit of cold, hard fear and self-doubt. A sly voice whispers in my ear: “what if they are all wrong? Maybe you can’t do any of this…”

I jab at the last piece of Cambozola, remarking inwardly to myself that Roquefort would undoubtedly have been a much better choice of cheese in this context, its firm yet crumbly texture infinitely more pleasing on the fork than these rubbery, yielding cubes.

My lunch companion carries on talking.

I wonder if he has noticed the angry red crescent moons on my exposed wrist.


  1. …and there you lose me.

    That was a very oblique post.

    What do you mean by ‘angry red crescent moons’??

    Comment by David In London — August 2, 2006 @ 3:38 pm

  2. David-
    the moons are the marks from her digging her fingernails into herself. . . (I do the same thing) :)

    Do we have a book deal. . . hummmm?

    Comment by Nicole — August 2, 2006 @ 3:41 pm

  3. Yes, I’m with David in wondering about those “moons”. I’m fairly sure I can guess, but what the hell?

    Plus I’m suspecting a book deal is on the horizon. Which makes the “moon” reference that much more disturbing… going from something fabulous to something very dark.

    Please explain!

    Comment by The Bold Soul — August 2, 2006 @ 3:44 pm

  4. Of course you can do it. Just go with your gut and trust the people that your gut trusts.

    Comment by Damian — August 2, 2006 @ 3:45 pm

  5. Salut,

    Oui je suis francais et je viens de lire un article qui te qualifiait de bridget jones (je sais pas a quel point ca te fait plaisir, mais bon, ca attire l attention)et j ai suivi le lien pour arriver ici.
    Je vais pas te dire que c’est deguelasse ce qui t’est arrivee parce que meme si ca l’est, je suppose qu’on te la deja dit plus d une fois…

    Anyway, aujourd’hui le bureau est assez calme parce que la maison mere en France est fermee pour 2semaines (je suis en angleterre) et donc c’etait juste pour dire que je vais surement passer la fin de l’apres midi sur ton blog !


    Comment by Mika — August 2, 2006 @ 3:49 pm

  6. I am lost with this entry. It is too existential for me.

    ok, is it a book deal or a regular column with a national paper? Do tell.

    Comment by Banana — August 2, 2006 @ 3:59 pm

  7. That’s the essence of creative writing, tells you enough so that you think you know, but leaves that wee thread of doubt… I wonder….
    Jim x

    Comment by Jim — August 2, 2006 @ 4:00 pm

  8. I tend to leave the crescent moons in my palms – Do know that there are others out there who totally get you…

    Comment by Maria — August 2, 2006 @ 4:12 pm

  9. Afternoon Jim..

    Comment by David In London — August 2, 2006 @ 4:21 pm

  10. As long as you carry on writing in the same honest and skillfull way that you’ve always done you’ll be fine! Actually you’ll be more than that. Hope it is indeed something life-changing like a book deal – you deserve it.

    Comment by Hazy — August 2, 2006 @ 4:23 pm

  11. Or maybe an agent…

    Comment by Puplet — August 2, 2006 @ 4:24 pm

  12. I like the leave-you-hanging ending of this post. Looking forward to the follow-up!

    Comment by margaret — August 2, 2006 @ 4:28 pm

  13. Hi Petite

    I’m going to delurk briefly to say that the first time I got offered a newspaper column I was virtually paralysed with the fear of failure and other general inadequacies. Suddenly, I had nothing to say! Obviously, once I’d written the first one and realised what a piece of piss it all was, everything was rosey…

    Comment by James — August 2, 2006 @ 4:39 pm

  14. Ah. I get it now. I suppose looking stupid in front of everybody will teach me a lesson for only half reading the post.

    Or perhaps I am just stupid.


    Comment by David In London — August 2, 2006 @ 4:43 pm

  15. chilll dude, all will work out in the end

    Comment by jason — August 2, 2006 @ 4:45 pm

  16. I wonder if he has noticed the angry red crescent moons on my exposed wrist.

    Literally speaking? As in tattoos?

    Comment by brian crewcial — August 2, 2006 @ 4:47 pm

  17. YES you can. Just one step at a time, a little bit closer to being a writer every day. Think about it: you already have a fan club, most writers start from scratch on their first book. You write well and your writing is religiously read every day by tons of people = yes you can.

    Comment by Adi — August 2, 2006 @ 5:05 pm

  18. Of course you can do it! You write very well indeed. Not that I’m an expert: it’s glaringly obvious.

    Best of luck. And yes, avoid Cambozola.


    Comment by Bruce — August 2, 2006 @ 5:10 pm

  19. Yipes! I like the fingernail idea better than what I assumed. I thought it was something a bit more severe.

    Comment by Ben — August 2, 2006 @ 5:27 pm

  20. I had a feeling. You’re getting a book deal arent you? I just know it and I am so excited for you. Dont have self doubt or dig at yourself. You will do wonderfully. (Maybe I dont have to worry so much about getting fired for blogging anymore!)

    Comment by Wide Lawns and Narrow Minds — August 2, 2006 @ 5:29 pm

  21. Maybe it is the fact that you are already awake that is too much. Go enjoy it & have a great adventure! You only live once … have fun. ; )

    The Tart
    ; )

    BTW … maybe you need a bit of Stilton on a cracker too!

    Comment by Cheap Tart — August 2, 2006 @ 5:31 pm

  22. The post is called pinch, thus the crescent moons.

    Comment by JSP — August 2, 2006 @ 5:41 pm

  23. Of course you can do the writing without much effort – you do have talent. Can you do the self-discipline, the self-doubt and the self-obsession that can come with, and is perhaps central to, many types of good writing?
    Well, the self-discipline will come with red bank statements and the self-doubt shines through some of your work. And, for the rest, you are clearly multi-talented.
    I am sure you are used to back-handed compliments.

    Comment by laurence — August 2, 2006 @ 5:45 pm

  24. Kensington? Daily Mail? Serialisation? Will you soon be up there alongside Melanie “I weep…” Phillips and Richard “Twat” Littlejohn? ooooooh do tell…….

    Comment by Lucy — August 2, 2006 @ 5:46 pm

  25. These are the moments to savor, crescent moons and all.

    Comment by pismire — August 2, 2006 @ 5:57 pm

  26. I do hope it is a book – I really enjoy the blog – and would love to spend a good afternoon reading similar!

    Comment by Lisa — August 2, 2006 @ 5:57 pm

  27. Sounds like a book deal to me. If so, OF COURSE you can do it! A smidgeon of self doubt never did anyone any harm – keeps you on your toes – but you have all the qualities of a successful writer plus enough publicity to satisfy the most money conscious publisher. Go for it Catherine, you have thousands of readers waiting to swell your royalties. . . .

    Comment by Sablonneuse — August 2, 2006 @ 5:58 pm

  28. It sounds very much like a book deal… well-deserved as well. Of course, you can do it. The quality of your writing served up regularly on this blog is testament to that.

