petite anglaise

August 6, 2006

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Filed under: city of light, missing blighty — petiteanglaise @ 1:36 pm

London is one long ride on an interminable escalator, mopping my brow and frowning at the chunky A-Z, wondering how it is possible for many of my destinations to be so very far removed from metro tube stations.

It is struggling to remember to “KEEP LEFT” in corridors and on staircases which are neatly divided into two halves. Keeping my expensive travelcard handy for when I leave every station to avoid awkward, embarrassing fumbling; a wave of homesickness for my Navigo card and its comforting “DRIINNG!” welling up as the alien “PIINNG!” of Oyster cards echoes in my ears.

In Paris, leaning over the edge of a platform to squint along the tunnel, I can often spy the lights of the next station, and sometimes make out the next one after that. A station is never more than a short stroll away.

I drag my overnight bag along residential streets, plastic wheels rumbling noisily over uneven paving slabs, glancing at my watch periodically to see if I am late enough to warrant making a breathless, apologetic phone call.

I am pathetically grateful to whoever had the foresight to paint helpful hints on the tarmac at every pedestrian crossing, prompting me to “LOOK RIGHT!” or “LOOK LEFT!”, rather than trusting my (apparently continental) instincts and stepping out into the path of a rapidly approaching black cab.

It is in my native land that I am truly a fish out of water: panting, helplessly disorientated, yearning for the familiarity of my French home.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Later, back in the village where I grew up, I creep into my daughter’s bedroom, craving the familiar scent of her warm curls, her damp scalp.

She is unexpectedly awake, sitting up in bed with a welcoming smile. I cover her cheeks with kisses.

“Mummy,” she asks, “are you going to sleep in your bed today?”

“Yes my love,” I reply, “so you can come and fetch me when you wake up in the morning.”

She pauses for a moment; I can almost see her thinking.

“Mummy? Have you got a sleeping bag like mine?”

“No. Mummies don’t usually wear sleeping bags.”

“When I will be a mummy and you will be a little girl, I can lend you this one,” she says generously, gesturing down at her pink gingham pod.

I find this notion of role reversal strangely comforting.

Later, against my better judgement, I slip into the single bed, beside her oblivious sleeping form and let the regularity of her breathing slow my rapidly thumping heart.

142 Comments

  1. So weird to be the first one to make a comment! I find London exhausting too, not like my small and compact Barcelona

    Comment by Manel — August 6, 2006 @ 1:41 pm

  2. Hmmm, just came back after spending a year in Germany. It’s France that’s the foreign country now, though it is in fact my native land.

    (Although one single year compared to a decade isn’t the same, I guess)

    I have to admit, I didn’t understand your last two posts, so I have no clue what U’re doing in England,(unless it’s the book deal) but I hope everything’s cool.

    Comment by babyteks — August 6, 2006 @ 1:52 pm

  3. Uhm it’s not “book deal” I wanted to write.

    (but I forget what it was)

    Comment by babyteks — August 6, 2006 @ 1:54 pm

  4. The suspense is killing me! What is happening? Is it positive? Is it a drama? Pray, do tell us!

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

  5. By sheer coincidence, I just returned from London and by Satan it was a commuting catastrophe of perplexing pathways, cobblestone courses and traffic misdemeanors. Graciously, the Underground is ironed from idiocy with instructions ornamenting all walls or I would have spent my entire time a subterranean species, frantically searching for the suitable stop. That is only permitted at noon when you are not sandwiched between two commuters at rush hour, hemorrhaging acrid vapors of perspiration.

    Comment by Sapphire — August 6, 2006 @ 2:06 pm

  6. am learning to fall in love with the idea of petite’s life. It may be ups and downs with regularity, but it is a life to be lived. And boring it is definately NOT.

    Comment by beaune — August 6, 2006 @ 2:08 pm

  7. Excellent, my eldest sister said someting like that to my dad when she was 4. :)
    She was on dad’s shoulders and she told him: “Quand je serai grande et que tu seras petit, je te porterai.”
    She is now in her 30s and we’re still making jokes about it :)
    Take Care!

    Comment by Vanessa — August 6, 2006 @ 2:48 pm

  8. Kids’ perspective of the world is so wonderful, isn’t it?

    My nephew kept telling everybody he would like to be like his uncle V. Since V. is a successful person, we never found it strange. But eventually someone asked him the reason why he wanted to be like that uncle and not like all the others. His answer was as simple as his universe. “Because all the other uncles have wives and he has a dog instead!”

    Comment by MAD — August 6, 2006 @ 3:05 pm

  9. I quite often use the Métro between Galieni (Mister Bed at Bagnolet) and Opéra (Line 3) but have never seen rodents on the line there like you often do in the tube in London. Bonne chance en Angleterre. Jim x

    Comment by Jim — August 6, 2006 @ 3:06 pm

  10. I love how generous Tadpole is.

    Comment by Jack Hartley — August 6, 2006 @ 3:57 pm

  11. With every entry, your writing seems to become more poetic. Soon I’m sure you will be writing in verse like Shakespeare.

    Oh, the tube. Please let’s not go there. It has been a long time since I have been on the Metro but no system could be worse than London could it? If only the Luftwaffe had had more success in London, then the tube network would be much better now. Not a joke – this is true.

    Comment by Tom Amos — August 6, 2006 @ 4:08 pm

  12. Funnily enough, I am now back in my native US, staying with family. I have grown to accept the differences — the fact that France, after 15 years, is now home. Changing airports yesterday I struggled to find the word for “connecting” flight — only the French word “correspondence” came to mind.

    Comment by Lost in France — August 6, 2006 @ 4:20 pm

  13. Hi, read about your experiences in the Sydney Morning Herald. I enjoy your writing.

    Gordon

    Comment by Gordon Cheng — August 6, 2006 @ 4:27 pm

  14. There is no place like home sweet home – Welcome back.

    Comment by Seamus — August 6, 2006 @ 4:38 pm

  15. I love London so much… But for the moment, the weather is unbearable! Warm and cloudy – I feel breathless too.

    Comment by Bibil — August 6, 2006 @ 5:02 pm

  16. Aren’t children beautiful, “when I will be a mummy and you will be a little girl, you can borrow mine” that comment by your daughter is so sweet. I think we all have moments when we want to be the little girl and not the mummy at times, I know I certainly do.

    Comment by Susannah — August 6, 2006 @ 5:15 pm

  17. London is tiring even for a Londoner.

    Comment by Banana — August 6, 2006 @ 6:58 pm

  18. I find this idea of a “sleeping bag” for a young child to use while sleeping in bed very interesting… is that something European or is it strictly French or British? I’ve never seen that done here in the U.S., where sleeping bags are for slumber parties and camp-outs. I suppose for a small child it’s easier to keep them covered up at night when they will often kick off the covers. Maybe that’s where “snug as a bug in a rug” came from?

