Archive for September, 2010

Who’d have a child today?

Seriously – it must be horrendous to have children today. Not because the little darlings are more demanding or influenced by that heady cocktail of E numbers and advertising but because other parents are so judgemental. No matter what parents seem to choose, from type of buggy, feed, clothing, whether to work etc they get judged by others THE WHOLE TIME.

What’s made me think of this? Well I was in a shoe shop the other day (I know, I know, hold the front page…). Anyway I was browsing, minding my own business when I turned the corner and started to browse down an aisle towards a mother and her daughter. The daughter seemed to be just pre – that dressing-like-a-prostitute phase, so maybe about 9 years old. She was wearing 4 inch leopard print stilettos. I did not bat an eyelid (this was DWS after all and I’ve seen men in more alarming footwear). Still, the mother (wearing identical shoes  btw) felt obliged to tell me ” she’s not buying them, it’s just for fun”.

What has the world come to when young girls can’t play dress up in a shop without parents feeling like the have to justify it? And actually I don’t care if your 9 year old does wear stilettoes. Ok not good for growing feet but there are worse things.*  Seriously who’d be a parent nowadays?

*Such as those Clarkes brown (yes brown – urgh) ‘sensible’ shoes I had to wear at school until I was 16. The shame.

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Ooh la la – Paris gets friendly

As you can see from the picture – I’ve just been to Paris. I thought an image of a pigeon and the Eiffel tower were about as Paris-y as it gets. But did I just rock up, take the picture and go? I did not. I stood there for a good 15 minutes waiting for the feathered rat to stop cleaning its own backside.

It’s that sort of courtesy that I was  bracing myself for – previous trips to Paris (last time approx 12 years ago) left me expecting condescending service, that whole pretense of not understanding my poor but not totally useless French…

I couldn’t have been more wrong. Everyone was charming – the hotel staff couldn’t do enough for us, waiters and waitresses brought what I had asked for (and let’s face it, over a decade of not using a language rarely improves it) and people in shops were friendly and helpful.* So now there’s absolutely nothing to dislike about Paris. Apart from the pigeons of course.

*In the spirit of full disclosure – the Charles De Gaulle United check-in and ground staff were as surly as ever but I wouldn’t hold that against Paris specifically.

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If anyone asks..I’m from the Isle of Wight

Generally when I meet an American, once they have been politely corrected in their assumption that I’m Australian (honestly! I couldn’t sound less Australian if I tried) they ALWAYS say; “oh I have a friend in England/ I lived there once/ my next door neighbour’s son could point it out on a map”….or similar.  Then they say: “I lived in Moss Side/ Dagenham/ Milton Keynes” or somewhere of comparable grimness. “Do you know it?”

At that point I generally make “mmm that sounds lovely but it’s not very close to where I lived” sort of noises. I’m now of the mind that I’d be best off avoiding the conversation completely. I was thinking I could just say I’m from the Isle of Wight (which from memory is pretty uniformly pleasant). Or maybe I should just invent a small European country to come from. Bet they won’t have family there.

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