I’am from the netherlands and I like your book, it’s really funny to read, but now I found your website, for the first time, and I want to read all your old blogs, verry nice, have a good day greatz Claudia
I have been reading your blog, laughing a lot, feeling amused sometimes, really pissed off other times. I am portuguse and live in France for 20 years now but went to London in 1998 to work and stayed there 4 years. So I have a bit of experience in France, in England but I am, above all, a Lisbon’s person.
Some things really surprised me in you blog : a journalist from the Nouvel Obs that doesn’t know the expression “vivre dans le péché”?????? That is a very common expression in the est of France at least, I’ve had always heard it when refering to couples that lives together but were not married… hmmmmmmmmm, strange. In fact I have had always heard it in my all life.
Your comments on French and French live are often funny and well observed. I makes me giggle when you speak about the long list of meds, doctors in France give you for a simple cold. Yeah, but I still remember the hours of wainting to see my GP (only had to see him twice in 4 years luckly) – appointement taken 3 weeks before -, 10 minutes and no more to tell what I was suffering from, the refusal of giving me sickeness leave after a big acccident. I would be afraid of english hospitals and i have a friend who almost died giving birth in London and the baby suffered too.
I was once stranded in a tube on Central Line in July, there was a problem, the train wouldn’t move and people were fainting because the temperature was more than 42° degrees (celsius). I admired for a while, the calm of those surrounding me. No panic at all, trying to help the ones who weren’t feeling well, the train’s driver speaking to us trying to reasssure everybody that the train would be leaving the tunnel soon and that ambulances were waiting at the next station. I told to myself : “this is English people for you, so brave…” and suddenly, I was really angry at the transport system in London, so unreliable, letting people down all the time, a nigtmare when you to take the tube or the train (be careful with trains in England, in Autumn, they have a sickness : can’t move because there are leaves on the tracks????!!!!)
So, you see, there are things to take and others to leave in both coutries (I love both but I am most curious about brithisness, I read all kind of books about the subject because some of the ways English have are sooooo strange to me (not bad, just weird).
It’s a wonderful thing to live between two cultures – or more – I had a german granma, a spanish grandpa, we spoke french at home and portuguese with my mother’s family…. so Tadpole is lucky! Let her know it. My children are trilingual and seem happy enough so, something has to be good about living in two cultural worlds.
A last word about your sacking because of the blog : I am so happy that you won that case. Companies are going crazy these days. Well done.
Never mind the haters, petite- you probably knew they’d be out there, so the best thing might be ti just turn a deaf ear.
You do look very fresh in that red dress, though it might not totally justify suffering (or in this case, freezing) for fashion :)
Wow Petite! Although having given up on the poisonous Mail on Sunday lately (which I used to buy for the magazine only anyway – don’t we all?!) I went to the corner shop in my pyjamas to buy it this very morning (chavorama! The outfit, not your interview, obviously!). Also loved the pics of you in Belleville, it almost made me feel the desire to jump on the Eurostar(“Almost” only of course as abhor the city and its up their own bot-bot and rude inhabitants but then again, I would say that wouln’t I, having fled 12 years ago to the welcoming shores of the sceptred island with my deep love of the English language and all things British firmly tucked under my arm in lieu of the traditional baguette!). Looking forward to the second book already!;o)
Comment by Gorgeousophie — March 2, 2008 @ 2:47 pm
Just heard about your blog thanks to You magazine here in the UK. It sounds wonderful. I have some catching up to do on your blog! Hope today is beautiful in the city, love missy x
I have just come from reading the article in the Escape bit of the Observer (in between forcing myself to add ‘just one more’ sentence to my French essay), and I have to say thanks for motivating me to write not one but FIVE. The logic behind this: you made Paris sound very appealing – I would quite like to live in Paris – must not give up on French A Level. :)
Great article – I read it in The Observer this morning. I must say I love your stripey shopping trolley – do you really use it for shopping? Where’s it from? I need to get something as my 3 year old refuses to use the buggy but I still need to put my weekly shop in it!!
I was just listening to your podcast on the Guardian website with interest. I believe I briefly passed through Belleville (my Parisian girlfriend informed me the Chinese area was the cheapest place in Paris for buying computer hardware), but I didn’t have much time to explore.