    Comment by The Bold Soul — August 6, 2006 @ 7:23 pm

  19. London is not England. London is a terrible place now. I avoid it like the plague. In fact I think that Britain in general is not a nice place to live anymore, but some of us are stuck with it for various reasons.

    I escape to rural France at every opportunity, because the laid-back life style suits me. Do you think I could claim “political asylum” there?

    Comment by keith — August 6, 2006 @ 7:26 pm

  20. Thanks for this one. I remember these days. They’re what really matter.

    x

    Comment by fjl — August 6, 2006 @ 7:39 pm

  21. My brother and I both hate the Tube but feel perfectly safe and happy on the Metro! Perhaps it is because it isn’t so deep?!

    Comment by riotstar — August 6, 2006 @ 8:16 pm

  22. It’s funny how one’s own perspective can influence how
    easy or hard navigating a particular city can be. In my visits to London, I have found that navigating the Underground is far easier than navigating the NYC subway – and this is coming from someone who grew up in NYC.

    I also found the “Look Right,” “Look Left” markings helpful, though weird at first.

    Comment by Dave of the Lake — August 6, 2006 @ 8:35 pm

  23. Hope you didn’t have to try a London bus – at the moment, you end up cooked – no windows worth speaking of, half of them have the heaters jammed on, and, according to the Evening Standard, temperatures in the 50’s. I’ve just returned from Marseille, and the bliss of air conditioned buses. But the RER D from Gare du Nord to Gare de Lyon drives me mad. I can never remember which is “Direction Malesherbes” or “Melun”. I think that generally the tube is a bit more user-friendly – at least for finding your way around this huge city.

    Comment by Mo — August 6, 2006 @ 8:53 pm

  24. Endearing, even to an old fart like me, Petite.

    Despite having been brought up like all good snotty Brits to be instantly suspicious of anything too “popular”, I’ve found myself pathetically addicted to your blog. Perhaps living in Paris in similar circumstances has something to do with it.

    Your comments about public transport are relevant to me as I’m sitting in a TGV at 200 km/h on my way back to Paris. I may grouch about France but its trains and tubes are second to none (when not on strike). For anyone who has endured the misery of a London underground breakdown in high summer, good French infrastructure is a gigantic bonus.

    Re your last closing comment about playgrounds etc, one of my school dinner ladies’ nicknames was “Ogre” and she was a biker in her spare time. If we were naughty she would smack us on the forehead with the curved end of a soup spoon. And there was no one we could frivolously sue to get our own back. Just the thought brings tears to my eyes.

    Comment by Chuck — August 6, 2006 @ 10:58 pm

  25. It is similar moments shared with my sons that keep me smiling. Tadpole’s uncomplicated approach to the sleeping pod is sweet and true. Not unlike my young three old who told me today that when he was bigger I could have his tricycle to ride to the shop for bread! What a thought! Hope England is kind to you!

    Comment by Lisa — August 6, 2006 @ 11:03 pm

  26. thank you for this touchingm moment, petite — a brief vacation back to the norm — a reminder that there are far more important reasons for you to fight for your rights. it’s not about sour grapes with an employer who mistreated you, it’s about your future, and tadpole’s. keep up the good fight!

    Comment by franko — August 6, 2006 @ 11:06 pm

  27. I got hit by a car crossing the road (me crossing, silly) my first week in France. Scared the crap out of me.
    My shoe still has tire marks on it.

    Comment by lee — August 6, 2006 @ 11:30 pm

  28. London must have been splendid in the 1930s when The Tube was last modernised; when the streets had more trams and buses than cars, when people dressed properly, and when civility was more common.

    It is a grind today, anyone with an income below £350.000 in London s basically nothing – it is – unlike New York – rendered terribly expensive by Arab money, Russian Mafia money, and hot money……….it is the capital city of Britain where most native Britons feel they are stragers

    Comment by Rick — August 6, 2006 @ 11:52 pm

  29. London’s one way system is byzantine at best, hence the road markings. I just thank god that my left-side-of-the-road kiwi upbringing has prepared me for Britain (and Japan actually). I fear I may be commiting some sort of elaborate suicide by moving to Paris in September.

    Comment by Hugo — August 7, 2006 @ 12:22 am

  30. To ‘The Bold Soul’ (#18) – it’s not the same as a sleeping bag in the US, more of a nightgown with no opening at the feet (sleep sack, I think I’ve seen them called).
    Zen Hungs, Petite. Don’t grip your hands so hard – those nail marks can hurt!

    Comment by Alice — August 7, 2006 @ 12:30 am

  31. My eldest daughter was three with a mass of golden curls. I was going home late one night, with the missus, daughter asleep in my arms, and for no reason I leaned forward and buried my face in her curls and drew in a long, ecstatic breath. It got me a blank look from the missus.
    ‘Do you realise just how wonderful her hair smells?’
    – No.
    ‘You should try it sometime.’
    – I won’t be.
    A big pity, I thought, and said nothing.

    Comment by Andrew — August 7, 2006 @ 12:37 am

  32. Andrew, doesn’t it just smell of whatever shampoo that was last used on her? I never yhad daughters so I woundn’t know.

    Comment by Jim — August 7, 2006 @ 1:24 am

  33. Yes, Petite. It is comforting to know she’ll look after you eventually, as she will….eventually.
    Your description of coming home to your beautiful daughter is so evocative. Bought back many memories for me.

    Comment by Gil — August 7, 2006 @ 1:55 am

  34. Andrew: yes a child’s hair, esp a girl’s–what a splendid scent they have–to this day,40 years later I can still recall that scent of my daughter’s hair–When I’m at the beginning a relationship with a woman her hair is what really attracts me and the smell of it–but possibly I’m just strange too lol
    Petite, I love your writing. Don’t ever stop.

    Comment by Frank — August 7, 2006 @ 2:47 am

  35. I live in the U.S. rural midwest in a small town. My Vespa scooter is the ideal transportation. Don’t they use them often in Europe? It’s very rare here.

    Carmen

    Comment by Carmen — August 7, 2006 @ 3:59 am

  36. A lot of people I know, myself included, are going through changes and entering new stages in their lives. I hope this is the start of a bright new era for you. Sometimes, it takes these shocks and changes of scene to get us to that next level.

    Comment by Jack Yan — August 7, 2006 @ 7:07 am

  37. Good writing. Some tips if you don’t mind.

    Warm curls is good; it immediately conjurs up on image of putting your cheek against them and feeling them. Don’t spoil it with damp scalp, it’s hard to imagine warm and damp, especially with hair.

    Tip of the day over

    Billygean

    Comment by Billygean — August 7, 2006 @ 8:25 am

  38. London is indeed tiring even for a Londoner, but I do love it.

    Good luck with everything, Petite.

