petite anglaise

March 3, 2008


Filed under: book stuff, on the road — petiteanglaiseparis @ 2:07 pm

When the nice lady from Woman’s Hour suggested I do a very short reading from the very first post on this blog, I’d forgotten it contained the phrases “par voie anale” and “ring sting”.

“What on earth is my mother going to say?” I gasped, wondering whether my (lovely) Penguin PR and her assistant (known, for one week only, as “petite’s bitches”) should stage some sort of an intervention.

You can listen again here (I was first up on the show, so it won’t take you long). Something appears to have gone wrong with the subtitling of the accompanying article, mind. There is no record deal in the works that I know of.

Am now making liberal use of the free wi-fi on my train to Leeds, and trying to rein in my excitement about meeting Harry Gration in the flesh later this evening. Also reading the Guardian Unlimited review.

Update: Look North is now scheduled to be pre-recorded tomorrow to air in the evening while I’m giving my book reading.

News programmes are tricky to predict, obviously, as breaking news items take precedence. Which is why I’m still waiting for proper confirmation about:

  • BBC breakfast – Wednesday morning
  • Radio Five Live (Victoria Derbyshire) – Wednesday morning
  • Five News with Natasha Kaplinksy – Wednesday evening

Fingers crossed!


  1. I heard the interview and really enjoyed it, you sounded lovely my dear!

    And ignore those catty cows leaving nasty reviews on your Amazon page – just jealousy methinks. xx

    Comment by S — March 3, 2008 @ 3:09 pm

  2. I heard it as it was broadcast, and thought you came across very well.

    Comment by Zinnia Cyclamen — March 3, 2008 @ 3:26 pm

  3. Blimey he’s been presenting that show for over twenty years then !! Have fun ! Have finished your book will definitely look forward to the next .

    Comment by Felicity — March 3, 2008 @ 3:58 pm

  4. Hi,

    I was first drawn to your book for the simple fact that I am drawn to all things French having lived there for a year last year and so i dote, miss and crave all things Paris based.

    Currently I am so immersed in your blog, your book, your life. Your great! You deserve everything… especially much credit for managing a buggy around Parisian cobbles, snooty tut tutters and of course… the metro.

    Congrats, I remember once reading Fusac, Sebastian Faulks signing at W H Smith, Paris. I couldn’t go, I was busy being a nanny to four children in Neuilly… Catherine Sanderson 20 March… Now Im busy PA’ing it in the UK, how I wish I could get the sack…

    Louise – UK

    Comment by louise — March 3, 2008 @ 4:33 pm

  5. I listened to the interview and also really enjoyed it. You uttered the words ‘par voie anale’ and ‘ring sting’ with such eloquence that nobody could possibly be offended!
    I love the pics and audio about Belleville in the Guardian too. But as someone who is considering moving to that part of Paris, I’m concerned that lots of tourists will now flock to the area on the strength of your suggestions! It’s true that the parc de Belleville has remained quite hidden from them. And I have catastrophic images of rich Londoners arriving and buying all the apartments, which are already becoming rather expensive.
    Anyway, enjoy your trip back to Yorkshire and your appearance on Look North with Harry Gration. I’ll tell my parents to watch. x

    Comment by Helen — March 3, 2008 @ 4:45 pm

  6. Wow, Rory MacLean’s review is fantastic (and really well written, a nice change from the likes of Ms Moche!), you must be chuffed! I completely agree with him, having polished off your book in 2 days and enjoyed everything about it. Will definitely re-read it soon, while waiting patiently for the novel (and then, hopefully, the sequel to Petite Anglaise!?). On Woman’s Hour, you sounded at ease and not one iota nervous. Is this how you actually felt? Very well done on all accounts, in any case!

    Comment by Lotus Flower — March 3, 2008 @ 5:53 pm

  7. Wonderful to hear your voice! Have you thought of doing a radio/television show?

    Comment by Lost in France — March 3, 2008 @ 6:05 pm

  8. What happened to Look North? Was it today you were supposed to be on it? Were you bumped by serial killer nurse and missing child?