    You’ve lost me with the roquefort in this context though. OK it crumbles more than camboza, but it is also far smellier… Should we read anything else into this ? ;)

    Comment by James — August 2, 2006 @ 6:03 pm

  29. i like the parallel in second guessing yourself (can i do it? did i pick the right cheese?). you will be just fine petite. obviously alot of people believe in you so, suffice it to say, don’t let the pressure get to you… you picked the right cheese ;)


    Comment by mf — August 2, 2006 @ 6:12 pm

  30. Petite – if you are thinking that hard about the cheese… perhaps you’ve been in France too long? ;o)

    … Your writing is exciting.. you are an capable person – don’t doubt yourself so much. YOU CAN DO ANYTHING YOU WANT.

    Comment by Wendy in Herault — August 2, 2006 @ 6:23 pm

  31. Cambozola — I had to look that one up.

    I am very excited for you and your new writing career (and a bit envious). Good luck and keep us posted!

    Comment by Lost in France — August 2, 2006 @ 6:26 pm

  32. Petite,
    Grab the moment, grasp the opportunity. Because, not to, would leave you wondering what if for the rest of your life. All of this “expose of you” has happened for a reason. I am new to your blog, but your writings are indicative that you can do so much more. Allez y

    Comment by Graham — August 2, 2006 @ 6:30 pm

  33. I think you are now descending from the euphoria of the last couple of weeks and it’s not necessarily a bad place to be. Just don’t descent too far down. Somewhere in the middle and your perspective will be clearer. Not too high about the highs, or too low about the lows as they say.

    Comment by Cosi Fan Tutte — August 2, 2006 @ 6:33 pm

  34. xxx

    Everything will be just fine.

    Comment by andre — August 2, 2006 @ 6:55 pm

  35. Very enigmatic, indeed.

    Comment by Soraya — August 2, 2006 @ 7:03 pm

  36. Unless you are really just trying to wind us up, Petite, it sounds good. And quite right too.x

    Comment by grannyp — August 2, 2006 @ 7:09 pm

  37. It is, alas, a hallmark of the really great authress, or author by the way, to harbour these terribly confusing thoughts and self-doubts.

    I really do hope this is the prologue to a book, as a column might be hard to get hold of, here in wilderness I call my home town.

    A really petite way to go.

    Comment by Jasper Kips — August 2, 2006 @ 7:11 pm

  38. You lost me there. Hope you’re not hurting yourself, and if it is a book deal or something to do with writing, go for it. It’s obviously your passion and you do it so well.



    Comment by Kyerion Printup — August 2, 2006 @ 7:24 pm

  39. You lost me there. Hope you’re not hurting yourself, and if it is a book deal or something to do with writing, go for it. It’s obviously your passion and you do it so well.



    Comment by Kyerion Printup — August 2, 2006 @ 7:24 pm

  40. I like this entry because it arouses my curiosity. The place, the time, the “lunch companion” – all outlined only enough to cause me the questions, ‘who?’, ‘when?’, ‘what about?’. Curiosity will definitely entice me to return…

    Comment by eric — August 2, 2006 @ 7:24 pm

  41. Kinda like Dori (the blue fish) told all the fish caught in the net in Finding Nemo… “just keep swimming…just keep swimming, swimming, swimming” ;) it’ll all work itself out!

    Comment by Delicieux — August 2, 2006 @ 7:28 pm

  42. Hang in there…It will all come together for you, whether it’s a book deal or a regular column or just life in general.

    Comment by Dan — August 2, 2006 @ 7:30 pm

  43. Subtle post.
    I think we can assume that the flash-back posts are over and we’re back to something much more recent. The weather in Kensington is not that pleasant in April, so I guess this was during the last weeks…
    Please keep this teasing style, it’s more fun than to know everything in real time.
    Good luck for the book, i hope you’ll be as witty on this new format!

    Comment by Chris — August 2, 2006 @ 7:33 pm

  44. I think the red crescent moons are just from the ‘pinch’ before.

    Petite, I can’t see how you can be in so much doubt – what did you sign yourself up for? If it was a column you wouldn’t be nervous, you’ve more than enough fans to prove you’re capable.

    I take it you took your book plans to London. One of the hardest things about book writing is doing it, and you’ve been training with regular writing for years now, and you certainly have no trouble with quality.

    You may want to clip your fingernails short for a while though, just in case …

    Comment by Jost — August 2, 2006 @ 7:50 pm

  45. How intriguing!
    Leaving us wanting more… soon please!

    Been following you with increasing curiosity and wondering what the next twist or turn will bring… Don’t sell out…

    Comment by Papillotte — August 2, 2006 @ 8:01 pm

  46. This is my first visit to your site and I LOVE your writing. I’m jealous! :) I’ll be back for another fix soon.

    Comment by Tarah Pessel — August 2, 2006 @ 8:07 pm

  47. she’s warming up for that first BIG writing assignment. i agree with Jim. bravo petite!! and yes you CAN do it, i would by your book in a heartbeat. =)

    Comment by Hammers — August 2, 2006 @ 8:11 pm

  48. Of course you can do it. You’ve proven that you can write both beautifully and consistently and I can’t think of a single writing challenge which couldn’t be overcome by the application of beautiful, consistent writing.

    Am hoping that you’ve been commissioned to write a novel. Mostly because I want to read it.

    Comment by Paola — August 2, 2006 @ 8:11 pm

  49. Hmm, newspaper column. Didn’t think of that one – but I can see how you’d be well suited to it. (Although a book would be good too!).

    I guess I should offer congratulations for whatever it is they’re offering you. For they are offering you something – that much I am certain of. So: ‘Congratulations/Felicitations’

    Hurry up with the details!

    Une Fille

    Comment by Une Fille — August 2, 2006 @ 8:18 pm

  50. i smell a book deal — hooray, congratulations, petite!

    Comment by franko — August 2, 2006 @ 8:27 pm

  51. Bonjour, Petite Anglaise,

    Je n’ai pas encore eu le temps de lire beaucoup de tes billets. Mais j’en ai lu quelques-uns, quand même, d’où j’ai conclu deux choses : la première, c’est que tu as un talent fou pour l’écriture, et qu’il n’y a vraiment pas à s’en faire pour ton avenir; la seconde, c’est que le patron, ce qu’il ne t’a pas pardonné, c’est d’avoir révélé qu’il porte des bretelles.

    Comment by Choubine — August 2, 2006 @ 8:30 pm

  52. Curious but cryptic for a reason; I would assume.


    Comment by chantel — August 2, 2006 @ 8:31 pm

  53. You’ll do just fine once you actually get started on it!Try not to “overthink” it or you risk changing your natural style.Just try to have fun with it all..let it flow.Nice opportunity and experience at your age! Beth

    Comment by beth — August 2, 2006 @ 8:43 pm

  54. I don’t think that there can be much doubt that Petite is about to get a sizeable advance that should keep things going until the nasty ex-employers cough up.

    I can imagine missing lots of things about France, but mache salads????

    Give me watercress any day.

    Jim – having second thoughts?

