petite anglaise

May 29, 2008

petite on tour

Filed under: book stuff — petiteanglaiseparis @ 9:09 pm

It’s a long time since I’ve written a guest post. In fact, the last time I did, back in 2004, I ended up accidentally teleporting to Manchester wearing nothing but a pair of slippers and some very fetching underwear.

So it was not without a certain amount of trepidation that I agreed to embark on a tour of five Canadian blogs, to mark the impending release of the Canadian version of ‘petite’. (And I must admit, I never did get the bottom of the ‘do the Canadians get the British English text, or the American English translation?’ question.)

But, in the end, I had tremendous fun. I got to discover five sassy ladybloggers I would likely never have come across otherwise (I suffer from lazy blogroll syndrome, meaning that I read only a handful of blogs written by good friends, these days). I got to write about Vaseline, the day Tadpole found out how babies get out of the womb, to resuscitate my gym/wrist action story (my obsession with which, as I am currently spending two hours per weekday in the gym, has recently resurfaced), and, on a more serious note, to address the thorny question of telling other people’s stories on a personal blog. Coming tomorrow, I think, will be my final guest post about my fear of wearing stilettos on my wedding day and my amusement about being portrayed in my birthday suit (and stilettos) on the North American cover of “petite”.

I’d like to say a big thank you to Catherine Her Bad Mother (a challenger for my second-place google ranking for “bad mummy“, perhaps?), to Tanis Redneck Mommy, Katherine Mama Tulip, Ali Cheaper Than Therapy and Nadine Martinis for Milk for being such gracious hosts.

Thanks also to Jana Something blue, Julie Metro Mama and Karen Kids Are Alright for participating in the advance copy giveaway.

I’m looking forward to “meeting” a few of these folks by videoconference the day before my nuptials, no less. Which should take my mind off worrying about possible uses of Vaseline on my wedding night.


  1. Vaseline, Wedding Night, Nuptials, Vaseline, Paris; why does Marlon Brando spring to mind?????

    Comment by MLU — May 29, 2008 @ 11:09 pm

  2. Quelle classe!

    Comment by SW France — May 30, 2008 @ 12:29 am

  3. I would like to note that your header also sports the birthday suit and stilettos.


    Comment by La Rêveuse — May 30, 2008 @ 2:23 am

  4. cdns get both brit english and american english… were gifted that way :)

    whats this about an advance copy giveaway? (metro mama lives in my hood!)

    and will you post a wedding pix without blurred faces?

    Comment by kara — May 30, 2008 @ 4:24 am

  5. It is an honour to have you stop by for a chat on my humble blog.

    And to answer your question: We Canadians pride ourselves on being able to get both British and American humour, colloquialisms, and culture.

    For example, we love the British version of The Office best, yet we’ve come to love the American version as well.

    Oh, but if you meant in the book, hmm… I’ll have to take a look. I know that when I first read Bridget Jones everything was in stone, for example, but later versions (with the movie cover) had converted all her weights to pounds. Personally I prefer the British text. But then I’m married to a half-English, half-Norwegian, so perhaps I’m biased.

    See you chez moi tomorrow ;-) (We also have a heavy dose of Francais thanks to Quebec.)

    Comment by Nadine/Scarb — May 30, 2008 @ 5:38 am

  6. Dear Petite

    Do have a wonderful day for your wedding, and enjoy yourself! With or without Vaseline.

    John Norris

    Comment by John Norris — May 30, 2008 @ 7:41 am

  7. Oooh, well before you stop shopping around other sites I’d love to know what you think of mine:

    I go around Paris taking photos and then creating montages (that you can zoom right into) and writing reviews of all the places I visit – kind of like a friend with local knowledge, but open to everyone. I cover bars, restos, bistrots, boutiques, parks… you know, a free ‘local’ tourist guide online.

    Please have a look and if there is anywhere you can recommend that you’d like me to review I’d love to hear from you and any of your readers (I live next to Canal St Martin and sometimes I find it’s hard to cross the Seine…)

    Merci bien!


    Comment by Gabrielle — May 30, 2008 @ 8:25 am

  8. P. S. I think Marlon Brando went in for dairy produce, actually… (I mean, in a country like France, who wouldn’t! Far more appropriate for you, Petite Anglaise, when you consider the delights of Normandy butter! Just make sure it is doux…)


    Comment by Gabrielle — May 30, 2008 @ 8:29 am

  9. At least you are uber-slim on your American cover!

    Comment by girlwiththemask — May 30, 2008 @ 10:52 am

  10. About the banner -my first impression when I saw it was that your sillhouette’s head has been replaced with that of a horses. I can’t seem to see it as anything else now. Perhaps it is just me. I rather like it for some odd reason.

    Comment by eliz — May 30, 2008 @ 2:09 pm

  11. i’m was humbled to have you blogsit over at my place yesterday. ;)

    Comment by ali — May 30, 2008 @ 3:44 pm

  12. Loved this post – and the doors it opened to other blogs. Thanks, Petite!

    Comment by Peg — May 30, 2008 @ 4:01 pm

  13. I dearly hope that we get the BRIT version of the text– we ARE clever enough to understand the Britticisms (some of us even USE them for ourselves!).

