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:

Monday, 4 August 2014

Holiday Etiquette

In my resort and more generally in Dubai, there is a specific etiquette, and I am slowly getting to grips with it. I still have so much to learn...but here is what I found out so far. Feel free to add to the list:

1. Little girls (age 2 to 10) must wear both parts of their bikini or even a one-piece swimsuit. Even if there is absolutely nothing to hide, all little girls -except maybe a Russian one I saw this morning-, wear both parts. Obviously, unlike the France of my childhood, nobody is tanning topless. The #FreeTheNipple campaign hasn't reached Dubai just yet, and probably never will. No such rule applies to men. Some things never change.

2. There is an important British community over here. That said, believe it or not, they are not into beer. Or not as much as in London. And they have a well-mastered ritual at the resort: everyday at about 6pm, the Brits gather for the happy hours of the downstairs bar and start drinking for the next couple of hours. And they are into whiskey, I can tell from the smell of strong booze that's coming from the bar. They have clearly upped their game.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Winding Down

It has been a pretty full-on year. Come to think of it, it has been a pretty full-on decade. Of course on the paper I am British now, but every morning I flick through the French press. I am probably better informed than when I was living in Paris. You can take the girl out of France, but not France out of the girl, right? We settled down in London, bought a house, renovated it, had a baby, struggled with the British educative system, set up a business, and so on, and so forth. Oh, and as you may know I write a blog too...

Monday, 28 July 2014

Monday Morning

Trafalgar Square at 6.15am

In France, in Great Britain or anywhere else, there is nothing worse than a bad Monday morning. Mine was no exception.
It was all about work today -don't ask...-. I had booked a car to pick me up from home, and drive me to the airport at 6am -which means that I had to get up at a ridiculously early time. Not nice. Not to mention that I am not a morning person...

It soon was 6am, but no car had arrived. I had to call the company to find out that the mini-cab had been delayed/canceled/whatever excuse they could make up to hide the fact that they too were probably having a tough Monday morning. Undeterred, I managed to hail a black cab on the street. I even made it on time to the airport. It was actually quite nice to see London waking up, even if I wasn't completely awake...

Once security was cleared, I waited for my flight's gate. All other flights already had a gate, but not mine. Sigh. Some things never change. 

Friday, 25 July 2014

Back To My Former Self?

What a week! It was hectic, and I barely had a minute to myself. Except today. It was nothing short of a miracle: I had the whole day without anything planned, which hadn't happened for a very long time. Because usually, between work and family duties, I have to be on the ball. Always. It just never stops.

Monday, 21 July 2014


The day had started so well. I had reached City airport on time to catch my flight to Toulon. I had cleared security reasonably fast despite the fact that it was a busy day. The flight was full of pale English men and women in desperate need of some some sun. I was of course no exception: my own daughter called me Snow White the other day. So much for living in London.
Once onboard, the captain mentioned something about strong winds in the South of France. Ah, the good old mistral, the dry, northerly wind of my childhood...I remember smiling. Silly me.

The flight was fine. I started reading, and I barely noticed that a middle-aged couple was sitting next to me. Soon enough, I could see the Mediterranean through the window. We were told to prepare for landing.