petite anglaise

July 26, 2007


Filed under: misc — petiteanglaiseparis @ 11:05 am

When I meet someone special, someone I can conceive of being with not just next month, but far, far beyond, the initial euphoria invariably begins to mingle with a morbid fear of capsizing the boat. “Please don’t let me fuck this up” becomes my mantra.

It’s a vicious, vicious circle, because this terror breeds a pathetic neediness. And neediness is the biggest turn off; the thing most likely to send any man/boy running at top speed in the opposite direction. So mostly I try to conceal it, to shrug it off, to pretend that it’s not there. As one of my commenters once said, “you have to hide your crazy”.

But when he shows up, exhausted, and looks straight through me, oblivious to the efforts I’ve made (new underwear, freshly washed hair, discreet make up), throws himself down on the couch and closes his eyes, something inside me withers. “You’ve been spending so much time together lately that look, he’s taking you for granted already,” the demon on my left shoulder hisses into my ear. “He’d rather you weren’t there at all,” he adds for good measure. “You might as well just go home…” My lower lip begins to wobble. I hate myself for being so weak and contemptible.

I have had a stressful day, I tell myself. A procedure at the doctor’s. Some family friction which has been preying on my mind for weeks. A final deadline on my manuscript. So of course, there are other, legitimate reasons why I can, almost should be feeling wobbly right now.

I leave the room, fetch myself a glass of water, stare blankly out of the kitchen window into the night, willing myself to relax, pleading with the demon to leave me in peace. I don’t want to cause some sort of ridiculous, pointless scene. I don’t want to be a neurotic, over-sensitive, nightmare bitch from hell. Please don’t let me fuck this up.

“Honey,” he calls from the sofa, “okay if I play a game on the computer for half an hour?”

Something inside me snaps.

July 21, 2007

pasteis de nata

Filed under: on the road — petiteanglaiseparis @ 12:10 am

Whenever my mother visits a church/cathedral in another city, she invariably makes the requisite “ooh” and “ahh” noises, then delivers her considered verdict.

“Well, it’s very nice,” she says, “but it’s not a patch on York Minster, is it?”

I swear, you could take her all the way to St Peter’s in the Vatican City, and she wouldn’t budge an inch. Her mind is made up.

Similarly, until last Tuesday, I never thought I’d cross paths with a cake that I could love as much as a good old egg custard tart. Preferably one baked by my grandma.

Until, that is, Lucy introduced me to pasteis de nata, and not just any pasteis de nata, but (arguably) the very best in all of Portugal, made in Belem (which in keeping with the golden rule that every word in Portuguese looks like it should be simple to pronounce, but actually sounds utterly outlandish, is pronounced something like Ber-laing. Or maybe Bell-end, I forget which). And made me sprinkle some cinnamon, from the shaker so thoughtfully placed on the table, on top of it.

Oh dear god. Cue near-orgasm in cake shop.

Suddenly it became abundantly clear why said cake shop has seating for approximately two hundred people.

But as I’m no good at describing food, I won’t tell you how these little beauties taste, you’ll just have to make the pilgrimage yourselves. Suffice to say that I ordered a second one, much to Lucy’s amusement. And what she doesn’t know, is that I went back the next day (under the feeble pretext that I needed to visit the monastery next door) and had another TWO.


Look no further for the reason I will be visiting Portugal again, in the not too distant future.

When I wasn’t eating ambrosia, I was doing one of three other things: riding trams along winding, hilly streets (similar to rollercoasters, not to be missed), eating huge stodgy fishy meals, or climbing up a few hundred steps to the top of churches/castle to take pictures of the rooftops of Lisbon.

It’s been a lovely five days, and I shall most definitely be back.

July 19, 2007


Filed under: mills & boon — petiteanglaiseparis @ 8:39 pm

13:19 Anna: Why aren’t you by the pool?!
me: I have been, but it is midday and too hot,
about to go out for lunch
(otherwise I will end up looking like a lobster)
Anna: ok
go and eat lobster
me: I am writing an email to my boy
is that ok?
and incidentally, he cooked me lobster the other night. Blue lobster.
Anna: No.
me: Oh?
13:22 Anna: it is first flush of love ish and makes me sickeningly jealous
13:23 though it is sweet
13:26 I admit
me: Gah.
I talk about him irritatingly too much, don’t I?
I think I may have done it to Lucy too, yesterday…

Being away on my own is excruciating at times. But excruciating in a good way: a delicious form of torture. I miss him, but missing him makes me feel stupidly, smile-to-myself-in-the-street happy.

Because I know he feels the same way. And that is proof of, well, something.

July 17, 2007


Filed under: misc — petiteanglaiseparis @ 10:53 am

I let my third blog birthday slip by uncelebrated on July 7th (well actually I celebrated, but enough about that already), but I see that right about now it is a full calendar year since my world went utterly stark raving mad.

Starting, if I remember correctly, with a phone call from Radio Five Live while I was in the middle of signing up for unemployment benefit at an ASSEDIC office near Père Lachaise, the day Colin published his scoop in the Daily Telegraph.

Colin, my friend and mentor throughout, has written a post about it all here. What a difference a year can make, indeed.

In a couple of weeks’ time I should know for sure whether the legal battle is over, or whether I’ll be limbering up for round two sometime next year. As for the press madness, I suspect I should brace myself for a not very low profile 2008.

But in the meantime, I can be found lounging by the pool enjoying what anonymity I have left, in style. And that sure beats typing dictations and formatting accounts, I can tell you…

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