    Comment by Hannah Spoor — March 3, 2008 @ 8:01 pm

  9. just got home from a rubbish day at work to find my copy of your book has arrived!! yay. cant wait to get reading…

    Comment by amii — March 3, 2008 @ 8:04 pm

  10. I switched the radio on just in time to hear you! I thought that you came over as a very confident and competent public speaker. I’ve just finished reading your book, having ordered it ages ago, and I was certainly not disappointed.
    I am sure that all your faithful blog readers hope that you continue with Petite Anglaise long after your marriage to The Boy. I certainly cannot wait for the next episode!

    Comment by Stute — March 3, 2008 @ 8:15 pm

  11. So, if you were a singer/songwriter, what sort of music would you sing/write?

    Nice photo on the BBC download page btw.

    Comment by Simon — March 3, 2008 @ 8:18 pm

  12. Hi, heard you this morning whilst chugging along the M11 doing 70. Not bad at all but you did sound a little nervous.

    Carry on.

    Comment by Jeremy Jacobs — March 3, 2008 @ 8:31 pm

  13. Have been ill with the flu since Saturday but somehow remembered to switch over to Radio 4!! Enjoyed your interview, though not when the other woman came on with you…I will look at the The Little Red Boat blog!!!

    Comment by Anne — March 3, 2008 @ 8:45 pm

  14. I had a dream last night that I was reading the book. I awoke to remember that I’m still stateside, and I still have to wait.


    Comment by Kerry — March 3, 2008 @ 8:51 pm

  15. Hihaving just accidently deleted what I have just written straight from the heart, I will try again…well I was listening to Woman’s Hour today in my addopted home of Norway, and I just knew I had to go on to your blog. I guess I am in a phase of my life where a blog like yours becomes incredibly appealing. I am a harried mother of 3 small children under 5, and yes – have definately lost all remnants of myself and who I am. Desperately seeking like minded females…found your blog hit the spot. Miss England and have become very nostalgic about it (cannot function without Radio 4), love Norway and all it hass to offer, but find Norwegians a tad well square basically. Think I have become square myselff, and don’t like it. But got annoyed this evening when Norwegian mother-in-law visited (house like a museum, no dust anywhere – so completely and utterly insanely house proud) I was just making a joke saying ‘oh god what a mess’ (in Norwegian) and I guess was expecting some kind of sympatheric comment such as ‘well my dear you do have 3 young children to look after and husband who works alot, don’t worry a bout a bit of mess’ she said – can you believe – ‘well you should tidy up as you go along’ it wasn’t until I has got downstairs that I realised what she had said. Anyway, I think I’m starting my own blog here, so had better go. Felt good to get that off my chest, and I love your blog, and the fact that you never have tissues for Tadpole when she has a sniffly nose, or an umbrella when it rains, or wipes or change of clothing, because netiher do I. But that’s OK , because my mother-in-law does.

    Comment by Lillian — March 3, 2008 @ 9:21 pm

  16. Bonsoir,

    j’ai écouté attentivement Woman’s Hour mais apparemment, vous avez oublié un paragraphe, dommage.

    Comment by fabrice93 — March 3, 2008 @ 10:41 pm

  17. I find the content of your first blog entry hilarious [in that you were asked to read it, not that you were sick at the time]. But you have a very sweet voice and made it all sound… elegant?

    Comment by ~Tim — March 3, 2008 @ 11:29 pm

  18. Congrats on the lovely Guardian review! Will be hunting down a copy of the book at the bookshop during lunch hour tomorrow.

    Comment by Tara — March 3, 2008 @ 11:48 pm

  19. @16 – not forgotten, just cut as the reading had to last only one minute…

    Comment by petite — March 3, 2008 @ 11:51 pm

  20. I really enjoyed the R4 broadcast too whilst driving from London to Brighton on such a glorious sunny morning. Life doesn’t always deal the hand of cards that amount to “happy ever after” and I took great comfort from your honesty about life, relationships, hopes and dreams from a woman’s perspective.

    My business partner and I began our first blog last week, so I shall take inspiration from your blog too and buy the book, then get my 18 year old daughter to read it.