    Comment by siobhan — August 7, 2006 @ 9:49 am

  39. To Number 18 – The Bold Soul. I think the ‘sleeping bag’ Petite is referring to is an all in one bag that a child wears instead of, or in the winter months on top of, PJ’s. It has wide straps over the shoulders so that arms can stick out. I know they sell them in the States as I’ve seen them everywhere!
    As for London, returned to Cornwall from a few days there last week with teenage boy and American friend and am facing financial ruin. My God it’s expensive. Its extravagance was what sold it to my son though who walked in front of me down Sloane Street worshipping at the gates of Gucci, Versace, et al and almost cheering at the Maseratis, Ferraris and Aston Martins that sailed by. We looked such country bumkins where a brand new Espace draws gasps of envy..

    Comment by Welsh Cake — August 7, 2006 @ 10:30 am

  40. To Alice. Sorry for the repetition. Hadn’t read your ‘post’ thoroughly but at least Bold Soul now gets the idea!

    Comment by Welsh Cake — August 7, 2006 @ 10:37 am

  41. Wow, Petite, I have stumbled across your journal after reading about it in the Sydney Morning Herald. I have read the entire thing and I love it, you write so well, you have no reason to fear any opportunities that might come your way. You are talented and capable.
    I look forward to reading more. Oh, and I love the Tadpole and her realness!

    Comment by Super — August 7, 2006 @ 10:49 am

  42. You can certainly keep up the suspense! Reading between the lines (perhaps wrongly?) I sense that something major and positive is in the offing and can’t wait to hear about it but, in the meantime your post today was so touching and took me back to my own children’s infancy. Thanks Petite and all good wishes for whatever you life holds in store . . .

    Comment by Sablonneuse — August 7, 2006 @ 10:56 am

  43. Yes, London is expensive, can be tiring, and has the worst excuse for a public transportation system. But it is also infinitely more interesting than anywhere else in the country, has more going on than you can shake a stick at, and has a knack of making you feel alive and is a place that despite its faults you can’t help but fall in love with. I came to London to escape the banality of the type of small town I grew up in and don’t regret it one jot.

    But whoever believes that you need a salary of £350,000 to be ‘something’ is plainly talking out of his/her arse.

    Comment by David In London — August 7, 2006 @ 11:20 am

  44. David in London,

    try being less obsessed by rare & greedy salaries. Jack Yan, what has your business exactly got to do with P’s honesty about her life.

    P you’re starting to be bombarded and spammed by stat seekers and all kinds.

    :-( I hope they don’t stick around….!

    Comment by fjl — August 7, 2006 @ 11:44 am

  45. Why does it go against your better judgment to sleep in the same bed as Tadpole?

    My daughter is 21 months old and has only spent one whole night alone… we all just love sleeping in the same bed…

    Comment by Anna — August 7, 2006 @ 11:46 am

  46. To number 37. Good writing should be evocative. Reading Petite’s description brought to mind so clearly the feeling of kissing my children on the head every night that I could even sense the damp warmth in my nose from inhaling their scent. The smaller the child the more you can feel the dampness as the hair is finer and the lips have more contact with the scalp.

    Blinky

    Comment by Blinky — August 7, 2006 @ 11:52 am

  47. I’ve got damp curls as well… does anyone want to nuzzle up?
    Greetings from JP

    Comment by JP — August 7, 2006 @ 12:00 pm

  48. Fjl:

    Did you read my post? The line again:

    ‘But whoever believes that you need a salary of £350,000 to be ’something’ is plainly talking out of his/her arse.’

    I.e. I am saying that the person above me who said you need to earn £350k to be something in London is talking crap.

    The obsession with rare and greedy salaries is not my obsession.

    Ta.

    Comment by David In London — August 7, 2006 @ 12:43 pm

  49. hhmmm

    well it’s no concern of mine p. :-)

    Comment by fjl — August 7, 2006 @ 1:17 pm

  50. Probably because the guy on £350k is paying the taxes to keep you on subsidy “Dave in London”………….since he loses 41% and then has to pay for housing at £600k min, Schooling, Transport, Security…………..

    London is one of the world’s most costly cities with a very low standard of living for those who try to compete with The City for anything. The bonuses in The City are equivalent to 0.5% on average salaries across the nation

    Comment by Turnip — August 7, 2006 @ 1:49 pm

  51. THERE you go!! Love the post!

    Thanks for getting back to the everyday nuances of life in France (and otherwise)…it’s a refreshing return.

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

  52. I hope this means you’ve found a temporary escape with family. Especially now, time away should be good.

    London is London. It is vibrant and alive, dirty and clean, crowded and lonely. You can always find something to both love and hate in the city (as opposed to The City). There is no where better and many places worse, and by praising it you know I’m not a Londoner born and bread…

    Comment by TheBoy — August 7, 2006 @ 2:40 pm

  53. Bonjour Petite!

    I linked to your blog via the “dooced” press story and the highest compliment I can give you is that I spent the last few days riveted to your archived posts. In the process, I drove my lesser half mad by starting our dinner conversations with: “La Petite believes that…” and ” Tadpole said this…”

    I am having a hard time understanding why an attractive, intelligent, talented, clearly not frigid ;-) and (even before your latest windfall) self-sufficient woman be repeateadly rejected by the men in her life? Are they intimidated by you? Are you sending them some mixed vibes, whereas you are the one who is not ready to commit? Or is there an inherent flaw in your character (that you’ve hidden from us so well) which emerges in all your relationships?. I would love to hear Frog’s and Jim’s side of the story…

    Good luck with the book – I will certainly be one in the long line of fans to buy it!

    Isabella

    Comment by Isabella — August 7, 2006 @ 2:43 pm

  54. I love London; for all the noise, expense an inconvenience. It is the place I have called “home” most in my life.

    I rather enjoy the experience of unfamiliarity that I get when I have been away. I love rediscovering the city and trying to work out why it remains my favourite city in the world.

    But I do remember feeling like a stranger in my own country and realising that I would never belong there fully again.

    Comment by SimonInBrussels — August 7, 2006 @ 3:00 pm

  55. Petite, why do you always speak in parables? Do tells us what’s in the making!
    Kye

    Comment by Kye — August 7, 2006 @ 4:10 pm

  56. I must admit, being from New York, which I also thought of Sleeping bag as something else. Sounds more like a blanket sleeper, or ‘foot-ey’ pajamas. I just love this integral part of your writing, where I have to try to figure out what a certain item is, just based on your local slang. Love it :)
    Also, I must say that you can smell more than just shampoo when you smell your kids hair – You smell innocence, being carefree, pure love, and an unlimited future. You also smell you past and your innocence – sometimes a bitter sweet smell, but always most enjoyable.
    Petite, I love the tease writing you are playing with lately and am so anxious to read what comes next… You are a good writer, making everyone conjure images of what will be coming and what you are rally trying to say by reading between the lines….
    I love it all.
    Keep shining your love light :)

    Eric in Michigan

    Comment by Eric — August 7, 2006 @ 4:12 pm

  57. I live in Thailand, where english books and newspapers are readily available, but miss the cheek and wit of London.
    Have only visited Paris but never lived there, I am so pleased to have found your blog. Thank you, Petite, for teleporting us daily into such a magical and charming place. It’s a guilty addiction, pretending to busy at working while catching up with petite updates

    Comment by jo — August 7, 2006 @ 4:56 pm

  58. I haven’t got a clue what all this blogging is about; have hooked onto the site after reading the article in the Sunday Times recently, I look forward to being enlightened.