    Comment by James H — August 2, 2006 @ 8:58 pm

  55. C’mon, now, pa, none of this. We’ve been here before. If we are all supposing corectly and you will now be a paid writer of some sort, which is probably what you’ve wanted all along, you know damn well you can handle this. The thing that makes us love your blog is your honesty, openness, and voice. These things are innate in you and will never go away. All these actions of yours, of late, indicate you have a steel-encased spine, so just remember that, take a deep breath and jump into it. They’re not asking you to be president, for God’s sake. If it’s a writing deal, they’re asking for your opinion. It’s not like JK Rowling started writing to make the world’s most popular book–she just wrote what she wanted and it just so happened people loved it. You’ll do the same thing and you’re guaranteed to sell at least a few hundred copies between your commenters and your mum.

    Buck up, girl! :-)

    Comment by Leslie — August 2, 2006 @ 9:21 pm

  56. The cool part about reading your blog, is that you write what you experience. You’re not trying to please any of us. If we are pleased, we read on and stay. If not, plenty of other bloggers in the world. So don’t let any negative comments sway your writing style, please? Petite is unique. Let her stay that way. I think you and your tadpole will enjoy a future of security, for all you’ve been through. Look ahead, and keep plucking along, one step at a time. However heavy your feet feel. I think you are yummy.

    Comment by beaune — August 2, 2006 @ 9:25 pm

  57. Absolutely fascinating! I wish you luck, whatever it may be.

    Comment by udge — August 2, 2006 @ 9:26 pm

  58. Hi Petite, have been reading you voraciously for the past few weeks – time to post again.
    I know that bottomless pit stomach feeling – it’s the one where you are about to jump off the cliff and fall into…..??
    Just to let you know – some of my best moves in life were preceded by a terrifying leap. I am about to do it again in my little corner ( buying a house without a regular income – it’s a blast!!)- and it doesn’t get any safer…but you get to know the feeling really well ;-)

    Bonne chance – meet you in mid-flight?

    Comment by Morbihan Princess — August 2, 2006 @ 10:07 pm

  59. I can hardly believe my eyes reading some of the fawning comments you get.

    (1) You are not the victim of your bosses, it is they who are the victims of your behaviour. No doubt you were inspired by books like “Bonjour la Paresse”, (a sort of manual published 2 years ago on how to do as little as possible and not get fired).

    (2) You are milking a system that is out-moded, destructive and ridiculous, and yet almost unreformable thanks to your good-for-nothing union buddies. Try carrying on like this in the UK or US.

    (3) Like so many other French employers, your bosses are surely asking themselves either what they can now do to avoid hiring people like you, or how they can relocate abroad to avoid being fingered in frivolous lawsuits.

    (4) Because of situations like this, no one in their right mind would set up a business in France.

    Bonjour 9% unemployment!

    Comment by Chuck — August 2, 2006 @ 10:09 pm

  60. “I pinch myself, firmly yet discreetly, under the table, wondering if it is time to wake up yet”

    and ..

    “what if they are all wrong? Maybe you can’t do any of this…”

    Either a book deal or understandable concern about impending employment tribunal .. I do hope it’s the former. Either way Petite, self-mutilation even subconciously inflicted, is never good :))) Have courage ..


    Comment by Andy — August 2, 2006 @ 10:13 pm

  61. dear chuck… are you kidding me?? where have you been working? unions in the US are the cause of so much importation of labour from places like india, et al. not to mention it being the global capital for civil and corporate lawsuits. it is a place where you get sued by your own family if you don’t pass the salt fast enough.

    wake up mr. pissy pants and be happy for someone for a change… you might like the feeling it brings you.

    Comment by mf — August 2, 2006 @ 10:49 pm

  62. Oy! Chuck!

    pppffffffffffffffffffffffffffft. . .

    Comment by Nicole — August 2, 2006 @ 11:00 pm

  63. Chuck,
    What on earth are you blathering about? I would love to know what you think petite has done so terribly wrong to warrant her employer’s action? She can’t be the only person you’ve ever heard of being intelligent enough to get their job done and still have an incredible amount of down time while confined to the office. You strike me as a bitter man, too thick to be properly efficient, and sick of capable women constantly showing you up.

    Comment by E — August 2, 2006 @ 11:19 pm

  64. sweety it is much to late to start playing the secretive game..and if you are talking about cuts on wrists from suicide attempts..i will personally fly there and bip you right up side the head..

    Comment by jackie — August 2, 2006 @ 11:35 pm

  65. come on, people! She is just pinching herself to make sure it (whatever “it” is) isn’t a dream.

    Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. . .

    Comment by CFA — August 2, 2006 @ 11:39 pm

  66. MF and E, you have no idea what it is to work in France. Petite, even you can explain the crazy wheezes people use to bunk off work. MF, judging by the illiterate trash in your blog no wonder you resort to insults so easily.

    Comment by Chuck — August 2, 2006 @ 11:44 pm

  67. James H:
    Yes, second thoughts. You don’t navigate through the streets. You simply navigate the streets. A GPS might help.

    Comment by Jim — August 3, 2006 @ 12:15 am

  68. Yaxlich hopes that it is a book deal as he very much enjoys reading Petite’s blog.

    Comment by Yaxlich — August 3, 2006 @ 12:35 am

  69. If this means what we think it means, then I’m so pleased for you, Petite. You’ll be a best-selling author by Christmas, just you wait.

    And I hope I don’t upset anyone by saying this but every poor sod with the name Jim who ever posts here again will immediately be suspected of living in Rennes, amongst other things, and so should probably make efforts to distinguish themselves from Petite’s ex. Just to avoid the typical knee-jerk reaction.

    Comment by Jen — August 3, 2006 @ 12:50 am

  70. Of course it’s a book deal!! Petite is every agent/publisher’s dream – a talented writer who already has a platform and who has just received a shitload of free publicity. I bet they’re all just salivating, and not over the cambozola, either…

    Comment by Alda — August 3, 2006 @ 1:21 am

  71. Congrats from down-under. Some years ago I was made redundant, equally brusquely, by a French company in London, rather than a British one in France. It happens. Have been impressed by the lack of self-pity in your posts. Can’t say I behaved as well.

    Wonder what a writing-deal will mean for the blog. Would miss the column as The Daily Mail hasn’t made it to Wellington yet (though we live in fear). Also (sort of readers-request for a future post I suppose) will the fame/recognition whatever not make it more awkward to write your style of confessionals ? Anyway, good luck and undoubtedly will visit again to see what happens.

    Comment by denke — August 3, 2006 @ 1:33 am

  72. Dear Chuck, Please see my comment #63 on petite’s post dated July 31.

    I’d say this applies to you, too.

    Lâche! (Thanks, Karma.)

    Comment by The Bold Soul — August 3, 2006 @ 3:11 am

  73. Petite,

    You have perked up our interest. You know that you can do it, your just have some lingering doubts. Your writing, style, frankness, etc., is why we are all read your blog. Just think of whatever this is as another fascinating post. Don’t put any undue pressure on yourself. Do what you always do–WRITE.

    Comment by Diane — August 3, 2006 @ 3:12 am

  74. it was a fabulously well-written post as usual, but i have to say, the comments are facinating. the number of people who have knee jerk reactions, assuming the cresent moon marks are not from your pinch, but rather from a suicide attempt, and immediately write about it, without reading the previous comments and having the ‘oh, of course’ moment.

