petite anglaise

October 29, 2007

channel hopping

Filed under: good time girl, on the road — petiteanglaiseparis @ 12:55 pm

T’as pas deux euros à me prêter pour acheter un paquet de clopes?” the Boy enquires as we draw near to a tabac. “Sinon je vais aller retirer en face…

“I was wondering when you were finally going to admit that you’re only with me because you want to get your hands on my money,” I retort with a sly grin.

We joke about it sometimes, but, in truth, whatever I have in the bank is just numbers on a sheet of paper. Numbers that won’t mean much to me until they add up – net of the eye watering amounts of tax and social security I pay with a year’s time lag – to a place to live that means my room no longer has to serve the purposes of bedroom, dining room and living room rolled into one.

In the meantime, my lifestyle has changed little. I’d rather go for beers at the Café Chéri(e) than buy a bottle of champagne at Le Baron or Le Paris Paris (I’ve yet to set foot in either). Most evenings I can be found cooking up a storm in my kitchen or waiting for the Boy to grab some takeaway on his way home from work, rather than eating out in some über-chic restaurant. I treat myself occasionally – clothes, silk underwear, a handbag, a holiday – but we’re not talking Gucci or Dior or a five star beach cabin in the Seychelles. I’m more of an Et Vous or APC kind of girl, and I doubt I’ll ever kick my Top Shop habit. Admittedly it’s really nice not to have to worry when an unexpectedly large phone bill arrives or to have to think twice about taking Tadpole to Yorkshire when there are no cheap tickets left. But, aside from that, little has changed, and I doubt it ever will.

Regardless of our wildly differing salary levels the Boy and I always go Dutch. That is, when he doesn’t insist on paying. If I try to so much as buy a round of drinks he is likely to tell me – mock sternly – to put my wallet down and step away from the till. As a result, he’s not the easiest person in the world to treat, and as his thirtieth birthday loomed, I found myself in something of a quandary. He’d surprised me with a gorgeous antique ring on my birthday, back in September, and it never leaves my finger. I was determined to do something special for him – after all thirty is an important landmark – but I knew he’d feel uncomfortable if I bought him something wildly extravagant.

In the end I resolved to whisk him away for a long weekend, instead. And slipped a pair of lace-topped hold-up stockings into my weekend bag, for good measure.

I’m happy to report that the weekend was a resounding success.


  1. Time shared can be the best present ever. :-)

    Comment by Anna — October 29, 2007 @ 1:13 pm

  2. I’m so glad you went to the Zetter! Isn’t it just amazing? That was a big treat, when my sister and I went…. And my verdict? APC / Et Vous vs. Gucci/Dior.
    The former is so much cooler.

    Comment by Coquette — October 29, 2007 @ 1:24 pm

  3. You are so chic.

    Comment by Parkin Pig — October 29, 2007 @ 2:43 pm

  4. Money is strange. But I don’t think that one could be *happier* because one didn’t shop in Topshop any more, do you? I even buy my Topshop clothes on Ebay, but I am *very* stingy indeed sometimes! And besides, when you can buy a brand new set of Myla lingerie on Ebay for £40 (baby blue, gold and cream lace camisole and knickers *dies*), who needs real shops?

    Comment by Sarah in Marrakech (but soon Paris!) — October 29, 2007 @ 2:46 pm

  5. So great that you can do all of those things now, and so inspiring, the way things all just turned in your favor, suddenly. And I just love TopShop, but the pound/euro/dollar difference is impeding my habit.

    And Gucci/Dior?…unless we’re talking about their handbags (Gucci does have a great collection) Gucci/Dior tend to equal “vulgar”.

    Like, Roberto Cavalli-ish vulgar. Ew.

    Comment by Eclat in Paris — October 29, 2007 @ 2:51 pm

  6. Money is useful, but it’s not important. Though the lack of it can be.

    Comment by Z — October 29, 2007 @ 3:54 pm

  7. Oh my God – I used to work just down the street from there, and it was one of our favourite places to go and meet clients. I hadn’t checked out the rooms until now – good choice. (And only 40 minutes walk from Our Albion – if only I’d known you were here, you and the boy could have popped over to help with the painting and gardening this weekend!)

    Glad it was successful.

    Comment by Damian — October 29, 2007 @ 5:07 pm

  8. Memories are priceless!

    Comment by Matthew Maddox — October 29, 2007 @ 5:08 pm

  9. Sometimes your blog reads not unlike softcore porn.

    Comment by fester — October 29, 2007 @ 6:18 pm

  10. Why bother with the stockings? Isn’t that a little extravagant?

    I’d suggest get a pair of old tights, detach the legs from the gussett (great word) cut up an old doily and fix to the top of thigh with an almost perished elastic band. Guaranteed quick release and I’m sure he would have appreciated the effort just as much. It’s always nicer to receive something homemade!

    Keeps the cost down as well in case of snagging.

    Comment by Jester — October 29, 2007 @ 7:49 pm

  11. Re 9. Sadly my blog no longer reads like softcore porn. Note to self: must re-establish lovelife! ;-)

    Glad you enjoyed your weekend, Petite!

    Comment by Confuddled — October 29, 2007 @ 7:50 pm

  12. stockings = softcore porn? Really? I mean, really?