    I only read the article I must(sadly)admit after being caught by the photo accompanying the piece. So yes while possible shallow, I am now hooked to see what all the fuss is about.

    Comment by David — August 7, 2006 @ 4:57 pm

  59. Another first-time poster attracted first by the media furore (and a half-remembered guardian link), stayed for the sheer quality of the writing, yada yada..

    I’m in Kuala Lumpur now, but I sometimes miss London so much it hurts, for all its ills. I’ve a long-time love for Yorkshire too.

    terima kasih

    Comment by Outski — August 7, 2006 @ 6:49 pm

  60. I’m from the USA – needless to say when I visited London – I was beyond confused for a while trying to figure it all out. In Michigan, we don’t have “tubes”, the area just isn’t big enough to warrent such a thing.

    After I figured it all out though, I was in love – what a simple way to get around!

    Comment by Tarah Pessel — August 7, 2006 @ 6:58 pm

  61. I heard that Petite has turned down a kind offer to work with one of the great PR moguls in the industry, a top guy who goes by the name of Delauney.
    I’ve heard he’s good, very good. I think the kid has made a big mistake here.

    Comment by Ray — August 7, 2006 @ 7:08 pm

  62. What DELANEY?
    That [eff]ing parasite from Corrofin with the eyes darting around left right and centre as ever on the lookout for a feebee.
    Stay well clear of that codger Petite. I’ve heard it said he was unsuccessfully breast-fed as an infant and as a result exhibits a distinct inability to experience any form of self-satisfaction.
    I restrain myself from using the C-word.

    Comment by Trevor — August 7, 2006 @ 7:43 pm

  63. Oh, Tadpole sounds so cute, is that her real name or a sudoname?

    Comment by Mildred — August 7, 2006 @ 7:46 pm

  64. Mildred
    Read the archives…!!!

    Comment by Andy — August 7, 2006 @ 9:14 pm

  65. Is it just me, or are the little conversational paths the comments take almost as much fun as reading the blog?

    Not speaking French beyond “What time is it?” I used babelfish to discover the sweet thing your daughter said to you. So lovely.

    You’re a lucky lady.

    Comment by Nicole — August 7, 2006 @ 9:22 pm

  66. I sincerely hope Tadpole is NOT her real name Mildred :-P

    Comment by Lee — August 7, 2006 @ 9:46 pm

  67. I never thought that I wanted to be a mother. I too was given up by my own birth mother, and I never wanted to do that to child. I freely drifted throughout my twenties content that I was both unattached and able to do what I wanted without any second thoughts.

    Now in my early thirties, I look around at my home life and I see a dog and two cats, all of whom have been subjected to, in some form or another, my long repressed maternal instinct.

    I guess my point is that as a baby faced, natural blonde, I look at Tadpole posts and pictures and I ask myself if I had a daughter would she look a bit like her…and the thought both swells my heart and incites a bit of fear at the same time.

    Comment by Sam — August 7, 2006 @ 10:32 pm

  68. Trevor Dearest…could you explain a little to me…without the rough, hairy, rude words, as I’m a mite sensitive this fine evening….last nights curry and 22 year old malt, is returning with a vengeance…
    Regards JP

    Comment by JP — August 7, 2006 @ 10:39 pm

  69. Pseudonym, by the way Mildred. We just don’t say the puh bit..

    Comment by Welsh Cake — August 7, 2006 @ 10:59 pm

  70. Sweet … nothing like home, the brick & mortar along with immediate family. Lovely post!

    Smooch,
    The Tart
    ; )

    Comment by Cheap Tart — August 7, 2006 @ 11:30 pm

  71. Miss petite, I do hope you won’t take offence at what I am about to say; I speak only as someone who has worked in the publishing industry for the better part of the past 20 years, and who has only just discovered your weblog.

    On second thought, why bother? Enjoy your legions of adoring fans; I only hope that should you choose to become a “real” writer, you will realise that this mental onanism so faux self-effacingly on display here may be well-suited to the attention span and uncritical hunger for gossip of internet readers, but only a rare genius such as Roth can “get away with it” in print: a genius and intellectual acumen you clearly do not possesss as yet (though, take heart, you evidently do possess the mad desire of all writers for the approbation of strangers).

    But no matter. I’m supposing from your “style” that you are in your late teens or early twenties so you still have time to grow, and my fellow editors’ lamentable desire to cash in on the latest fleeting trend will undoubtedly help you rise through the ranks of “chick lit”.

    I wish you the very best of luck.

    Comment by martin — August 7, 2006 @ 11:47 pm

  72. Interesting point can be: you’re at ease where you choose to. There might be no place where you feel at ease, would it be where you grew up or where life did drove you. Petite chose, but the one element that may be disturbing is where will “baby girl” feel at home. Would it be london or paris, or anywhere, where will she say “this is my home”…
    Being grown “down under”, and now in Paris, I still at 35 don’t know where my home is. Maybe ‘cos I didn’t just dare betting that it was Where/With someone I’d really feel at ease…
    That one blog is very interesting in the way one can see all doubts about such melt of doubts. Exposed. I don’t know what may heel saying things so honestly; what’s the way betting on peoples for facing doubts, but it’s a actually a way like another. And that’s a hell of a choice. They say “tomorrow, sun rises”, and that’s what might keep you with it.

    Comment by Mardo — August 8, 2006 @ 1:12 am

  73. Lovely post. Please don’t feel guilty about slipping into bed with your child. Those days are over so quickly and they’re big, which has its own set of joy. My sons are 24, 21 and 18 and I don’t regret one snuggle. You have a lot going on. She knows it. It’s a comfort for both of you.

    Comment by Sophmom — August 8, 2006 @ 1:37 am

  74. I would love to be in the middle of the hustle and bustle of a big city right now. Instead I am down in sunny Florida, where the tide changes quicker then things get around to happening.

    Comment by collegegirl — August 8, 2006 @ 3:45 am

  75. I feel like that in the UK. Six years away now. You become an alien creature, even my accent sounds weird to brits. Yet away from England I am so fiercely british. odd, right? Hey, I want to buy an apartment in the south of france, how cool would that be? It’ll be like a shoebox, but I need property, and it would be so fucking cool!

