petite anglaise

May 22, 2007

French masterclass

Filed under: Uncategorized — petiteanglaiseparis @ 3:43 pm

If you have been following this blog for a while, you will be aware of the fact that I am rather irrationally fond of very scientific-sounding French words used to denote common things.

My love of the word podotactile, which can be translated into English with the slightly less elegant “strip along the side of a métro platform that has bumps on that you can feel if you are wearing thin-soled shoes” has already been widely documented.

Peeling the transparent film off a microwave dinner the other day (and yes, I know it’s bad, but believe me, that was one of my better moments, nutritionally, in recent weeks) I was overjoyed to notice that said transparent cover is called an l’opercule, a term which comes from Latin and is also used in neuroscience and botany. Imagine, if you will, that the instructions on your microwave meal asked you to “pull back the operculus”. Would you have any appetite left?

But my favourite new phrase by far is the one used to designate the place where water must be poured into my new steam iron (after old iron was accidentally melted in a freak hob-top incident at the weekend when I tried to cook pasta with a hangover). I give you: l’orifice de remplissage.

I’m looking at it warily right now and I just don’t know if I can.

May 21, 2007

faces of petite: part one

Filed under: Tadpole rearing — petiteanglaiseparis @ 6:36 pm

“Look mummy,” says Tadpole. “I did draw a picture!”

I study the picture dutifully. “Is it a witch?” I say. “Like Meg from Meg and Mog?”

Tadpole shakes her head. “No. It is mummy when she is very fâchée. With cross arms like this.” She demonstrates by putting her hands on her hips.

I try not to show how horrified I am to see myself in this new and disturbing light.

Next week: mummy with a terminal hangover. Which is worse than this.

May 18, 2007

save a prayer

Filed under: good time girl — petiteanglaiseparis @ 5:37 pm

I have two simultaneous conversations on gmail chat (also known as a three-way) with my two favouritest and best gay friends. The only background information you need to know is that we had lunch at the Trésor prior to one of my recent dates.

zemickelino to me:   rhino and I said a little prayer for you at Notre Dame des Médailles Miraculeuses after we left you yesterday

me to zemickelino:   wha?!?!

me to rhino:   you *didn’t* really say a prayer for my punani in church yesterday? I’m sure Mickelino is winding me up…

rhino to me:   of course we did! It was the Church of Miracles. bit spooky actually

me to rhino:   you are officially on pre-date praying duty from now on ;-)

zemickelino to me:   did he have nice fesses?

What would I do without these guys?

May 16, 2007

pulse of hope

Filed under: mills & boon — petiteanglaiseparis @ 11:38 am

In the unexpected letter the person formerly known as “Lover” sent me a couple of weeks ago, one phrase stood out, and I noted it on a green post-it and tacked it onto the wall of my “office” along with all the other incomprehensible scribblings I’ve been collecting. “A pulse of hope.” I liked his turn of phrase: it was one of the first things which drew me to him when we met, two years ago.

What Lover was hoping for will never come to pass, but this week his words lingered in my head and took on a new resonance, albeit in relation to someone else.

For the first time in months I spent a few days in the throes of the most deliciously terrifying jittery tingly melty dizzy hopefulness. I’m at a loss to describe what it was about my new friend that caused me to close my eyes in public places and try to conjure up a mental image of his face. To stop dead in my tracks and smile or blush at the memory of something he’d said. To put my index finger to my lips, which felt different somehow. The feeling came out of nowhere. Knocked me off kilter.

Hanging onto his back as his scooter tore along rue Piat, I inhaled the scent of his skin, his clothes. I sipped a Kir in Lou Pascalou, too busy looking at the laughter lines around his dark eyes, his thick eyelashes, the sprinkling of grey in his dark hair, to actually concentrate on what he was saying. Little things got to me: the way he parted my hair with his fingers when I tried to hide behind it. The way he laughed and accused me of playing the damsel in distress when I fumbled with the strap of my motorcycle helmet and mutely gestured to him to help me out.

At the end of every date I craved more. I knew – the way you just do sometimes – that I could fall for this man. Fall hard. And the knowledge left me in a constant and utterly incapacitating state of joyful-fearful panic. Was I reading the situation the way I should? Was I setting myself up for a resounding disappointment? I marvelled at my own ability to let myself be side-swiped all over again. To shrug off the cynicism I’ve been cowering behind for months on end.

To pulse with hope.

And then came the “you’re very special, and I love spending time with you, but I don’t think I have the ability to fall in love, and I’m horribly afraid of hurting you” speech. Which doesn’t sound any better in French, believe me.

Last night I lay wide awake by his side, biting my lip, listening to him talking in his sleep, wearing the t-shirt he’d so thoughtfully provided (and trying not to feel disappointed that I’d worn silk underwear for nothing). I felt the pulse of hope fading, fading, fading; I tasted metallic blood on my lips; I smarted with regret and disappointment.

And yet still I persist in believing I’d rather live through occasional periods of deliciously terrifying jittery tingly melty dizzy hopefulness than settle for less.

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