    Comment by mainja — August 3, 2006 @ 3:44 am

  75. what exactly is lamb’s lettice?

    Comment by heather a — August 3, 2006 @ 4:04 am

  76. what exactly is lamb’s lettice?

    Comment by heather a — August 3, 2006 @ 4:04 am

  77. Heck with Chuck, I hope you do it, go.

    Comment by joeinvegas — August 3, 2006 @ 5:18 am

  78. Ummm…this post seemed extremely vague. I think at this point being coy is very out of place and kinda weird.

    Out with it, PA. The hinting/baiting is not really warranted now with everything else out in the open.

    Chuck, I assume, is a former suspendered colleague of PA’s…

    Comment by Noire Dire — August 3, 2006 @ 5:20 am

  79. Petite,
    Your post today is so full of angst and an obviously strong desire to write…something, anything. I know you are dying to tell all but really, even if it makes a few people mad–err on the side of caution now even if you think your case is about settled. Like they say, ‘It aint over til it’s over’. But then we want all the details! I think we can read between the lines in the meantime, you are being heard.
    Hang in there, you can do this :)

    Comment by California Reader — August 3, 2006 @ 5:41 am

  80. Chuck,

    Your areguments are flawed, at best. Especially your third point. IIRC, petite’s firm is British, not French. (It just happens to be located there.) Secondly:

    “(4) Because of situations like this, no one in their right mind would set up a business in France.”

    is one of the more idiotic statemnts I have seen. You either don’t live in the US, or ever have been to it. This is lawsuit heaven, and there are plenty of businesses that thrive in spite of it. Do you really think that one incident like this will reult in the fall of the French businesses? How ridiculous.

    Methinks thou art a troll…….and a very bad one at that……..too transparent.

    Comment by Dave of the Lake — August 3, 2006 @ 7:18 am

  81. Angry rec moons I think is where she pinched herself from…


    Comment by Billygean — August 3, 2006 @ 8:22 am

  82. Hee hee, I presumed the crescents were from hauling the bag around, maybe because I’ve done that far too much in my life!

    Frankly I’m amazed you don’t just assign people like ‘Chuck’ to the bin. I’m all for differing views and opinions, but really some of these people are just utter morons.

    And of COURSE you can do it! Go girl. x

    Comment by Clare — August 3, 2006 @ 9:05 am

  83. Heather – lamb’s lettuce is a rather bland green leafy thing mysteriously popular in salads in France. People seem to eat it a lot at home. (fr: mâche)

    It looks a little like watercress which is much more interesting as salads go.

    Comment by James H — August 3, 2006 @ 9:41 am

  84. that’s it isn’t it! Like David says, you’ve landed yourself a great writing deal! Well done, it couldn’t happen to a more talented writer :)

    Comment by chris — August 3, 2006 @ 9:42 am

  85. Congratulations – for whatever it is it’s got to be good news! And you can definitely do it. You write beautifully.

    Chuck is clearly just jealous. I’ll never understand why people feel the need to leave vitriolic, unconstructive lumps of bile all over the place.

    Good luck!

    Comment by rachie — August 3, 2006 @ 10:06 am

  86. “What is lambs lettuce?”, “I had to look at Cambozola”, “I hope you aren’t harming yourself,” “did you get a tattoo.” WTF? There are some seriously stupid people reading this blog lately.

    Loving the suspense and good luck with everything. I can’t wait to see how it all turns out.

    Comment by Jamila — August 3, 2006 @ 10:31 am

  87. Lamb’s lettuce is a variety of salad leaf. The French word for it is mâche.

    Petite is writing about her inner reactions during a meeting surrounding a deal for paid work as a writer. This is undoubtedly the outcome she needs, and she is quite up to the task, having been grossly overtalented (and overqualified) for being a secretary in an accounting firm. Her blog served primarily to vent her frustrations at the life she was living, and if it has the very fortunate knock-on effect of getting her out of her dismal existence into something much more fun, that will be a wonderfully happy ending.

    Bilingual secretarial work in Paris is a God-awful career path for British female modern language graduates, but an easy trap to fall into. I know, I did it, and getting out was really tough. I have always found Petite’s blog fascinating because of the similarities with my own experiences of life in Paris. Writing for an audience forces the mind to analyse one’s existence – there is no more hiding place – and once the brutal truth is laid bare it is much easier to move onwards and upwards.

    Good luck

    Comment by Anna — August 3, 2006 @ 10:35 am

  88. I’m probably going to get crucified for this…

    I have to say I do feel a bit sorry for Chuck and his side of the coin. Often when someone offers a different side of the argument they get shouted down by ‘fawning’ Petite fans and accused of being a troll. Can’t we be grown ups about this and accept that this is all fairly contentious issue which will have strong opinions from either side?

    Despite having become a huge fan (I’m trying to keep the fawning to a minimum), The constant stream of validating and obsequious comments has been a little boring. I had expected a more balanced argument given all of the press this blog has been receiving.

    A future Parisien

    Comment by Hugo — August 3, 2006 @ 10:44 am

  89. Whilst I am intrigued at the prospect of a book or column, I need the “Jim” situation clearing up. Is it or isn’t it?

    PS My other fave blogger (Coppersblog) has just done a book too!

    Comment by Di — August 3, 2006 @ 10:49 am

  90. I’m proud of Petite for allowing adverse criticisms to appear, however unjustified they may be. But I have to say I hope Chuck is not in a position to actually employ people. if so, heaven help them!!!!

    Comment by Sablonneuse — August 3, 2006 @ 11:50 am

  91. Heather – lambs lettuce is just a type of salad leaf – apparently it’s the same kind of size and shape of a lamb’s tongue (yum!!) – hence the name…

    PA – fab news! Unless my knee-jerk reaction has had me assuming incorrectly. But somehow I don’t think so.

    Comment by Lizzy — August 3, 2006 @ 12:26 pm

  92. Forget crescent moons………I like this phrase better My head is spinning slightly, from the wine, the heat, which sounded a bit torrid and I expected you to break into song like Carmen………….but you wanted a keyboard so obviously you are not a vocalist…………

    Comment by Rick — August 3, 2006 @ 12:33 pm

  93. Petite,

    You’ll be great. Enjoy it. I’ll be waiting to read whatever it is the deal is for


    Comment by sp999 — August 3, 2006 @ 12:44 pm

  94. YES, you can do it – trust me!

    Comment by Tom Amos — August 3, 2006 @ 1:04 pm

  95. My dear Petite,
    I write a weekly column about my sad little life for a fairly local, South West England paper. I have been doing it for five years. In that time I have had two more children, moved to and from America, lost my best beloved mother and conintue to live all week alone as my husband works away MOn-Fri.
    I am desperate for the courage to do something else, to actually ‘write a book’ but my confidence gets the better of me every time. I hate myself for that and no doubt I will one day even lose my column – the only thing that defines me from something other than ‘mummy’. Please seize the moment – however scary. Do not kill yourself – little Tadpole’s life would forever be marred by such a legacy.
    Good luck and love to you,

    Welsh Tart xxxx

    Comment by Welsh Tart — August 3, 2006 @ 1:34 pm

  96. Haha, the comments on this post are too much!! Can’t Petite write anything without people searching for an “inner meaning” or “secret message”. I think her post was crystal clear.

    Petite–never stop believing that everything happens for a reason . You will look back on this in a couple of years, as one of the most exciting (albeit dramatic) periods of your life. Go Get ‘Em!!

    Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

    Comment by Just Dazzle — August 3, 2006 @ 2:14 pm

  97. G’day Petite.
    Yeah, you can do it…..on your ear. Of course you feel daunted by the prospect, but that will soon pass as you dive in at the deep end.
    As you’ve said, you have learned a lot about who Petite is whilst writing this blog. Just remember as you go forward on this new journey, as there will be many who will try influence you. You’ll have to sort those who are being helpful to you from those who are being helpful to themselves. Just stay true to yourself.
    The absolute best of luck, as you’ll have no problem with the best of talent.

    Comment by Gil — August 3, 2006 @ 2:42 pm

  98. Hi PA, Whatever is in the wind make sure you don’t forget your loyal readers who I’m sure will love your blog of a writers life just as much as before. Especially if you carry on living in Paris, lets face it the roast beefs are never happier than when the frogs are themselves and we get a good laugh. It almost beats the Germans losing to England in a footbal match!!!

    Comment by Nick — August 3, 2006 @ 3:00 pm

  99. petite,
    I am hooked. It is not often that I have found myself repeatedly checking a website let alone a blog! But your writing is seemingly effortless, and so easy to read.
    Is it possible to think of writting whatever you have to do under another name? It may give you the freedom you need for your creativity to not get silted up with nerves??
    All the best and I hope you can share your crescent moon feelings with people who really know you and have your best interests at heart.

    Comment by Vienna — August 3, 2006 @ 3:09 pm

  100. Do people actually read what Petite says? Sorry no doubt I will again annoy the avid readers, but it is blatantly obvious that Petite is not the kind of person to want to kill herself, it is blatantly obvious that she is talking about her fingernail marks (yes, we all do that from time to time) and it is also obvious to anyone who has been reading the blog that she is talking about some kind of book/newspaper deal.

    And yes, Chuck, she does get some sickeningly fawning comments, but I don’t actually believe, reading between the lines, that petite sees herself as a victim, and she is perfectly able to look past the fawners to the people who have sincere and realistic things to say.

    Anyway, well done petite for whatever deal you have struck, and remember that if they are willing to offer you whatever they have offered, they know you can do it, even if you aren’t quite sure of it yourself.

    Comment by Cheria — August 3, 2006 @ 3:13 pm

  101. Daily Mail? Noooooooooooooo. Bloody awful rag.

    Comment by stressqueen — August 3, 2006 @ 3:16 pm

  102. hi, Hugo — i think regulars here are jumping on Chuck because he is *not* a regular (poster, at least), and just showed up and started flaming on petite. i think people would be less inclined to crucify him if he popped in more often.

    and i, too, and wondering if “Jim” is indeed the mr. from rennes. i for one miss his presence here, even though i understand why it’s more proper for him to stay away.

    it never occurred to me that petite might be getting a newspaper gig. that would be good, too!

    Comment by franko — August 3, 2006 @ 3:29 pm

  103. Petite

    From what you write, you are on the verge of landing something that could change your life completely and possibly forever – God willing, infinitely for the better.

    Please, for your own sake, and Tadpole’s, DO NOT LET YOURSELF BE PARALYSED BY FEAR OF FAILURE. Great people do not become great by the absence of fear of failure, but by going on to do what they were born to do in spite of it.

    But for goodness’ sake keep your fears to yourself until you have landed the deal. If you must write them down, put it in a diary, for possible future use. The last thing you need at this stage is to frighten your prospective publisher/employer away.

    If your blog is good enough to be addictive reading for many people (do your blog stats show how many times individuals come back?), then you have already PROVED that you can write well, and that you can maintain quality AND handle major external pressures (parenthood, relationship break-ups, getting fired…). You were born to write. Have confidence in your own ability, and GO FOR IT.


    John M

    Comment by John M — August 3, 2006 @ 3:31 pm

  104. If you click on the link next ti Jim you will see he is not from Rennes. But from my region of sunny north western England. But of course I never waste time on the internet during office hours!!!

    Comment by Cheria — August 3, 2006 @ 3:40 pm

  105. Your “suspense-filled” writing gets better and better.

    Comment by MAD — August 3, 2006 @ 3:51 pm

  106. Petite,

    I have spend a while reading through your posts and I feel that you have no need to worry. I can only hope your new situation involves the possiblility of moving into a career in writing. If this is the case, you have already demonstrated your skill as a writer, otherwise you would not have had these offers. So, try your best to relax and enjoy the possibilities of your new situation

    Comment by belinda — August 3, 2006 @ 3:57 pm

  107. I think it is Jim.

    Tactic: impress / remind her of his lit crit credentials to lure her, now a well-known writer, back to the honey dream of a cottage in Brittany were he can give insightful tips on her writing, particularly useful given the present self-doubt .

    But how will Petite react? It’s like a Dr Who ending.

    Comment by James H — August 3, 2006 @ 4:03 pm

  108. Dear Petite!

    Way to go!

    Please do not be afraid at all: your wonderful gift of writing fascinating text captivated all these people here:)
    I think it is safe to say, anything you will write, we will buy;)
    Easy on the pinching!

    Best of luck to you!

    Comment by fgm — August 3, 2006 @ 4:03 pm

  109. I suppose due to the recent press it’s an inevitability that Petite will be placed madonna-and-child-like on the victim pedestal by her fans linking arms around her with you-will-have-to-come-through-us frowns on their faces.

    I think people are prone to become red in the face with outrage whenever any criticism is offered, as what immediately leaps to mind is “you can’t say that to a single mother!”. But part of the beauty of her blog is the frankness about her mistakes and her personal experience of single motherhood. Her choices are bound to make people feel strongly, and that’s comes with the territory when one chooses to blog.

    This isn’t a criticism, more an observation. I daresay she’s more than capable of fighting her own battles when it comes to comments not of the genre “Please send my love to tadpole” (that one makes me cringe).

    By the way, is it polite to talk about the owner of the blog in the third person? I feel like someone’s going to ask me “Who’s she? hmmm? The cat’s mother?”

    Comment by Hugo — August 3, 2006 @ 4:10 pm

  110. Just another little chirp from the trees: ‘of course you can! of course you can!’ Loving you as always (and not even knowing you!). xxx, e

    Comment by ellie — August 3, 2006 @ 4:36 pm

  111. Don’t worry, and be happy !
    Salutations from Belgium
    See you soon

    Comment by marc — August 3, 2006 @ 4:45 pm

  112. chuck… i don’t usually resort to insults so easily but in your case, i will make an exception. how convenient that you fuel your pi**y attittude with the misfortune of others. you are truly a coward.

    petite… pinch chuck for me while you’re at it… he needs a wake up call.


    Comment by mf — August 3, 2006 @ 5:04 pm

  113. I don’t think there’s much chance of me luring Petite to a cottage in Brittany (or anywhere else come to that) however nice the prospect might seem… unless she likes birdwatching and fishing!