    Comment by mimi — August 8, 2006 @ 4:57 am

  76. mmmmnnnn, I am not too sure about all this blogging. :o)

    Comment by simon — August 8, 2006 @ 7:34 am

  77. Journaliste à la Télévision Suisse Romande (www.nouvo.ch), je réalise actuellement un reportage sur les blogs des marques. C’est donc tout naturellement que je m’intéresse à votre mésaventure et à votre lutte pour faire reconnaître vos droits. Votre adresse e-mail ayant changé, je me permets d’entrer en contact avec vous par ce biais. En Suisse, une affaire du même type deffraie la chronique et je souhaiterais vraiment vous parler. Seriez-vous d’accord de me répondre? Emmanuelle

    Comment by Jaquet — August 8, 2006 @ 9:08 am

  78. Speaking as a Paris-based parent of a 3-year old, I think that I can clarify that the sleeping bag that Tadpole sleeps in is what the French call a “Gigotteuse”, which is basically a padded bag that you tie up over the child’s shoulders, leaving their arms free. I think that it is a French thing – at least, they don’t seem to be common in England, and are very useful when babies insist on kicking off the sheets in winter.

    I’m surpised Tadpole is still sleeping in one, though. I would have thought she is too old.

    Yes, Paris is lovely, and there is lots of cheese and it is easy and manageable when compared to London, particularly when you have children and benefit from the welfare state. But Paris is not cheap and property prices have been zooming up. Although flats are still cheaper than in London, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit, it has overtaken London in the cost of living index. And London is by far the more dynamic city – it is in a different league as far as employment opportunities are concerned. But this is degenerating into a Paris v London rant blog …

    Comment by James H — August 8, 2006 @ 9:36 am

  79. Aww.. you have such a sweet daughter. I hope everything works out for you.

    Comment by John — August 8, 2006 @ 11:17 am

  80. On the subject of London and role reversal, I have to admit that the capital terrifies me now and it is my children (now in their thirties) who lead me around.
    We all remember their childhood when I took them to see the sights or visit friends and laugh about the fact that they now have to look after me!

    P.S. Martin’s remarks are a bit harsh. ‘Serious’ literature is obviously of great value but there is still a place for ‘popular’ writers. His reference to Petite’s age was either a sad attempt at sarcasm or proof that he hasn’t read her blog properly.

    Comment by Sablonneuse — August 8, 2006 @ 11:58 am

  81. I guess I just don’t get the charm of you or your blog.

    A woman who abandons the father of her child for some (ephemeral) Internet guy…Disloyal enough to have stolen said father from a girlfriend in the first place…Some strange and deep affinity for a hateful nation and culture which offer little to the world other than self-righteousness and unhelpful attitude…who plays the ingenue and says “I never imagined this” when she obviously saw it was plausible enough to make an April Fool’s joke on the self-same topic…

    All signs point to your being the Paris Hilton of the blogosphere. I suppose the good news, at least, is that PH has turned her vapidity into a living of some sort. So, good on you, for being able to do the same.

    Comment by yank — August 8, 2006 @ 12:16 pm

  82. Petite
    How comforting it could be for you and little t. If after
    all the highs and lows,Mr frog could return to complete
    your family After all 8 years couldn,t all have been bad.

    Yorks England

    Comment by Ian — August 8, 2006 @ 1:25 pm

  83. Petite

    Reading yesterday I meant to say that cuddles, especially mummy-cuddles, are never against anybody’s better judgement.

    Comment by Damian — August 8, 2006 @ 2:22 pm

  84. Martin’s stern appraisal of your writing ability is all the more persuasive because, as one involved for such a long time in publishing, he must surely know what he is talking about. How much more weight would it carry if it did not contain a misplaced “only” and if he could always, and not merely sometimes, spell “possess” correctly? One could also quarrel with his use of the colon (in the grammatical sense). Is this not rather a poor show for someone with such confidence in his own credentials?

    Comment by james burgess — August 8, 2006 @ 2:24 pm

  85. Re: Martin’s comment

    I know that I’m a writing and publishing pipsqueak, with only 18 years to Martin’s 20, but my advice is that everybody – and especially you Petite – ignores Martin’s unnecessarily negative comment. He is disappointingly ignorant of the differences between media, and I would suggest that he works as an editor or production person rather than in the business end of publishing.

    I say this because you are a publisher’s dream:
    – you have an established readership that would be good for a few thousand sales from the get-go
    – you have an interesting angle, and have used that angle to parlay some favourable media coverage
    – you are attractive, well spoken and bi-lingual, creating easy access to both the French and English speaking markets (what a pitty you don’t speak German, because German’s read more than anyone)
    – your blog proves that you can write well, tell a story and are accustomed to the workmanlike process of writing regularly (you have a “writing habit”)
    – you already have an established body of work which could be edited and massaged into a publishable work, which is a better proposition than someone with a bit of media profile and nothing written down

    Martin’s discouraging words show that he does not understand the difference between a blog and other media such as a newspaper column, a biography or a novel. A blog is quite deliberately literary onanism – that is the nature of the media. A blog is simply an online diary and its readers are voyeurs. That is why you will notice differences between, say, Anna Piccard’s work in http://www.littleredboat.com and her writing in The Guardian. And it is why you will see differences between authors’ blogs and their books. Writing for news or literature is a highly disciplined process where every word is there for a reason. Blogs are not. Blogs are onanism. That is the point.

    And anyone who still thinks that Martin has a point should recognise that he might be criticising it, but he’s reading it first.

    (I also have a creeping suspicion that Martin is a literary snob. He seems to look distainfully upon chick lit. He probably loves books like David Lodge’s Author Author, or Sandor Marai’s Conversations in Bolzano – true onanistic classics. He wouldn’t be seen dead reading He Died with a Felafel in His Hand.)

    Comment by Damian — August 8, 2006 @ 2:42 pm

  86. In Martin’s defence, however, he would not have put an aphostrophised Germans as I did.

    Comment by Damian — August 8, 2006 @ 2:44 pm

  87. JP,
    All I can say is what I heard round at the local.
    They said, that word had it that he (Dalaney) was unsuccessfully breast-fed as an infant and as a result exhibits a distinct inability to experience any form of self-satisfaction whatsoever, be it in his personal or business dealings.

    Comment by Trevor — August 8, 2006 @ 3:02 pm

  88. And it can be seen in his demeanor.
    He’s got that suckling look about him.

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

  89. Please be don’t let comments like Martin’s give you any doubts about your plan to publish a book, if that is what you always wanted. As someone who also worked in the publishing industry when she was a twenty-something writer just out of college, I can tell you that the publishing industry is filled with “failed writers”, i.e. those who deep down want to be published themselves but have such deep rooted self hatred that they are unable to allow themselves to both “put themselves out there” unless they can also claim the title “genius” But genius can be very tiring to read and be around. What sells is heart. This is from someone who also makes her living in the film and video industry in New York. Carry on Petite!

