petite anglaise

September 4, 2007


Filed under: misc — petiteanglaiseparis @ 11:14 am

The boy and I nearly didn’t make it to the Cyclades at all.

The night before we were due to leave, I was wrenched out of a deep sleep by the sound of my mobile phone vibrating loudly against the dining table in the next room. The Boy shifted, muttered something inaudible, then resumed his gentle snoring. I was in two minds about whether to bother hauling myself out of bed. The odds on Mr Frog calling with some sort of Tadpole emergency in the middle of the night were very slim, I reasoned. It was, most likely, a wrong number. I would check in the morning…

Five minutes later, resigned to the fact that sleep would only elude me if I didn’t solve the mystery of the nocturnal phone call, I blundered through into the kitchen without my glasses, swearing as I stubbed my toe on the door frame.

Flipping open the phone, holding the screen the requisite five centimetres from the tip of my nose, I read “Missed call: G7.”

“Merde MERDE MERDE!” I yelped. “The taxi company… Oh Jesus, it’s 6.52! We were supposed to be downstairs five minutes ago! WHY THE HELL DIDN’T THE ALARM GO OFF?”

Sitting in a(nother) taxi fifteen minutes later, unwashed, dishevelled, heart still racing, I gave the Boy (he who had been entrusted with the task of setting the alarm) a sidelong glance, and wondered whether this stressful start augured ill for the rest of our holiday.


  1. You yelled Merde? I’m impressed! People supposedly resort to their first language when under stress.

    For YEARS and YEARS and YEARS Mrs Badger and I had a grumpy start to the holidays with “you always do this” recriminations over my tardiness, last minute backups, searches for cameras etc. when she had been packed for weeks.

    Finally, I said “Look, this is how I am. I am not going to change. You’d be better off just going and having a cup of coffee and reading and leaving me to it.”

    Or finally she listened? She decided to do this next time. And, quelle surprise, it made all the difference in the world. Not having someone breathing down my next as I “packed” (an activity that reveals essential gender differences!) I did it in half the usual time. I was also inspired by obvious saintliness of my spouse. We were still late setting off but not late enough for it to matter AND we were ON SPEAKING TERMS!!

    If only we could have managed that from year 1…!

    Comment by Eats Wombats — September 4, 2007 @ 11:31 am

  2. The suspense is killing me! Please tell us how the holiday was…soon!

    Comment by Hannah — September 4, 2007 @ 11:40 am

  3. Welcome back oh maîtresse de la suspens !

    Comment by Amanda — September 4, 2007 @ 11:40 am

  4. “nearly didn’t make it”…
    The answer is in the “nearly”!!

    You have your audience listening…!

    Comment by Olga — September 4, 2007 @ 11:55 am

  5. You are English living in France and you say Merde, I’m French living in UK and I say Shit… it looks like swearing in another language sounds better ;-)

    Comment by Vonric — September 4, 2007 @ 12:11 pm

  6. Yaha! That s what I call a powerful start! Can t wait no longer!

    Comment by Mr Jo — September 4, 2007 @ 12:11 pm

  7. You yelped? – ummmmmm – oh, I’d forgotten the eye bit

    Comment by Daddy P — September 4, 2007 @ 12:28 pm

  8. It is a morbid fear of missing a plane or a train that generally keeps me from sleeping well at all the night before a trip. I keep waking up throughout the night to check “Did I set the effing alarm? I did? Good.” Then back to sleep, only to wake up an hour later and do it all over again. And again. I’m not a morning person in the first place, and having left corporate 9-5 life behind me now, I generally don’t set an alarm clock but wake up when I wake up. So I’m more neurotic than ever about the alarm clock.

    Fortunately the one I brought with me on vacation worked the whole time, and the only time I missed a train was because the Italian railroad people decided to change platforms without making any sort of announcement about it.

    Comment by The Bold Soul — September 4, 2007 @ 12:33 pm

  9. Oh you DO enjoy stringing us along…

    Comment by Le Meg — September 4, 2007 @ 12:51 pm

  10. Soooooo, how did the vacation go???? I went to the Cyclades with the Frenchman, before the Bambina was born. Did you go to Santorini? It was my fave.

    Comment by Caroline in Rome — September 4, 2007 @ 1:05 pm

  11. Bonjour !

    Je découvre ce blog. Il est magiquement beau.

    Félicitations !

