Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Anglo-Saxon Remembers

In my three years of single days between my two marriages I rented a gorgeous large heritage home with my sister and two other flatmates. One of them was a Frenchman. Probably not the Frenchman you would imagine, this one looked more like a hobbit. But he was still French so my sister and I chose him over all the other people who had come to look at the room.

At the time we had just started attending French night class lessons at a local school so we thought it would be helpful to have someone French around. It wasn’t; he laughed at our trying to speak French rather than help. We quit the lessons halfway through.

One good thing I do remember about our French Hobbit though, was from one Sunday lunchtime when I was sitting at the big antique table which ran along a wide window-seat, with bi-fold windows the length of the wall which had sun streaming in. It was lovely to warm my bones.

I had my lunch there, and from what I was eating I was possibly hungover, possibly. A big bowl of mashed potatoes and peas, with plenty of butter, and a large glass of Diet Coke (obviously I hadn’t been told about Sweet Poison yet).

I was a single girl after all and my Saturday nights involved high heels and cocktails out. No wonder I never had any money...

So sitting there with my hangover lunch and Diet Coke, the French flatmate shuffled past shaking his head. ‘Ah, you Anglo-Saxons, always drinking Coke with your meals' he spat in his French accent. And continued on his way.

Wisdom from a French person - it doesn't come wrapped in pretty words. But I am glad to say I haven't had a soft drink with a meal since.


  1. It's funny how certain things like his comment can stop you cold in your tracks. That's good that you quit drinking them. I stopped originally to avoid caffiene and never went back, even though I now drink tea again. I just don't like the taste of soda anymore. It's too thick and syrupy, even the diet ones.

  2. Oh! Fiona! A first marriage -- oh la la la la ... a woman with a past! How mysterioux!



    You haven't really been insulted in your life till you've been insulted by a French person. They know how to cut straight to the bone.

    Funny how something like an idle, throwaway comment can change a person's life, no?

  3. P.S. Thanks for the link love on your blog. I have reciprocated. :o)

  4. Stephanie, unfortunately I haven't completely given up, but never diet soft drink and only as a mixer - gingerale or tonic. I'm working on these two but a g&t or brandy-and-dry sometimes hits the spot. And they are before dinner, not with.

    LB, note how I casually threw that in there? I'm still not sure if my new inlaws know about my divorce. They think I'm such a nice girl...

    Yes, the French don't mince their words. I sometimes wish I could be more direct (and diplomatic than my French flatmate) in my communication. It's something I'm working on. I don't want to be aggressive and gauche though, so it's a fine line.

  5. And why do I see so many Americans at 8 am with a can of Coke or Pepsi, diet or regular in their hand? Sometimes I think some Americans fear being grown up, and drinking soda is a way to hold on to their youth.

  6. MotherLodeBeth, what an interesting thought. I think there's probably a lot of truth in it.

    Personally I couldn't think of anything more revolting than drinking Coke for breakfast, but for a lot of people it probably gives them their kickstart of sugar and caffeine.

    Imagine the reaction it sets off in your body. If you start the day with something like that you're hardly going to crave light, nutritious foods later on!

    I recognise your name from the French Chic yahoo group and want to say I really enjoy the posts of yours that I have read.


Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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