    Comment by Donna Willis — March 4, 2008 @ 12:52 am

  21. I too have just listened to the Woman’s Hour and thought you did very well indeed. About the Guardian review, your book isn’t a travel guide, of course, but I am sure I am not the only one who thinks Belleville sounds like a good place to visit after reading your article, in the Observer, listening to the podcast and reading the book.
    My copy of “Belleville Secret” is on its way, thanks to, and I have located a guidebook about the 9th at the same time (I wonder how much Rue des Martyrs, near Notre-Dame de Lorette, has changed since 1972).
    Good luck with the book signing (too far away), and also the interviews on Wednesday. I hope the book sells really well.

    Comment by Pierre L — March 4, 2008 @ 1:24 am

  22. My partner K heard it as it was broadcast this morning, and rang up to remind me to stream it later. I’ve just listened, and you do come over very well – a good “fit” for the show, if that makes any sense. Nice delivery, even and measured. (Damn, wish I could do that instead of gabbling at speed!)

    Comment by mike — March 4, 2008 @ 2:03 am

  23. Petite

    Your writing has come leap and bounds since the first posts but the book was fantastic. I loved it and can’t wait for your next one (no pressure!).

    I hope the sales go well and there are more books to come.

    Comment by Jessica — March 4, 2008 @ 9:01 am

  24. Congratulations on the fantastic Guardian review! Now I really can’t wait until my copy of the book arrives.

    Comment by Liza R — March 4, 2008 @ 9:48 am

  25. I might be able to get you a back page profile in Credit magazine –

    Do you know anything about the Debt Capital Markets?

    Comment by Damian — March 4, 2008 @ 3:17 pm

  26. Not only a good writer and speaker, but also a good sub-editor. While you have a knack in often choosing the right image, your headlines always manage to just cleverly capture what you’re on about.

    A tabloid editor’s headline dream: One word – ‘wireless’ – that tells the story. We’re on the radio and we’re using wi-fi.

    Comment by Tim — March 4, 2008 @ 3:38 pm

  27. Aaargh, won’t work for me – will try later on my PC at home…

    Comment by katie — March 4, 2008 @ 4:56 pm

  28. I really enjoyed your radio interview. It makes a change to hear your actual voice for once. I would have liked to have made it to your York signing as it’s only a hop across the bridge but sadly things have clashed.

    I hope the next book is coming along nicely.

    Comment by trouvezmoi — March 4, 2008 @ 5:42 pm

  29. Hi, heard you on the radio, had not heard of you beforehand, whetted my appetite and now will read the book.

    Best of luck for the future, what was the name of the other blog you mentioned again?


    Comment by Amanda — March 4, 2008 @ 7:32 pm

  30. liked the cover of the book….two people back to back, in Paris……interesting…not sure if I will read the book…but I did see you on TV this am! Bon chance! I only answered this as the BBC were insistent that we all log onto your site!!!! Good for you!

    Comment by charlotte — March 5, 2008 @ 12:18 pm

  31. Saw you on BBC Breakfast this am which inspired me to view your blog. BBC is still good for something then! I now NEED your book. Good luck with Natasha K!

    Comment by Lindsay — March 5, 2008 @ 1:15 pm

  32. Excellent review, loved the slide show…..You should wear red more often…..;-)

    Comment by Dave of the Lake — March 5, 2008 @ 5:22 pm

  33. I heard your interview on Woman’s Hour as I drove to work on Monday – and I loved it. You read a section from your blog which was so well written, so lovely that I just said ‘Wow!’ out loud, in my car! So this is the first time I’ve looked at anyone’s blog! I think I must get your book.

    Good luck! Linda

    Comment by Linda — March 5, 2008 @ 9:47 pm

  34. Wish I’d known you were around London – would have popped into town to get a signed copy. Still, I’m recording the Irish piece now. You sound so polished – you had media training or are you just winging it?

    Comment by john — March 7, 2008 @ 5:51 pm

  35. nice to see the usage of ‘clogging up’ … a very suitable association, that means I reminds me to ‘unclog’ mine !

    Comment by anotherjohn — March 8, 2008 @ 8:38 pm

  36. I never realised “ring sting” could be used en francais too. A favourite phrase of mine! Thanx for making me laugh!! x

    Comment by Petite Kerry — March 12, 2008 @ 3:25 pm

  37. Indeed, who wouldn’t get excited at meeting the god that is Harry Gration,

    Comment by MLU — March 13, 2008 @ 12:53 am

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