    Comment by Jim — August 3, 2006 @ 5:55 pm

  114. Petite,
    I just found your blog and I’m going back and reading all of your archives. I love it! I regreat not having found it sooner. I love how you open yourself up to all your faceless, nameless readers. It seems to come so naturally for you. I’m sure whether you are writing a column or a book it will come just as naturally. All the print readers you find will love book/column for the same reasons people love your blog- your frankness and self introspection. I’m not a writer myself so I can’t speak from experience but once you get past your self doubt it’ll be great. And if it fails to meet your expectations then so what? Just keep writing.

    (this is my first post ever)

    Comment by belleshpgrl — August 3, 2006 @ 5:56 pm

  115. I feel somewhat guilty saying this…but suddenly the blog is now boring to me.

    I enjoyed the randome stories about PA’s life in Paris.

    Now, it’s just retrospect revolving around a firing. Not so fun or whimsical anymore.

    PA, I wish you well, but I’m not really interested in whether or not you become a published writer. (But good for you if you do, of course…) I just enjoyed hearing about your everyday experiences in France.

    It was about the little things…

    Comment by Dina — August 3, 2006 @ 6:26 pm

  116. Le bleu d’auvergne, it is not bad neither… That’s what i miss the most from my norvegian retirement. Good cheese, good bread and a good red wine. that’s the french of way life !

    Comment by olivier — August 3, 2006 @ 7:31 pm

  117. I am not worried about you Petite…all these emotions are (I would hasard to say) “normal” in that you are in one helluva transitional stage at the moment. One which prompts an avalanche of emotions. I feel this to be a good thing. If you were numb…THEN I’d worry.
    It’s precisely the fear of failure that often prevents us from moving forwards, retreating back into our ‘comfort zone’…but yours no longer exists, does it, therefore the only way is forward (or UP if you liked that 80s song, remember that one?) You can’t stagnate and you won’t, you know that, I know. It’s just hard to get to grips with it all, no doubt.
    We admire you. We have great hopes for you (the majority do anyway!) so GO AND KICK SOME A**!!

    P.S. You’re welcome “The Bold Soul” !! :-)

    Comment by Karma — August 3, 2006 @ 7:50 pm

  118. Good on yer, Petite. Abby has just had her book published and it is a filthy, disgusting bloody good read! I hope yours (if it is a book) will be as good, and I would certainly buy a copy. You tell ’em like it is!

    Comment by keith — August 3, 2006 @ 8:06 pm

  119. Kensington! My favourite place. (I was born there, many, MANY years ago) Alas I am back stateside … I hope you “lunched” somewhere nice like One, Bellini, or … and got chocolate from Pierre Marcolini.

    Did Tadpole enjoy her ice cream? :)

    Whatever you’re doing in Kensington, … er London. Go girl! It’s “opportunityville” … sod the exhorbitant prices!

    And even I understood your crescent moons!

    Comment by ScoobyDew — August 3, 2006 @ 10:19 pm

  120. Ok, everyone, am I slow?

    But a quick, brief, subject change.

    Has anyone (yet) noticed that this blog is not only frequented by, and contributed to, posters to whom (the English) language is, well, something to be proud of? It is RARE to see a typographical error!

    Say that of most blogs?

    Which leads me to ask … is this peer to peer therapy? :)

    I relish “correct” English (at aussi Francais, bien sur) and this blog, both by Petite and her contributors makes for excellent reading. Friends and foes alike.

    Back to regular programming.

    Book deal.

    I hope not.

    Rather a tome or screenplay for a new BBC drama of the same name, so that we can finally be rid of tripe episodes of “Cash in the Attic”! At least on BBCAmerica!

    Or both?

    Comment by ScoobyDew — August 3, 2006 @ 10:55 pm

  121. Hi Chuck
    Do you realise that the proportion of GNP earned per worker is considerably higher in France than in the U.K.? And total output is higher. This in spite of far more public holidays, longer vacations, and lower salaries but possibly on account of shorter working hours, and a highly educated, efficient and conscientious workforce. No tea or coffee breaks – but they don’t graze they eat well at the right times.

    Grannie D

    Comment by Diana Stevens — August 3, 2006 @ 11:34 pm

  122. Grannie D, I do take issue with a lot of what you’re saying, except the bit about eating.

    However, having already been beaten up by a gang of Petite admirers I’m not going to kick off a new argument in her blog.

    Read my own France blog if you like. Perhaps we can discuss French politics there instead, undisturbed by the riffraff.

    You can even contribute if you like.

    Comment by Chuck — August 4, 2006 @ 12:36 am

  123. I’ve had the same uncertainties about whether to refer to Petite in the third person or directly. To me it seems slightly presumptious addressing remarks to someone unseen and unmet. Yet she gives us whole shards from her life to make of them what we will. (And such shards!)

    I relish the intensity of ‘pinch’ as much as its ambiguities. Her recent blogs demonstrate that Petite writes extremely well under stress, which is an essential characteristic of a creative writer. I look forward to more of her despatches from the battle-front.

    Comment by Andrew — August 4, 2006 @ 1:59 am

  124. You know petite,

    I realized today why one of your pictures made me do a double take. It’s because you have an uncanny resemblance to the US show, The O.C.’s Kelly Rowan (coincidently from my hometown Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) — or at least your picture in the

    Has anybody ever commented on that? Take it as a compliment — she’s a very cute lady :)

    Comment by Phil — August 4, 2006 @ 4:40 am

  125. I can see Montparnasse tower in your photo! its my favorite place (the cemetary, shops, etc) ..Ave Du Maine….Rue Cel… Rue Didot etc… I cannot wait to return there

    Comment by simon — August 4, 2006 @ 6:55 am

  126. You are already a writer – your blog has demonstrated that. All you are going to do is transfer to another medium. Enjoy the challenge and bonne chance.

    Comment by James S — August 4, 2006 @ 7:09 am

  127. “what if they are all wrong? Maybe you can’t do any of this…”

    After reading this last post, there is one thing I am certain of – you CAN do this and you are doing it brilliantly!

    Comment by amica — August 4, 2006 @ 7:44 am

  128. Yes you can xx

    Comment by fjl — August 4, 2006 @ 8:25 am

  129. I am loving the suspense of the blog at the moment… well done Petite, things are moving now!

    Comment by lilacstripe — August 4, 2006 @ 11:15 am

  130. Have you seen this?!

    Comment by Hazy — August 4, 2006 @ 11:34 am

  131. I’ve been reading this blog of yours, Dear Petite, for quite a while now…and this is my second comment; the first didn’t make it into your page…probably because of the furore over your post about your dismissal..or maybe because it was not good enough to be included…whatever.
    There are various comments touching on matters that have sparked in me, the realisation, that yes, there is a strong element of boredom now pervading the most recent posts that you have placed…one comment refers to the fact that most of what you now, have to write about, is history…the lost job. There definitely was a very interesting, vicarious amount of pleasure to be had, from reading about your exploits as a secretary and girl about town…the illicit sexiness of it all, that so obviously excited so many, less well-endowed women. Now they are all salivating over whether you will finally turn, what is a well written, but limited blog, into some kind of ‘Professional Writer’s’ career….with plenty of cash thrown in for all the girls to get even more ‘juiced-up’ .. well good luck with that. I feel that there is a very good script to be written, be it for television or the cinema…but as for a book…well please go ahead and prove me wrong. I will be glad when you have reached some kind of agreement over contracts etc. So that you can then get back to writing entertaining blogs about your more ‘day-to-day’ experiences… dating… wrong-man…right-man…work…and family. The blogs about contracts, and will the cash being offered, be enough…are just not as funny as the Petite, we used to know… All the best with your future, JP

    Comment by JP — August 4, 2006 @ 11:51 am

  132. Just another little *fume*

    Who on earth is he ( JP) to tell you you can’t be a writing success when it’s clearly being handed you on a plate? He hates the thought of women succeeding, if you read between the lines. He’s nothing but a jealous raspberry.


    Comment by fjl — August 4, 2006 @ 1:46 pm

  133. GO GIRL!!!!
    Allez petite!!!


    Comment by Marie — August 4, 2006 @ 1:51 pm

  134. I’ve been a frequent visitor to your site for about 2 years now but I have to admit that so far I haven’t found it illicitly sexy nor does it make me excited, and I don’t salivate when I read it!? Is there a whole subtext to your posts that I haven’t been getting! :o) Or maybe its just the comments that are that way?

    Don’t keep us waiting much longer with whatever’s in the pipeline – I’ve been checking back non-stop since Wednesday for the next installment.

    Comment by Hazy — August 4, 2006 @ 2:49 pm

  135. Hi Petite!
    I just wanted to say “hi”.
    Mission accomplished. :)
    I read about your story in a newspaper that arrives on my desk every Monday, and it prompted me to find your Blog.

    I’m glad I did – I will doubtless be back sometime soon for a longer read. You give a lot. I think you only get back what you give – gonna have to learn that lesson on my Blog.

    You inspired me to update my own neglected blog – – so I have linked to you in my post.

    I hope you’re having a good day.


    Comment by Keith — August 4, 2006 @ 3:38 pm

  136. I wouldn’t agree that it’s getting boring. Entering a new phase, maybe; life evolves. No doubt this blog will drop some readers… and pick up others. It is not for us to judge, it’s Petite’s blog, her prerogative to write it, and ours to take it or leave it. There are plenty more out there. Meanwhile I shall retain this one on my daily round of must see bookmarks. Jim x

    Comment by Jim — August 4, 2006 @ 3:41 pm

  137. Dear Gil…and of course, Petite…your observation, regarding my being titillated by this blog site, for my vicarious pleasure, is both correct…and incorrect. When I refer to that effect, I’m referring to a conclusion, that I have come to, after lengthy reading of the many and varied comments, from both men and women, on this blog site over a long period of time. It would seem, in my humble opinion, that a great many people, read Petite’s blog for that very reason…except in most cases, a “Yo Girl…Go get em” attitude, would never constitute…a vicarious frame of mind.. especially from the shrieking harpies, that any criticism from a man is tantamount to deserving a bloody fatwa…. I much prefer, the comments, again, from both sexes, that contain a little more substance (whether I agree with them or not) than the great majority that repeat the same “Yo Girl” rubbish.
    As for writing success, it is very obvious, even, it would seem, to Petite, that it is never handed to one on a plate. Financial success from writing is one thing, but when I think of Petites response to idiot journalists, who mention Bridget Jones..Petite knows she is better… and from the reference, to the well-thumbed copy of a ‘Writers Handbook’… I presume that Petite, is endeavouring to write something of quality.
    I passed comment, regarding script, rather than book…and Petite before dismissal/after dismissal… again, only as a personal opinion…and if there is any spur, better than, “prove me wrong”…. then… Go Get em Girl!!!
    Regards JP

    Comment by JP — August 4, 2006 @ 3:47 pm

  138. I don’t necessarily believe this post is about the fear of failure. This is the cold reality of change. The inevitable truth is that often when a major opportunity is acted on, it changes the perception of of those we love and depend on, and their opinions of us…for better or worse. In some cases we stand to lose them all together. Just like certain readers believe that Petite’s posts have become “boring”. Becoming what we were meant to be also means accepting that others will look at us differently. Will Petite change? Of course. But isn’t it selfish to expect her to stay the same?

    Comment by Sam — August 4, 2006 @ 4:17 pm

  139. Just wanted to clarify that by “excited” I meant in the way JP saw it. There is certainly nothing boring about this blog!

    Comment by Hazy — August 4, 2006 @ 5:37 pm

  140. I find this Zen saying very helpful when faced with a new, exciting challenge, “Leap and the net will appear”.

    Best of luck,Petite, although really what I should be wishing is best of concentration and determination: you clearly don’t need luck as you are a wonderful writer.

    Comment by Ryane — August 4, 2006 @ 7:14 pm

  141. All that time with complete access to French cheeses and you choose Cambozola? If it weren’t for the newspaper articles I’d be thinking this was all a set-up! I can appreciate the viewpoint of an employer who reckons his employees are ripping him off, but this lot needed (a) to research the subject and (b) to lighten up. When you have the contract for the book, revert to earlier blogs and decide what it was that appealed to your audience, then stick to that, at least for the first one. And then remember that Bridget Jones 2 was not nearly so effective as 1…

    Comment by Hilary Temple — August 4, 2006 @ 7:15 pm

  142. One chapter ends, another one begins (this applies to careers, men, end of our 20something years). . .
    Congrats, Petite. But I hope you’ll carry on blogging still!

    Comment by okdokes — August 4, 2006 @ 7:54 pm

  143. Hi Petite! This is the second comment I’m posting. Either the first one didn’t make it to the finals or I just simply can’t find it!(You get so many replies, it’s amazing!)
    Anyway, I just wanted to tell you once again that I love your work and that you should listen to your heart and do what you desire the most. I recently found out about your blog and I already am a fun.
    Love, Joy

    Comment by Joy — August 4, 2006 @ 9:37 pm

  144. Surely the saying “leap and the net will appear” is not very positive beacuse it means any problems will not be realised until it is too late,Ryane. Wouldn’t a better one be a Dalai Lama one “It is worth remembering that the time of greatest gain in terms of wisdom and inner strength is often that of greatest difficulty.” Or “look before you leap” (this is not a Dalai Lama one)

    Comment by Genevieve — August 4, 2006 @ 10:41 pm

  145. Are you sure it wasn’t gorgonzola?

    Comment by Natasha — August 4, 2006 @ 11:01 pm

  146. Hi there!

    I have a challenge for all the Lovers around the world:

    Please, visit my blog and send your Love Message to:

    Let’s make history writing about the most beautiful thing in the globe.

    1 Blog, 1 Million Love Messages from All Around The World


    Comment by 1millionlovemessages — August 5, 2006 @ 12:55 am

  147. 我是一个中国人~很喜欢你的博客~很真实~
    i am a chinese ,very like your blog because it’s trueness~
    welcome to my blog~

    Comment by wenwen — August 5, 2006 @ 4:10 am

  148. This whole episode has made me realise how important the advice of others is in times of uncertainty and it brings to mind my favourite Dalai Lama quote, which is “We can reject everything else:religion, ideology all received wisdom. But we cannot escape the necessity of love and compassion.”

    Comment by Susannah — August 5, 2006 @ 8:28 am

  149. It must be very hard morphing so suddenly from a being a very private person with a fairly complicated personal life (and secretly blogging from behind the cover of a pseudonym) into becoming almost overnight a media star, out of work, and embroiled in a civil case against your former employer.

    Mind you, the concerted press coverage is also of great benefit and good for PA to turn it to her advantage. But equally, the media is a whole different jungle to claw through, especially as creative writers are by necessity solitary workers and often under-equipped for the struggle.

    Maintaining her creative fires while keeping everything together is a huge task. But I have great admiration for Petite’s strength of character and wry sense of humour. It will surely get her through the next year, with honour.

    Comment by Andrew — August 5, 2006 @ 11:24 am

  150. Chère Petite,
    Since you’ve started writing this blog,countless comments have been posted, saying the same thing: you are an extremly talented writer. How many of these comments do you need to get finally convinced that you can be a real BOOK writer? What the hell are you waiting? Get your books on every bookshop shelves. Zadie Smith needs a bit of competition. Get started, don’t lose time, stop scratching your wrists, write, write, imagine plots, create characters. It’s high time you move on from the blog, and get started with what you’ve always dreamt of, with whom you’ve always wanted to be. Make a good living out of it. Do it, or log on to , if that’s what you prefer.
    I would kill to have your talent.

    Comment by Ayme — August 5, 2006 @ 12:34 pm

  151. Am I the only one missing the PA blog of old? At this time we would have been reading enchanting posts of Tadpole’s exploits in her new home, descriptions of the new surroundings, visits from Mr Frog etc. I wish you well petite but can we have more of the light hearted posts which made your blog the first thing I look at when I switch on. All the luck in the world to you both just the same.

    Comment by suze — August 5, 2006 @ 2:53 pm

  152. Of course you can and if you can’t, well, no matter as you will not find that out until after you have done it and by then you will already be doing something else you are sure you cannot do! ::smooches::

    Comment by Seabree — August 5, 2006 @ 4:18 pm

  153. In reply to Hilary Temple – but if she was in a restaurant with some producer/editor or whoever, she would have chosen salad because that’s generally what women do when with someone new. Actually I don’t but then I’m a darned sight ahem, curvier(!) than Petite. And let’s say for instance that the salad choice was meagre then perhaps a bit of cambozola chucked into the fray was a little more tasty than just leaves. It’s only a thought. When my editor took me out for lunch I ordered steak and ale pie and my baby had very messy pasta sauce. Eyebrows were raised – maybe that’s why I didn’t get a book deal. If only…

    Comment by Welsh Cake — August 5, 2006 @ 5:41 pm

  154. she refers to the “undergarments”, once more.

    Comment by trevor — August 5, 2006 @ 5:54 pm

  155. I find myself sitting, reading, with a smile on my face. How many people are debating the meaning of Petite’s words?

    Comment by Jonathan — August 5, 2006 @ 7:31 pm

  156. she would have chosen salad because that’s generally what women do when with someone new.

    Do explain that to me please Welsh Cake, I find that a fascinating observation – do tell me more ………

    Comment by Rick — August 5, 2006 @ 9:24 pm

  157. Observe Dan is a prat. Poor girl, Petite. I pity you with horror. ;-) There’s nothing like Dan Hart the Oxford stalker following you around. Dan would seem to be the uptight one. Look at him glued to our blogs! He’s worn out with sending us all stalkers messages all day (yaaaawwnn) Someone give him ‘stalker of the year prize’ and perhaps he’ll go.

    But seriously I’m not going to engage with him and I advise you the same P.


    Comment by fjl — August 5, 2006 @ 10:05 pm

  158. Daniel Hart is not so much a prat but something the cat brought in and left under the hallway just before everyone went to bed.

    Comment by Ava — August 5, 2006 @ 10:18 pm

  159. It’s her way of communicating with me. A little game you see. I’m willing to play along for the time being.

    But I have my limits.

    Comment by Trevor — August 5, 2006 @ 10:19 pm

  160. Can I have some order in the playground please – or I’ll set the dinner ladies on you.

    Comment by petite — August 5, 2006 @ 10:51 pm

  161. “and her personal experience of single motherhood”

    that makes me, and many other single mother’s blood boil.

    #113 – dina, you and me alike. it’s a shame, but that is how this blog has turned out.

    good luck, cath.

    now may the rest of you flame me, and dare you try, because the only people that i care about are those close to me, not me, mE, ME.

    Comment by zed — August 5, 2006 @ 10:51 pm

  162. what’us up ???? :-)

    Comment by Eric — August 5, 2006 @ 11:34 pm

  163. Andrew at number 151 makes a very well-considered and balanced point, I think. Which is the sort of thing we can absolutely do without in this increasingly deranged comment box. Any more of that, Andrew, and you could be looking at a life ban. Now behave yourself.

    Comment by jonathan — August 6, 2006 @ 1:00 am

  164. I am a column of light. You are a cascade of water. There is inhalations.


    Comment by Erin O'Brien — August 6, 2006 @ 4:59 am

  165. As a strong man with only a left brain I can emphasize and only try to understand your writing.

    Many years ago, the worst that could happen to my carrier did. After a great deal of pain, I survived. From that time forward, I knew I will always survive well, until the real end.

    And even that; at age 50, I know 55 years ago I was not even alive. Apparently, even death is not a permanent handicap in this universe.

    Still, we identify so strongly with our jobs, the pain is real. I wish you the best.

    Comment by Bruce — August 6, 2006 @ 9:02 am



    Comment by lucy blogzira — August 6, 2006 @ 10:51 am

  167. I just love that, Bruce….”even death is not a permanent handicap in this universe”, how utterly profound,is it one of The Dalai Lama’s little gems by any chance?

    The other thing I love is Ryvita with marmite and Cambozola….mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

    Comment by Susannah — August 6, 2006 @ 12:32 pm

  168. JP, you and me should get together and exchange notes. It is my considederd conviction that together wie have the wherewithal to turn stalking into an artform. I would suggest the hinterland of Oxford as a starting point
    – East Hendred perhaps.

    Comment by Trevor — August 6, 2006 @ 1:59 pm

  169. Thank you Susannah. My observation on death is something I rationalized through one day. I don’t recall ever reading it anywhere.

    I’m not keen to be an iconoclast. My own search for truths is one of my life’s great fascinations.

    Comment by Bruce — August 7, 2006 @ 3:15 am

  170. Ma cherie, remember that for every bad thing that happens there’s an equal chance of something good happening. And in between there, there’s just a whole lot of humdrumness which may be the real bete noire. All of this is just a tempering process that will leave you better and stronger. Take heart and power to the people!

    Comment by Virginie — August 7, 2006 @ 7:35 am

  171. Chère petite anglaise,

    Il y a des patrons qui acceptent des salariés plus intelligents qu’eux à une seule condition : que ça ne se sache pas. Tu es tombé sur un de ceux là.


    Comment by Gilles — August 11, 2006 @ 12:28 am

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