    Comment by Sam — August 8, 2006 @ 3:11 pm

  90. Everyone is entitle to their opinion, even Martin… But, since writing is an art form, then there will always be some who have his attitude. I have to wonder if he thinks Monet has no talent because all of his paintings seem blurry…
    Damian hit the nail hard — right on the head…
    I cannot see you taking this type of rhetoric personally, just based on what you show us of yourself, but I wanted to add my 2 cents :)

    You just keep going – A lot of people will try to trip you up due to their own insecurities.
    Just keep an eye out for them and say, “What a Martin!”, almost obscenely.
    …and at the same time remember how much support you have from everyone else.

    But you know that already :)

    Eric in Michigan

    Comment by Eric — August 8, 2006 @ 4:39 pm

  91. You realise that I look upon you as my mentor…and that Petite has brought us together..
    Regards JP

    Comment by JP — August 8, 2006 @ 5:26 pm

  92. Martin’s comment read like that of a very disappointed man. He is right to be. The state of publishing is tragic. When one reflects how many bestsellers are written on the back of rejection slips; poor old J. K. Rowling never understood how bad she was until Little Brown got her £5000 for her children’s book. After all children can’t read, don’t read………such is the publishing wisdowm that invested £20 million in Jeffrey Archer and £5000 in Joanne Rowling.

    The great W. H, Smiths and Waterstones sell books like detergent; BOGOF – buy one-get one free, or Asda pulps 75 tonnes each week of books which have reached their “Sell By ” date.

    Publishing is such a super business but it seems to have nothing to do with books that people read. I especially like the way they let me do the proof-reading because they cannot spellcheck; and with the high cost of paperbacks printed on toilet paper there is little pride in production either.

    A tip, petite – be like Jeffrey Archer and insist on acid-free paper as in the US – so the pages don’t yellow as they do in England. Don’t be like John Grisham and turn out cookie-cutter novels based on a creative-writing course. He’s probably another loser as far as publishers go who have a great capacity for filling remainder bookshops with new books.

    Hint – with publishers putting out £25 hardbacks – wait 6 months for them to fill the book discounters or simply order from Amazon or Alibris and see how the pricing pretensions of publishers crumble.

    The Internet gives you a chance to express your thoughts and see if people like your style; paper-based publishing has its problems with Print-On-Demand Books which makes run-lengths irrelevant – and you could sell books to order on EBay or Amazon or even your own Website.

    The Publishers are under real threat from the Web and their placing power is limited to hyping up average talents into Tesco and Asda and trying to get Start The Week on Radio 4 to push yet another cookie-cutter book. England publishes more than most other countries, but it has an awful lot of dross – what publisher decided the Collected Thoughts of Wayne Rooney required 3 volumes ?!!!!! LOL

    Anyway Petite – decide for yourself – thank Martin for deciding that if you were a secretary you must be a teenager/twenties (shows he has not read your blog and what age group he prefers), and push ahead. There is always another Publisher, there is always another Day, and there is always another Door.

    The main thing is not to let the frustrated, the disappointed, the inadequate, the failed, and the downright miserable ruin your day – just send them a “Get Well” card when you reach your goal.

    Comment by Rick — August 8, 2006 @ 5:43 pm

  93. Me again… I really should be getting on with my own work, rather than reading this addictive blog of Petite’s… But, the best comment in this posting, is by far, Damian’s response to Martins criticism… to knock, whatever comes out of this ‘experiment’ of Petite’s… as ‘chick-lit’ is pure snobbery…as in music, so it is with literature, quality will rise, whatever the genre… and I’m sure that a great many people…. would prefer a quality onanistic time in Paris, rather than rustle through some dry and dusty, ‘ivory tower’……. Sorry Martin… Damian has a firm hold of the zeitgeist.
    Respect JP

    Comment by JP — August 8, 2006 @ 5:50 pm

  94. Dear Petite,

    I wanted to offer you some support, although with all the comments, I don’t think it’s lacking. The comments are “attestations” that you didn’t write anything wrong or detrimental and were discrete.

    I really admire your blog, your spirit and your humour. You even inspired me to start a blog.

    I believed you could get a book from your blog, before all of this happenned. Perhaps it’s now even more of an option, if you wish it.

    My heart goes out to you and my best wishes for the future,

    Go get ’em girl!

    Comment by anglaise qui fait gaffe — August 8, 2006 @ 7:11 pm

  95. What can it allmean I cant come to grips with some of it,what is a quality omanistic time when its at home?

    Comment by Mildred — August 8, 2006 @ 7:15 pm

  96. Oh Mildred, you are a darling…well, I hope you’re not Trevor in a dress…or even worse, Dan Dan…. you should do yourself a great favour, and order online – you are capable of gaining access to this wonderful blog – so you must also be capable, of navigating your way to Amazon, and ordering for yourself a decent dictionary…you will find it, to be a great boon, to you, in your utterly charming wrestle with the intricacies, of the many interesting and varied comments…. Regards JP
    P.S. Omanistic sounds like fun as well….

    Comment by JP — August 8, 2006 @ 8:55 pm

  97. I love this blog, there is nothing in the remotest bit pretentious about it. I simply thrive on tales of everyday life, it’s almost like going to the theatre and watching Alan Bennett’s “A Cream Cracker under the Settee” or Mike Read’s “Abigails Party”,you can keep your Shakespeare and Tolkien claptrap give me this any day.

    Comment by Cheryl — August 8, 2006 @ 9:57 pm

  98. How the hell can anyone be unsucessfully breastfed in the name of Christ. Surely your either breastfed or not, Trevor

    Comment by Keith — August 8, 2006 @ 11:30 pm

  99. I have a love/hate relationship with London. We live in Marlow (or “Marlow on Thames” as the battleship-haired old ladies that trundle around town would have it), and I have to somewhat regularly commute to client sites in the centre of London for work.

    As much as I love arriving in London, and walking the morning streets, I love leaving in the evening too, watching the green fields ratatat past on the train out of Paddington.

    Comment by Jonathan — August 9, 2006 @ 12:16 am

  100. Damian,
    You made me guffaw and spill tea down my tea shirt, surely not what the ‘t’ implied. I love this blog site, not only do I read Petite’s goings on but I get to read extraordinary ‘posts’ from total strangers, whose English on the whole is exemplary and who, in turn make me try harder. Bon nuit all, have had a shit day after my clutch went at 4pm and I eventually arrived home ten minutes ago. The AA and their cock sucking call centres have ruined my day, although the mechanics, once they arrived, were delightful.

    Comment by Welsh Cake — August 9, 2006 @ 12:39 am

  101. Have recently returned to Vancouver after 9 years in the UK.
    I find my homeland alien now as well, long for crowded tubes and familiarity… but I remember my first year in London feeling equally as alien.