    Comment by petite — October 29, 2007 @ 9:12 pm

  13. Belated birthday greetings to the lucky Boy – er Man now he’s turned 30?

    Comment by sablonneuse — October 29, 2007 @ 9:24 pm

  14. A hotel on the way to Angel, Islington, eh?

    That’s still some way short of Park Lane and Mayfair. So we don’t need to worry about you going all posh on us, just yet …

    Comment by Roads — October 29, 2007 @ 9:31 pm

  15. What happened to Trevor? I miss him :))

    Comment by Fidèle — October 29, 2007 @ 9:37 pm

  16. SOoo glad for you. Perhaps you may like to know that I have pre-ordered your English edition!

    Comment by Irene — October 30, 2007 @ 12:44 pm

  17. I ditto that on the softcore porn, petite… Fester must not get out much.

    But well done on the idea to take the Boy away for a weekend. Sounds like the perfect solution and everyone came away a winner (stockings and all!) Happy Belated 30th to him, too.

    Comment by The Bold Soul — October 30, 2007 @ 1:11 pm

  18. What are “clopes”?

    Comment by Winchester whisperer — October 30, 2007 @ 1:26 pm

  19. More information required… did you go on the Eurostar? where did you eat (did you eat?) clubbing? shops?…

    Comment by Wendg — October 30, 2007 @ 1:51 pm

  20. You know, I absolutely love lace-topped stockings, and I’m not embarrassed to admit that I wear them on a pretty regular basis — but for many different reasons! Not only do they make a woman feel sexy, I just find them more comfortable than tights. But that’s just me. Softcore porn my ass… Um, sorry, just had to say that! It is really nice to save them for special occasions, though.

    I need to check out APC a bit more often — don’t they have a shop in the 14th that carries last season’s collection for less? I could have sworn I read that somewhere…

    Money — heck, I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I probably won’t ever have a lot of it, but I’m okay with that. The older I get, the more I feel I can be happy with less. Here’s hoping I continue to feel that way!

    In any case, your weekend trip away sounds like a wonderful birthday present (I always have a hard time coming up with ideas, and I tend to go with a nice dinner out) — I’m sure your boy was more than pleased!

    Comment by Alice — October 30, 2007 @ 4:38 pm

  21. It does look like a marvelous weekend, but I’m sure the best part was being alone with you.

    Comment by joeinvegas — October 30, 2007 @ 6:06 pm

  22. You’re very right to treat yourself sometimes.

    This is what I did today : I just bought myself a new banjo.

    Comment by Parisian Cowboy — October 30, 2007 @ 7:03 pm

  23. I am glad that you are getting some rest and relaxation (as well as pure fun)after all your trials and tribulations. Have more fun with the Boy and let us know about it ;-)

    Comment by Lost in France — October 30, 2007 @ 8:20 pm

  24. Hi Catherine
    I’ve found your blog! It was great meeting you at SoA this afternoon. I hope you had a good journey home. Come and visit my blog and let me know how you’re getting on. It would be lovely to hear from you.

    Comment by Leigh Russell — October 31, 2007 @ 12:18 am

  25. @winchester (com 18) : clopes are cigarettes.

    Comment by Anna — October 31, 2007 @ 10:28 am

  26. Oh…merci!

    Comment by Winchester whisperer — October 31, 2007 @ 12:32 pm

  27. As it would be said in other circles, you’re keeping it real. Good on you.

    Comment by Ariel — October 31, 2007 @ 1:39 pm

  28. I think Fester may be refering to what happens if you accidentally type a . between petite and anglaise.

    Comment by j — October 31, 2007 @ 2:08 pm

  29. just up the road from where i stay in town. next time we must meet for breakfast @ smith’s of smithfield. x

    Comment by rivergirlie — October 31, 2007 @ 5:16 pm

  30. Hi

    Any thoughts on Facebook, my friend’s jourmal recently turned into a war zone when he brought up subject of their restrictive practices and the paedophile issue.
    Check out the journal yourself, it’s quite a good site actually.
    Click to

    Many Thanks,

    ps/ Why not a link to Multiply?

    Comment by Don Breslin — October 31, 2007 @ 8:04 pm

  31. GREAT IDEA! It’s always lovely to have dirty “posh” week-end…hmmm! :-)

    Comment by Karma — November 1, 2007 @ 2:18 am

  32. You will in all decency have to give Boy a new soubriquet when he turns thirty, kiddo. Only joking, Girl. But seriously….

    Btw glad you’re taking a tougher line on privacy. Give friendship a chance, I say!

    Have you thought of syndicating a column to freshen up the cashflow? Helps pay the mortgage between the bonkbusters.

    Where in the UK do I get a signed copy btw. Nothing less will do. Mail order, perhaps? No, really.

    Comment by andrew — November 1, 2007 @ 2:22 am

  33. Since when were stockings equivalent to softcore porn?
    But honestly, Petite, having money doesn’t mean you need to be out and spending it- something you seem to understand. It does make things easier though, not having to worry about the lack of it. On the upside, the occasional treat is always a good thing- and it’s good to know the stockings were worth it :)

    Comment by Drusilla — November 1, 2007 @ 11:50 am

  34. No – money doesn’t make you happier per se – but you can be miserable when you don’t have enough. As you know! Enjoy the freedom….

    Comment by Sally Lomax — November 2, 2007 @ 10:17 pm

  35. Lace top stockings and silk undies–tres sexy, luv.
    Enjoy the boy
    Beau in Seattle.

    Comment by Beau — November 4, 2007 @ 11:39 pm

  36. As I remember turning 30 was difficult. I’m glad that so far the past few decade birthdays haven’t been hard. I’m glad you both had a chance to get away turn that corner together!

    Comment by Danna — November 5, 2007 @ 12:52 am

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