I am moving to Paris (16th arrondissement) to live for good, in one month’s time. Unlike a lot of expats (why do I dislike this term?), I can’t say I’ve chosen Paris, beautiful though it may be; circumstance is leading me there. I do look forward to the challenge of adapting myself to the Parisian way of life, and have much work to do to brush up on my French.
I will be reading your blog with great interest.
Hope the next few days go ok for you ! I’m flying thro your book having grabbed it off the shelf in my local supermarket this week , and have dipped in and out of your blog for a while . I’m loving it and have just nicked my parents you magazine too !
Hello Petite, I was wondering if one of the pictures on the Guardian article (the digital version, with your interview on tape), where you are seated in a bench in a small street… wouldn’t that be the villa de l’Adour?
You adorable thing you! Not only do you love the ‘city of light’, you were also brought up with solid KitKat (And only the true cognoscenti know what that means!), but our shared love of local patisserie and boulangerie sets my heart aflame for you! “Don’t marry him, have me…” (With apologies to Beautiful South!).
Meet me in Marche d’Aligres for a coffee at the best coffee shop in Paris. xxx
Comment by marcusaurelius — March 3, 2008 @ 12:05 am
Pleeease tell me you don’t buy Le Figaro ;-) I’d get shot by the local chasseurs if caught with that, but then again les communissses are seen as right wing round here.
Of course not, J. The photographer brought it along as a prop and I did wish afterwards that I’d put my foot down and gone to buy Libé instead. I think that may be why I couldn’t muster much in the way of a smile!
How surprising to see Belleville in the UK press. I spent Christmas in an apartment on the Rue Rebeval and visited the bread shop with the oh so glamorous assistant, the Vietnamese for Christmas day dinner and one or two other spots. Spend much of my time trying to thinks of a scheme which might allow me to spend more time in Paris maybe that eureaka moment will come.Will add the blog to my favourites pages along with Paris Daily Photo which has a wonderful picture of Paris everday as the same suggests. Jaq
Your blog stats must be showing an amazing spike with all the enthusiastic new visitors. The newbie traffic gives me a slightly smug feeling, of having discovered something absolutely wonderful long before many others.
During a short holiday in Sharm El Sheik, Egypt, I have been reading your book in a Dutch translation. Actually I prefer to read a book in the original language. (In Dutch the subtitle is “Een leven, een liefde, een weblog” which means “A life, a love, a weblog”. Quiet something else than what you wrote.)
I liked your story and your style, both writing and living. I especially liked the way you gave music a special place in the story. When the book becomes a big hit in Europe you should make a luxury edition with pictures in it and a CD with all the songs you mentioned. I didn’t no the music of Lamb; thanks for bringing it up, although ‘Gorecki’ is also a sad song… (He is/was a componist; I guess you already know his ‘Symphony No. 3’ with Dawn Upshaw. Look it up on YouTube and don’t forgot to bring the tissues.)
Last remark on the book: in chapter 21 there is, I think, a mistake which you should change in a next print. Maybe it’s the Dutch translation, but when you go out to the French restaurant, you mention about a friend of J. who takes care of Tadpole. A few pages later this friend turns into a babysitter who has to be payed… Mixing facts with fiction?
Well, Petite, I have to recognize that your blog is rather addictive. I posted yesterday about that picture of you in what I presume might be the villa de l’Adour, but in fact I’m very far away in time, reading your 2nd blog-birthday post. The thing is, I’m reading it all (the blog). As usual, I don’t remember how I fell here, but for the last two weeks I’ve been reading every single post (and at some times, every comment as well). There’s so much we have in common, even if we’re in the opposite sides of the gender structure. I live in Santiago, Chile, and my heart is in Paris, with all the long-distance issues that that brings into our relationship. And she lives in Belleville, precisely at the villa de l’Adour!!
I enjoy your entries, and enjoy the discussion that some of them produce in the comments box. A pity that comments are blocked after only 10 days of each post… there are moments when I felt I had some things to say, looking at my own difficult experience and reading what you were going through.
Enough as an introduction. I want to go back to read fast to arrive at the present.
Hey, thanks for the great list you posted on the Guardian site. I have been looking for a list of good non-tourist places to visit. I grew up and live in a tourist town and it is engrained into my being that “tourist” is a derogatory term and, when on vacation, one should try to look and act as little like a tourist as possible.
So if you see a red-headed Canadienne with a Tadpole of her own wandering around your neighbourhood again and again this summer, I am not stalking you, honest.
Now, I just need to find a good site that tells me how not to dress like a tourist…