    Comment by Lady Miss Marquise — August 9, 2006 @ 1:32 am

  102. Writing a book that tells a larger story is a big challenge for a blogger. Perhaps everyone has just one book inside them but the writer has actually to produce and sell it.

    Maybe some people who work in and around publishing have become just a bit cynical and lost touch with something that for this ordinary reader is self-evident: the human voice to be found within the narrative. Petite has found an authentic authorial voice and is read by people who will never know her but somehow feel they do already. That is quite a sufficient launch-pad for a writer’s career imo.

    Comment by Andrew — August 9, 2006 @ 2:50 am

  103. poxa fiquei incabulado com o seu blog , como e que pode ne , muito estranho , mas e isso eu nao entendi nada da sua materia e tabem vc nao entende nada do que eu estou escrevendo e dai quem liga para isso .

    um abraço TCHAU……

    tenha uma boa noite

    beijos………

    Comment by paulo henrique — August 9, 2006 @ 2:52 am

  104. Of course it’s Shakespeare!!! All the world’s a stage…….. except Petite gets to star in her own production, as she should.

    Comment by Gil — August 9, 2006 @ 3:36 am

  105. Today i have had a chance to look over your entire blog.(I have a cold, and am at home.) Each entry is addictive… making me read the next and so on…..

    Dam! its better than a book! I hope my boss will not catch me reading it.(although I could do with a change. ha.. oops! worse still perhaps he IS reading it..) Is this virtual world like being addicted to coffee or wine or cigarettes? geez! :-)

    Comment by simon — August 9, 2006 @ 7:32 am

  106. OMANISM / n. The act or function, of a group of sad men, that find solace in reading the blogs of attractive, blonde young women.

    Mildred dear, I thought I’d look it up for you, as I couldn’t bear the thought of you going out and buying a canoe, and then attempting to paddle your way up the Amazon.
    Best wishes JP

    Comment by JP — August 9, 2006 @ 8:49 am

  107. you can keep your Shakespeare and Tolkien claptrap give me this any day.

    Now that does not enhance Petite’s blog one iota, but it does reflect badly on Cheryl too. Sily remark

    Comment by Rick — August 9, 2006 @ 9:03 am

  108. Have been quiet of late (I don’t think you need yet more adoration….). Just thought Cheryl might like to know its Mike Leigh’s “Abigail’s Party” rather than Mike Read (although perhaps moving the whole thing to the setting of an East-End car lot would add a certain something – apologies to those unable to get this very british TV reference…!)

    Comment by Mungo — August 9, 2006 @ 10:12 am

  109. Thankyou all those people who said I hit the nail on the head. At the risk of destroying that goodwill, please don’t bash the publishers. They are the meat in a very difficult standwich.

    The book industry is controlled by the big retail chains who give a book three months to prove itself. If it continues to sell well after three months, it stays on the shelf. If it never sold well, all the copies go back to the publisher for a refund. Most books sell OK, so the retailers keep a few copies per store, and send the rest back to make room for the next three months’ worth. (That’s why girlwithaonetrackmind’s book is being so heavily promoted around London at the moment. She’s got 10 weeks left…)

    At this point, don’t bash the retailers. They know that a big consumer of books buys around five books per year, so they have to do everything they can to keep their window displays interesting and their stock exciting in the hope that you buy just one more book this year than last year.

    Given the variety of consumers, and the few books they buy each year, of course you see books that you scoff at. I like reading the News of The World for a laugh, and watching Big Brother, but that doesn’t stop me reading David Mitchell, or The Guardian, or watching Big Brother, or being political, or eating Fruit Cake, or wanting to mow my lawn, or enjoying cooking, or renovating my house. They are my individual choices and the publishers and retailers have to meet my needs or lose the sale. So please don’t be a snob about Jordan’s book, or something that Petite may come up with, or Hairy McLary from Donaldson’s Dairy – someone who reads that might graduate to reading something “better”. The next book they read might be yours.

    What I love about the blogsphere is that it is a perfect market for writing. There are few barriers to entry or exit for reader or writer, so the blog survives on its writing alone. Petite has proven herself here. She will be allright.

    Comment by Damian — August 9, 2006 @ 1:39 pm

  110. Nice entry as always Petite :) You really have a nice writing style !
    You describe so well this feeling of being disorientated, it reminded me in UK or Oz, getting bumped because I was walking on the wrong side of the footpath or in escalators ;) we’d thought it wasn’t so different… but in fact there’s hundreds of little things that leaves you a bit “confused”.
    No bad feelings to have about needing to lay on your daughter’s side and listen to her regular breathe..
    How come she already knows that sometimes the caring role will switch ? Is that such an intuitive thing?
    You’re blessed to have such a lovely Tadpole :)

    Thanks for this blog.. I love your way to look at our crazy way of living and culture with your british eyes! that’s priceless even if some old moron with overdevelopped ego don’t understand it.

    I’m sure you’ll be all right petite :) You’ll know how to bounce back and take advantages of new opportunities.

    Comment by Nath - a frog — August 9, 2006 @ 2:14 pm

  111. “a big consumer of books buys around five books per year”

    What a depressing thought – not just for book sales but also for reading. I must be weird then – I’ve bought 30 books so far this year and have read all but 3 of them.

    Comment by Hazy — August 9, 2006 @ 2:35 pm

  112. Hi petite,

    That is so funny. I once said the same thing to my mother! Seems it’s quite a common fantasy among toddlers, then?

    Comment by V: — August 9, 2006 @ 2:42 pm

  113. Damian,
    I too am sure that petite can have (much) success, but there is this stubborn question popping up in my head: can one earn one’s keep by writing books?

    Comment by alcessa — August 9, 2006 @ 3:00 pm

  114. JP,
    Perhaps Mildred should use her metaphoric canoe and wade through Amazon.co.uk for a Thesaurus. To be honest I’d forgotten what an onanism was and looked it up, there followed a somewhat peurile ‘ooh er missus’ on my part I hate to admit.

    Comment by Welsh Cake — August 9, 2006 @ 3:05 pm

  115. Damian – fair comment.

    Comment by Rick — August 9, 2006 @ 4:21 pm

  116. Damian this and Damian that

    Comment by Trevor — August 9, 2006 @ 9:22 pm

  117. Cher Petite, Eeh by gum! so you are back in your native Yorkshire. I’m speaking from Richmond and love your blog. Now you’ve suffered your “mise a pied conservatoire” debacle (I also 20 years ago and it was ‘orrible and then I had wife and two kids) why not try going solo and self-employment? It’s brilliant and no old school bosses! Would freelance TV journo suit? You’d look good sur la boite. I’m new to this – do you reply? I hope so. Tata for now. Pete.

