Monday, 15 September 2014

Is Romance Wasted On The French?

Eugene Delacroix, La liberte guidant le peuple


From the Sunday newspapers, it certainly looks like the French don't do romance any more. They have replaced it by vaudeville. When did it all happen? How come I didn't see it coming? I don't know. Seriously, why do French politicians put their love life on display like it is some sort of show? In case you started hibernating a few of months before winter is actually supposed to start, here is a recap of last week's French affairs. Bear with me, it is quite complicated:

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Last Night The Gin Saved My Life

It wasn't all for me, I promise...

I am shattered. If it was down to me, I would go straight back on holidays right now. Today, for instance, my daughter was finishing school at 2.30 pm. How am I supposed to get anything done? I couldn't help thinking that if you arrive late for school, you might bump into those who leave early. How do women work in this country? But miracles do happen: yesterday, I was invited by the lovely Charlotte of @LDNWalks for a secret pub tour. This was exactly what I needed: I met fellow bloggers, including my old friend Flora @AccidentalLDNr (old because we have known each other for more than two years, which is a long time in the blogging world. She is obviously very young and also very bright). I met other talented bloggers (and they were so young. Sigh), namely: @SquibbVicious @MissKatyEnglish  @whoismilly  and found an unexpected ally in gin. Who would have thought? After all, it is only berries, right? And as I am not a huge fan of beer, the girls made me discover gin. What a fantastic medicine ! And boy I loved it so much that I couldn't be stopped...My head hurts today. 

Monday, 8 September 2014

Quid Pro Quo


I used to love quid pro quos. When reading a Moliere's comedy, I always found quid pro quos hilarious. That said, are quid pro quos that funny when they happen to you? Well, I am not so sure.  Let me explain: a few days ago, I went to this party to catch up with friends and ex-colleagues. I went on my own because my husband was travelling for his job, and I suspect that some of my acquaintances believe that he is a product of my imagination. To be fair, my shyness probably compounds this perception: believe it or not, I happen to be quite reserved. Anyway, here I was, trying as best as I could to mingle, and also trying to get to know some new faces.
I ended up next to this guy, who was quite tall, with pale skin and freckles. In short, as much as I dislike cliches, I have to say that he looked very British. I introduced myself "Hi, I'm Muriel." , and initiated some small talks about the usual topics: the weather, the end of the summer hols...
After a couple of minutes I must admit that I was expecting him to answer back with more that one word and maybe, just maybe, find some other topics of conversations. Well, he did, but, it wasn't what I expected at all.
"You know," he said, looking dead serious "I am married"

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

There Are Decent French Men, I Promise, I Have Met Some

Francois Hollande, French president


This book written by Valerie Trierweiler about her 18-month affair with French president Hollande isn't making my life any easier. No later than this afternoon, another mum asked me at the school gate why French men were such players. A heated conversation with fellow mums quickly ensued, and everybody agreed that he had treated his then-girlfriend in an appalling manner. I had to take a stand, and fast. Come on, all French men are not like president Hollande, it is only a stereotype. I  explained that I had been living with the same French man for more than 18 years.
'See, I said, there are decent French men.'

Saturday, 30 August 2014

My Idyllic French Holidays



There is no WiFi here, except for one of the corners of the hotel's swimming pool. If I stand close enough to the street, I can connect onto the neighbour's network and catch up on my emails. I try to do it once a day, and initially I was freaking out, because in London I am always online. What is going to happen without Internet? Well, it has been a few days, and now I kind of like my digital detox. I actually have to talk to my daughters, and they have to talk to me, which feels nice- and a bit unusual, I have to admit. We saw some friends and family, and had some good old-fashioned catch-ups. We swam, we hiked, we laughed. I was shaken by the intensity of the blue of the Mediterranean. I took it for granted for so long! The small village we are staying in is indeed very close to my idea of heaven: picturesque, next to the beach, close to a little-known harbour. There are a few restaurants to choose from, and the pace is very relaxing. 

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

How I Became A French Babe


When things start to get at you, it is time to take action. So I took action. Of course I did. Here it is: I got tired of being asked whether I was French. Because, apparently, I look French. I have never really understood what it means, despite seeking clarification several times. But this much I know: having a British passport doesn't change a thing. I still look French. I have therefore decided to make it easier for everybody: I designed an orange T-shirt that says 'French Babe'. In fact, when I say orange, I mean bright orange. Here it is. How do you like it?

