petite anglaise

August 18, 2006


Filed under: city of light — petiteanglaiseparis @ 11:14 am

I wait for the downpour to finish, craning my head out of Tadpole’s window to see if there is any forked lightening to accompany the ricochets of thunder. It’s a good job she’s not here with me. Last time we witnessed a storm she pressed anxious hands to her ears and begged me to make it go away, testing my omnipotence to the limits.

“Mummy, tell the clouds to stop bumping!”

I realise I should probably start reading up on a few things I have forgotten since GCSE science, now that we have entered “why?” territory.

There is no sign of a taxi at the junction, so I plunge down into the bowels of the métro instead. I am struck by how natural this feels, after my awkward experience in the London Underground. My hips instinctively know the height of the turnstile barrier and precisely how hard it must be nudged. My feet lead me to the optimum position on the platform, aligned with the exit I need when I get off. I feel the familiar bumps of the podotactile through the thin soles of my shoes.

With the KLF roaring in my earbuds, I sit back and close my eyes. I know how many stops there are before I reach my destination; I know the quartier (Bastille) better than the village where I grew up.

As the train pulls into the station, I raise the handle so that the double doors glide open while the carriage is still in motion, allowing me to alight, gracefully, at the precise moment it reaches a standstill. I walk along the platform, springing steps in time with the music in my head.

Sometimes, just sometimes, I feel like I own this city.

August 16, 2006


Filed under: city of light, miam — petiteanglaiseparis @ 10:52 pm

I glance down at my watch, startled to see it is already way past two. Time for a change of scenery; an hour or two outside my own head. I grab a book, at random, from the teetering tower by my bedside, find my purse, and, noting the ominous colour of the sky, arm myself with an umbrella.

The rue de Belleville is a wasteland of shuttered shops and extinguished lights. Welcome to Paris in August. A whole city to myself, with the exception of the most obvious tourist traps, but much of it closed for business.

I hesitate outside a shabby looking Thai joint with a seven euro lunch menu which I have never eaten at before, usually favouring the flashier Thai further down the hill, which pulls in the crowds on the strength of a favourable review in the ’98 Routard.

A little girl with sleek black pigtails, presumably the proprietor’s granddaughter, captures my attention. She darts among the empty tables with her older sister, shrieking in a language I do not understand. She must be Tadpole’s age, give or take a few months. Momentarily overcome by a rush of tenderness for my own absent daughter, I picture her sleeping on her belly, fingers curled into a fist in front of her face.

I choose a window table, amused to see I am seated directly opposite the famous trompe l’oeil advertising hoarding. A perfect reading spot.

Opening my book I plunge into the first short story and am slowly but surely reeled in, the sound of the girls playing receding as I become increasingly indifferent to my surroundings. When my food arrives, I am brought back to reality with a jolt, but luckily have the presence of mind to request cutlery, so I can keep one hand free to turn the pages as I bring forkfulls of beef and lemongrass salad to my lips.

An hour later I tip the owner and set off back home, resolving to eat out alone more often. With regular practice, maybe I’ll be able to master book in one hand, chopsticks in the other.

There’s something worthwhile to aspire to.

se mefier.jpg

August 14, 2006

today, I

Filed under: misc — petiteanglaiseparis @ 9:20 pm
  • Awoke to the sound of a microwave revving up only centimetres away from my head. Apparently my neighbour’s noisiest appliance is located just to the left of my pillow. Oh joy.
  • Put up wall lights in Tadpole’s bedroom before breakfast, so excited was I at the prospect of being free to use the drill, now that she was with Mr Frog and unable to wail “please mummy, stop that TERRIBLE noise!”
  • Was slightly disconcerted to note, when switching electricity back on, that bedroom lightswitch alternated between the two lights instead of switching them both on and off at the same time. Unscrewed lightbulbs. Started to worry that the electrics in the new flat are not all that.
  • Took delivery of an entire Ikea kitchen (courtesy of grandma anglaise). No idea when it will be fitted, so will be spending the foreseeable future surrounded by cardboard boxes.
  • Spent half an hour queuing in the post office to collect my MODEM and then raced home to connect myself to the INTERNET for a long awaited fix, and to fill in my somewhat overdue ASSEDIC monthly report.
  • Met Belle Maman for the first time since Mr Frog and I broke up. Watched as Tadpole proudly showed off her new room; hovered nervously in the background and filled any silences with inane DIY talk.
  • Cried as Tadpole’s footsteps receded in the stairwell. I will not see her for THREE whole weeks and my tiny apartment no longer feels like home without her.
  • Received an email from a lady enquiring whether I would like to be a guest on Richard and Judy. Said lady announced, at 7.30pm, that it is happening tomorrow! Hastily booked Eurostar tickets and started to fret about what to wear.
  • Realised ALL my clothes were in the dirty washing basket, inside the wardrobe, against the door of which were stacked 43 Ikea boxes.
  • Poured a medicinal gin and tonic.

I am left feeling that although some things have changed, radically, I never will.


August 11, 2006

just who is raymond delauney?

Filed under: misc — petiteanglaiseparis @ 4:33 pm

I have been racking my brains, trying to figure out just who is sending me spoof emails pretending to be a two bit agent called Raymond Delauney… I accused JonnyB, then Trevor, but no-one is owning up…

The latest instalment arrived this morning:

11 August 2006 11:42
Re: Possible deal
To: Petite Anglaise

Hey Kid,

Apologies – I’ve been very busy on the other projects and accordingly had to but your bunsen on the back burner for now.

On a side issue I have sent a couple of scripts over to a few producer friends – I’ve not had any initial feedback yet which is a good sign as we’ve not been rejected out of hand. I suspect they may contact me with an offer on the gay sailor film (Bowled Over in Basra).

I’ve mentioned you’d likely to be on board once I’ve finalised a few figures.

How old are you? Might be able to help you out with an advertising deal.

I got a couple of marketing contacts who are keen to push pentapeptides. It’s some bullshit cream that makes the skin look younger. Undoubtedly a bag of crap but the guys at oil of Ulay did okay out of something similar… What do you reckon a ulay is, anyway?

They’ve slapped a scientific name on it with a fancy price and expect it to shift off the shelves – bought by gullible broads (that’s all of them, then). Someone told me I was gullible once – and I believed him!

I might be able to cut a sponsorship deal. How many hits does your site get?

In that blog of yours you say something along the lines of:

“Woke up today, feeling groggy after an interminable night of tossing and turning, my satin nighty chafing my thighs etc

I tried some pentapeptides last night (from Boots at £12.99) and I was amazed at how much younger my skin looks…”

Have a think on it.


I am perplexed.

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