    Comment by Doc Pete — August 9, 2006 @ 9:35 pm

  118. Ah, metaphor with a splash of puerile.. My kind of cocktail.. to be sipped upon slowly, whilst I nibble my Barra Brith… a flood of memories, sweet memories, that lead me back to sad and infrequent visits home… well, to what, was once upon a time, my home…in another life. That strange feeling of never… ever… being able, to settle once again… It has all passed me by.
    JP

    Comment by JP — August 9, 2006 @ 9:41 pm

  119. Yank:

    Go home.

    Comment by Claire — August 9, 2006 @ 10:01 pm

  120. jealous again

    Comment by LJ — August 9, 2006 @ 10:34 pm

  121. “I too am sure that petite can have (much) success, but there is this stubborn question popping up in my head: can one earn one’s keep by writing books?”

    I dunno. Hmmmmmm. Let’s ask JK Rowling if she can afford a loaf of bread and a cup of tea?

    Comment by beaune — August 9, 2006 @ 10:58 pm

  122. Yes she can because she is that one who wrote Harry Potter and I think she is rich now so money is probobally no object to her.

    Comment by Mildred — August 10, 2006 @ 12:27 am

  123. I’m glad Welsh Cake came up with the correct word. Oman is the Middle Eastern monarchy of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said and Muscat it’s capital. Onan is a biblical character from Genesis of which it is written: (38:10) And therefore the Lord slew him, because he did a detestable thing.
    It’s OK for women, presumably, because cannot spill their seed on the ground. Oh life’s a bundle of laughs with an Old Testament God.

    Comment by Andrew — August 10, 2006 @ 2:21 am

  124. Omanism (n.) – an expression of frustration used by a blog comment reader when wading through a very long comment trying to find the point and discovering the writer has lost it by writing too many words.

    Comment by miss tickle — August 10, 2006 @ 5:42 am

  125. Nota a Paulo Henrique: para de encher o saco do mundo com os teus comentarios vazios e nulos. Vai ver se estamos na esquina!!

    Comment by Magda — August 10, 2006 @ 10:27 am

  126. Hey JP. Don’t tell me you’re the JP without the R. Right hand man of Gareth Edwards? I make a mean bara brith…and as for my cawl, well..

    Comment by Welsh Cake — August 10, 2006 @ 11:38 am

  127. London is, apparently, the most expensive city in the world to live in although Londoners are the sixth best paid. Paris is the place to be if you enjoy your leisure since they put in the fewest number of hours at 1480/year compared with London’s 1782 – which is about the highest in the developed world. (UBS Price and Earnings Survey 2006).

    London has a large and vibrant society of young, single, industrious French (mostly female I would guess). They prefer it to Paris which they say is impossibly snotty toward out-of-towners like themselves and they don’t like being treated as second class citizens in their own country. London has no such hang-ups, treats everyone alike, offers them ready employment, a good social life, and a second language. So they tell me. (Oh, and it’s only a short train ride from Paris)

    Comment by Andrew — August 10, 2006 @ 12:35 pm

  128. Oh Mildred….bless!

    Comment by Mungo — August 10, 2006 @ 12:55 pm

  129. Dear Andrew.. at least Miss Tickle got the joke…. and as for Welsh Cake…well what can I say…”is there a welcome in the hillsides”???

    I’m really looking forward to Petite’s next posting, all the way from Yorkshire….
    Regards all…. JP

    Comment by JP — August 10, 2006 @ 12:57 pm

  130. Ahwell, not all audiences are as slow as me. I missed the (laughter) prompt.

    Comment by Andrew — August 10, 2006 @ 4:15 pm

  131. The laughter prompt that you missed, is alllll the way back, at comment 95. courtesy of the wonderful Mildred….there is no more profound a commentator than dear Mildred.
    Regards JP
    I wonder how Petite is getting on, up in Herriot country….well I hope.

    Comment by JP — August 10, 2006 @ 4:30 pm

  132. Welsh Gateaux. “Cock sucking call centres”. Jolly good idea. Do they do call out in the Ashby dela Zouch area?

    Comment by Lionel — August 10, 2006 @ 5:07 pm

  133. My hillsides are always welcoming! As for dear Mildred is she for real as I don’t want to be accused of bullying?

    Comment by Welsh Cake — August 10, 2006 @ 5:07 pm

  134. As much as I love Paris for the sights and culture, especially the art galleries I find London to be more laid back and user friendly. I find I am constantly looking over my shoulder in Paris, this may be to do with the fact that I have had my purse stolen in Paris on the last two occasions I visited, once on the metro and once at the Sacre Couer…of all places! I visited New York for the first time last month and was surprised how friendly everyone was and how relaxed the atmosphere was, rather like London I thought. I don’t know, maybe I was just unlucky in Paris.

    Comment by Susannah — August 10, 2006 @ 5:15 pm

  135. Dear Lionel,
    Well they might do the odd trick in A de la Z, but you’d have to wait an awfully long time. Hardly worth it surely!!

    Comment by Welsh Cake — August 10, 2006 @ 8:58 pm

  136. petite, I must say your blog provides for wonderful reading material, especially for those stuck in inane jobs.

    having said that, did I say “Stop writing?” Keep ’em coming!

    Comment by la vie en grec — August 10, 2006 @ 9:23 pm

  137. This seems to be getting more like a Chat page than comments on a Blog.

    Comment by Jim — August 10, 2006 @ 10:52 pm

  138. I am sorry, but I had to write a letter to [your ex-employer] about the dismissal. I cannot believe they did this to you, petite, for such a minor so-called infraction. They don’t understand how the whole world is laughing at them for being so petty.

    Things will get better, petite. It is only a job. One door closes, and another will open. With your talent, you will find another soon.
    Elle

    Comment by Elle — August 11, 2006 @ 12:26 am

  139. Re Comment 81. Yank. It really is a stupid thing to say. A judgement on the person without really knowing them, or the circumstances in which they live for real… is frankly shallow.

    Comment by simon — August 11, 2006 @ 1:50 am

  140. I will post, I will, probaby later today, but as I am on holiday with my mum and dad, recovering from the stress and excitement which has quite frankly worn me down more than I realised, I thought a few days quiet would do me good.

    And I think it has.

    Comment by petite — August 11, 2006 @ 10:27 am

  141. Dear petite,

    I assure you that everything is exactly as it should be, don’t worry it’s only a job. Hard while you are going through this but it will just be a memory shortly and you will wonder what all the nonsense was about. You are very lucky to have such a wise little girl to talk to. All children have an inate knowledge of past lives and her comment is not only true but so loving and kind– one day she will be a mummy and you will be a little girl again and the hugeness of that should put things into perspective. Just be and enjoy the time off, even if it wasn’t your choice – its still happening. Ambrose Bierce wrote that disobedience was the silver lining to the cloud of servitude
    Long may you continue.

    Comment by GD — August 11, 2006 @ 1:16 pm

  142. A restful holiday with your parents and gorgeous daughter is always a great idea after a period of extreme stress. You certainly deserve it!

    Comment by Gil — August 11, 2006 @ 1:23 pm


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