    Bienvenue chez moi :

    Comment by ALLAIN JULES COM — September 4, 2007 @ 1:19 pm

  12. Glad you’re back !
    Totally out of the subject, I spent a few days at my parents’ place (near Jourdain station), and my mum told me that she was fond of the pasteis de nata too. As she cannot go every week to Lisboa, she buys them at the market located in “Place des Fêtes” : on the “rue de Crimée” side, there is a seller with plenty of Portuguese specialities, including really good pasteis de nata.
    And good luck for Tadpole being back to school…

    Comment by Walkyrie — September 4, 2007 @ 1:34 pm

  13. If you want anything doing…Do it yourself! Can’t rely on anyone these days can you!

    You just can’t beat the rush of adrenaline that comes from a bout of sudden realisation.

    Hope you had a good holiday anyway, and welcome back to the real world! ;-)

    Comment by Steve... — September 4, 2007 @ 1:46 pm

  14. Glad you’re back P’tite–I’ve missed you. As for cursing in another tongue–it’s all the more satisfying for some strange reason I’ve yet to fathom. And why is it the first words one learns in another language are usually curse words? Hmmm–something perverse in the human genome perhaps? Or something engagingly enlightening? Anyway…

    Cheers from Seattle

    Comment by Beau — September 4, 2007 @ 4:31 pm

  15. I wake up every hour on the hour if I have to catch an early flight…no wonder my career as an air stewardess was short lived…

    Comment by sylvied — September 4, 2007 @ 4:43 pm

  16. Oh God, how I hate moments like that…waiting to hear the rest of the story.

    Comment by stljoie — September 4, 2007 @ 5:21 pm

  17. Sounds like the beginning of what promises to be a grand adventure… as life can be when these mishaps happen.

    Comment by blueseaurchin — September 4, 2007 @ 7:04 pm

  18. he is a loser. you’re surprised?

    Comment by anon — September 4, 2007 @ 7:06 pm

  19. Swearing in French and Italian never seems like swearing to me. I know what the words and expressions mean and how bad they are relative to each other, but they remain just that: words and expressions. They lack the punch and shock value that the English terms have — or rather had before two year-olds started saying “shit” when they dropped teddy out of their prams. (Okay I exaggerate — but not by much.)

    Comment by Passante — September 4, 2007 @ 8:19 pm

  20. Nice to have you back. At least G7 phoned you. You will tell us eventually whether you had a good time, won’t you?

    Comment by Pierre L — September 4, 2007 @ 8:59 pm

  21. Look. He’s just a Boy, right? It’s down to you to take responsibility. You’re his Mommy.

    Bad Mommy!


    Comment by andrew — September 5, 2007 @ 2:14 am

  22. Heeeello mummy.

    Comment by AussieGil — September 5, 2007 @ 3:50 am

  23. I woke up an hour before my alarm was set for my last trip and was afraid to try to go back to sleep. And I was sleeping alone dammit.

    Comment by ~Tim — September 5, 2007 @ 6:07 am

  24. Oh! boy.

    Comment by Choubine — September 5, 2007 @ 7:32 am

  25. I feel your pain. I did that once with a flight to London – except we were taking the train, so no phone call! We arrived at the airport 15 minutes before the flight took off and made it. Thanks to internet check-in, I guess.

    Comment by BlondebutBright — September 5, 2007 @ 10:08 am

  26. At least they called! I’m surprised that they called, actually…it seems so, well, efficient. Maybe I’m just saying that because I’m jaded, who knows…

    In Germany, I actually missed my flight and it wasn’t a pretty sight. I cried so hard (I really, really wanted to see NYC again) that the flight attendant had a change of heart and put me on a then-departing flight.

    After the past two months I’d welcome those days again in Germany…

    Comment by Mlle Smith in France — September 5, 2007 @ 11:03 am

  27. He’s hopeless this dude.

    Comment by Boris J — September 5, 2007 @ 4:04 pm

  28. On the swearing in French front, I do the same sometimes! This evening I was in a cafe, and I left without my shopping bags. Halfway home (not too far away, thankfully), it dawned on me that I’d left my bags behind and shouted “putain!!” I got a nasty look from some old lady

    Comment by Helen — September 5, 2007 @ 8:03 pm

  29. Hope he made up for his lapse while you were away.

    Comment by sablonneuse — September 5, 2007 @ 9:40 pm

  30. Had we but world enough, and time,
    This coyness lady would be no crime…..

    Always wanted to use those lines, the perfect description of a ‘tease’, and you are teasing for…. (well, England does not seem to be quite the right location) Paris / La Manche / wherever. Anyway, time to ‘fess up, or is it perhaps too soon to post mortem this holiday?

    Comment by Tom — September 6, 2007 @ 12:33 pm

  31. So what’s the story Petite, you and the boy history already?

    Comment by Barbarella — September 7, 2007 @ 12:12 am

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