    Comment by Lola's Sister — May 30, 2008 @ 5:04 pm

  14. ooh xciting stuff for you! enjoy it!! xx

    Comment by Emmie — May 30, 2008 @ 5:52 pm

  15. I tried to get Julia to coach me with a little Francais (seeing as she’s the only one in this household who can say anything in French other than “Je suis un anana!”) so I could introduce your post with a touch of culture. But all I got out of her was a song about five little lambs that jump around the house until it’s time for bed.

    Thanks for stopping by my place. It was marvelous to have you!

    Comment by mamatulip — May 30, 2008 @ 6:02 pm

  16. Am from Canada and I was in London/Paris 2 weeks ago and purposely made a point of buying the book in London to make sure I got the Brit English version instead of the American English version…couldn’t imagine Tadpole saying “mommy” instead of “mummy”.

    Meant to save the book for the flight home but I couldn’t put it down and finished it before the trip was over!

    Walking around Belleville was very surreal afterwards.


    Comment by shylo — May 30, 2008 @ 6:43 pm

  17. It’s still fun to move your book to the front of the piles in Waterstones and, having bought it as a present for someone, you have another convert who read it all in one sitting…..

    Comment by Mark — June 1, 2008 @ 11:38 am

  18. ‘I got to discover five sassy ladybloggers I would likely never have come across otherwise’ I’ve the same thoughts about blogging I started blogging putting extracts from my book but now I want just to carry on because I want to be in contact with all the interesting people I met through blogging. It would be very difficult or impossible to meet them otherwise ….

    Comment by penelope — June 1, 2008 @ 3:02 pm

  19. What a lot of links! Thank you, will be great to see these other blogs.

    Comment by Marianne — June 1, 2008 @ 4:56 pm

  20. Dear Petite, all the best for your wedding day (and I don’t mean just with those pesky stilettos)!

    Comment by Drusilla — June 1, 2008 @ 5:08 pm

  21. I’m grateful that your book comes out this month. I’ve pre-ordered it months ago. You’re quite an inspiration to someone who secretly aspires to write a novel.

    Comment by Jessica — June 1, 2008 @ 9:12 pm

  22. I’m so confused! Who are you getting married to?? I’m a religious follower of your book which means I’m probably months behind than everyone else! Please help fill me in and best of luck in everything Petite Anglaise.

    Comment by Eimear — June 1, 2008 @ 10:07 pm

  23. Uh-oh. Lots of French people have been into my French bathroom and must have seen my (non-French) jar of Vaseline. So what exactly, pray tell, do they think I’ve been doing with it?

    Comment by Vache Normande — June 1, 2008 @ 10:13 pm

  24. @22 – you need to start reading in April 2006 and work your way through to the present day…

    @23 – oh god, do I have to spell it out? A-levels.

    Comment by petite — June 1, 2008 @ 10:33 pm

  25. May the sun shine on you – actually and metaphorically.

    P.S. MLU: only the best butter for Marlon.

    Comment by Pat — June 2, 2008 @ 9:39 am

  26. Vaseline is to stop snails climbing up plant pots.

    Comment by Pat — June 2, 2008 @ 9:41 am

  27. Think a warning should be included here regarding the fact that combined use of Vaseline or other oil-based lubricants and condoms is not recommended!

    Comment by happyforyou — June 2, 2008 @ 1:44 pm

  28. “oh god, do I have to spell it out? A-levels.”

    You’re better off using K-Y…….just as good, cleans off easier…

    Comment by Dave of the Lake — June 2, 2008 @ 1:56 pm

  29. Please stop talking about the Vaseline. I fear I am going to go blind from reading about it…

    Also, and probably more importantly, is your John Norris commenter the very same former MTV news reporter that I used to have a crush on? Please say yes. I have to know if that hair is real.

    Comment by Le Meg — June 2, 2008 @ 3:46 pm

  30. Just found your blog via Her Bad Mother. Love it! Can’t wait to read more.

    Comment by Vicky — June 2, 2008 @ 9:14 pm

  31. Just one of the joys of the internet…being able to ‘meet’ a great writer such as yourself.

    It was great fun being able to host you over at my site. I was thrilled to do it.

    I mean, where else will I ever get the chance to talk about unicorns and vaseline in the same post?

    Good luck on your upcoming nuptials, friend. May you be as happy with your man as I am with mine.

    Comment by Redneck Mommy — June 3, 2008 @ 3:38 pm

  32. I just finished your book; read it in one day! I just wanted to say I’m amazed by many of the negative reviews you’ve had…I found you very honest and very fair. I related to a lot of what you’ve said about the world of blogging. Good luck with the wedding and your future writing!

    Comment by CG — June 3, 2008 @ 9:20 pm

  33. I’m sorry to bring up Vaseline again – this is the last time, I promise, but I’ve just found a pube in mine! OK, what’s been going on? In my household Vaseline is strictly for chapped-lip purposes only, so I can only assume that some persons of a Gallic persuasion have snuck into my bathroom and practised some A-levels. (Or should that be Bac?)

    Comment by Vache Normande — June 4, 2008 @ 9:59 am

  34. > only the best butter

    I’m told it was Kerrygold. I’m about to take herself to Paris on the Eurostar but I suspect she wouldn’t get it if I put this on the shopping list, even though she told me about this long ago, having seen the film (which I haven’t).

    Kerrygold was the first business stunt by Irish entrepreneur Tony O’Reilly (who now owns The Independent newspaper and much else). He consolidated the output of dozens of creameries and made a global brand, and went on to fame and fortune as CEO of Heinz corp. Not until the invention of Baileys did the Irish dairy industry get such a lift.

    Marlon Brando had nothing to do with it. Nothing!

    Comment by Eats Wombats — June 4, 2008 @ 1:10 pm

  35. ‘do the Canadians get the British English text, or the American English translation?’

    Did you find out? I’d much rather have the US cover with proper English inside?

    Comment by Alice — June 4, 2008 @ 2:59 pm

  36. I enjoyed your guest blogs. And considering the stories my mother (STILL!!) told/tells everyone she meets, Tadpole-after-teens will enjoy this record of her childhood. (In her teens, just having a parent will be embarrassing enough)

    Comment by Alice — June 4, 2008 @ 3:18 pm

  37. But will she enjoy thoughts of her mother on her wedding night with Vaseline? (Oops, I mentioned it again…)

    Comment by Vache Normande — June 4, 2008 @ 10:09 pm

  38. So is The Boy The Husband yet? Has the knot been tied?
    Wishing you every happiness!! :)

    Comment by happyforyou — June 5, 2008 @ 8:10 am

  39. From your info page:

    “And then, in April 2006, I got the sack from my secretarial job. Because my employer had found my blog and objected to its very existence.”

    Oooh er, I hope that does not happen to me.

    I have only just started blogging + have only just come across your blog (another blog / blook / book success story!).

    I will to pop by again.

    Best wishes,

    Comment by goodbyetoallfat — June 5, 2008 @ 10:56 am

  40. I hope we get a final post from a single Petite tomorrow!

    Best wishes for the big day from all at the University of Bath.

    Comment by Hannah — June 5, 2008 @ 12:16 pm

  41. day before wedding post is a must… were all waiting!

    Comment by kara — June 6, 2008 @ 12:05 am

  42. Hi Catherine…Just wanted to say hello and tell you that in anticipation for tomorrow’s brunch in Toronto, I borrowed Her Bad Mother’s copy, and I am almost unable to put it down! It doesn’t hurt that I’m picturing Denis Leary, my current celebrity crush, as James.

    Best of luck on your wedding day, and I can’t wait to read how the story ends!


    Comment by Assertagirl — June 6, 2008 @ 1:23 am

  43. seconding @40 and @41 in hoping for one last post as a single woman!
    I mean, your last post (for posterity) before your wedding shouldn’t be about Vaseline, should it?

    Comment by happyforyou — June 6, 2008 @ 12:02 pm

  44. Your blogsit chez moi was very timely, because the birth of my second child one week prior had reduced me to mindless blather (read: bitching about breastfeeding), and the injection of some reasoned prose was much-needed and much-appreciated.

    Was so sorry that I (stuck in bed recovering from the birth from hell) had to miss the brunch – a well-deserved celebration of a wonderful book!

    (And – many congratulations on your nuptials!)

    Comment by Her Bad Mother — June 9, 2008 @ 2:43 am

  45. Ha. Great guest posts. The ‘where do babies come from?’ reminds me of something that keeps happening to me…

    I’m heavily preggers at the moment (baby due in 3 weeks) and for the last few months now, I’ve been facing awkward questions from one of Felix’s classmates. He lives round the corner from us, so we often end up walking home together.
    “Is there still a baby in your tummy?”
    “How will it come out?”
    He is utterly fascinated by this second question. At first I was quite vague about it all, but my problem is that with my own (now 6-yr-old) son, I never evade questions. I always answer honestly, and in as much detail as he’s capable of understanding. My attitude is that if he’s old enough to ask, he’s old enough to know. But with someone else’s child… a child who is taken dutifully to Mosque every evening… how much am I allowed to say? Will I offend someone if I give too much detail?
    I have to saying that I have a special hole for the baby to come out of. Inevitably he wants to know where it is. “At the top of my legs,” I say, and that’s as far as I go.
    So far I’ve managed to have this conversation out of earshot of his parents, but the other day his father was there and, understandably, got embarrassed. Then started dragging his son away and telling him off. Meanwhile the only thing I could do was act as though everything was fine and I didn’t mind in the least. Which I didn’t.
    It wasn’t helped, though, by my son being present and helping my “at the top of my legs” description by leaping about behind me, giggling and pointing and saying, “Here! It’s in her bottom! Her bottom’s really smelly, she farts all the time.”
    Mindfield, eh?

    Comment by clare — June 18, 2008 @ 10:54 am

  46. “I have to saying” should read “I have taken to saying”… and “mindfield” is another typo. A good one though; I like it.

    Comment by clare — June 18, 2008 @ 10:55 am

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