What I wanted was for the T-shirt to shout out that I was French. No need to ask any questions. It had to be out there. So I went out with my newly designed T-shirt. I wanted to see how people would react to it. Well, for starters, lots of guys were talking to me on the street. Yep, you read that right: even the British ones. Of all ages and backgrounds, really: from the coffee guy to the banker in the City. Who would have thought? Some were telling me that it was a nice T-shirt. All were smiling, and a few even started some small talk. The thing is, I love to make people smile. Somehow, my T-shirt was funny. Maybe being French in London is funny. I wonder. I am afraid I still don't get it.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Suck Your Tummy In, Francois!

Is She Sucking Her Tummy In?

It is all over the news: the French President, Francois Hollande, was photographed during his holidays (you can see him here, and there is an even worse photo here). Let's just say that the pictures are not very flattering, and that the whole thing created a huge controversy in my home country. Lots of fellow French citizen said that such photos were downright disrespectful, and that journalists shouldn't indulge in such silly practices. They added that no other French president had been treated this badly before.

I beg to disagree. I don't think it is the journalists' fault. They simply took photos from the street! Come on, it is far too easy to blame them, and surely a little bit of common sense would have prevented such photos from existing at all. And if they think that the French President was badly treated because of such pictures, they should have a look at what is happening (gasp!) outside of France (yes, there is a world out there!). If you don't believe me, have a look here, and ignore the first picture (It's Francois Hollande again. I know. No comments).

Monday, 18 August 2014

Getting Ready: Why It Takes So Long For Us Women...


Do I Look OK?


Maybe I haven't changed, even after all these years. What am I talking about? Let's come clean here: I still care about the way I look. Today is no exception: I have a formal dinner tonight, and I have prepared everything with military precision. Because I want to make a good impression. Because somehow I feel that not trying my best would be letting people down. Because that's what I do. Because that's what all women do, right? So here is the check list of the day:
Manicure: check (thanks to my lovely daughter- try putting nail polish on your right hand by yourself if you are right-handed)
Clutch bag: check
Shoes: check (boy do they look good!)
Blow-dry: check (homemade I am afraid)
Make-up: check (still homemade)
Dress: check (From Bali. An oldie but goodie. I just love it. It was love at first sight, I assure you).

Sunday, 17 August 2014

French Sunday: Parlez-Vous Anglais?

Article Publié Dans l'édition de Juillet d'Ici-Londres


Afin de savoir ce que les Anglais pensent vraiment, je dispose d’une arme secrète: ma fille de 12 ans. Elle est scolarisée dans une école anglaise, et on apprend aux enfants à s’exprimer d’une certaine façon des le plus jeune âge. Si vous n’avez pas été éduqué ici, vous n’avez aucune chance. Ce n’est pas une question de vocabulaire; l’art et la manière de dire les choses sont aussi importantes que ce que vous voulez dire.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Make Every Man Want You


As some of you might know, I am not a morning person at all and, should you make a joke before my morning coffee, you are doing so at your own risk. Beware. Today was no exception, and I was slightly grumpy because there was nothing left to eat in the house. I therefore urgently needed to go out to buy some food. Reluctantly, I went outside and walked towards the supermarket. In London, I have seen it all: men shopping in their PJs, women buying some eggs in their bathrobes. That said, what I saw this morning was so unbelievable that I am still in shock: this girl was probably in her twenties, with brown, shoulder-length curly hair and a lovely face. She was carrying a book, and the title of the book was, like, in my face. It read "Make Every Man Want You"

Make every man want you? 

Monday, 11 August 2014

How I Found My Inner Goddess - In London Of All Places!

Me, Happy Me

I am often asked why I don't want to come back to live in France. Seriously, what is wrong with me? My roots are there, I should come back. Well, I can confirm that I am not coming back. Because over here, in London, I feel like a Goddess. And, best of all, I did nothing for this. Absolutely nothing. But somehow, just by crossing the Channel, I became a vamp. Let me take an example: in France when I wear my torn jeans, I look scruffy. Over here, I am stylish. Effortlessly sexy, even. How did this happen? I have absolutely no clue. But it sure did.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Epaule Tatoo


There is a French song I grew up listening to: it is called 'Epaule Tatoo' ( which means shoulder tattoo) and basically, it is about how a guy is mesmerised, in a club, by a woman with a blue tat on her shoulder. You can listen to it here: