Tuesday, 22 February 2011


Today I took the three children to their mum's work for lunch. I don't want to say the name of the company but she works for a famous pen company... a very famous pen company. I think she is a bit of big shot; she wears nice trousers and she showed me the best selling pen she designed. She took us all round the office to show off the kids and it was fecking awkward because everyone glanced at me with a look that said 'Who is that scruffy miserable girl?' The mum explained that I was her fille au pair and that I was 'helping her'. Everyone looked away then and I bet they were thinking 'Why introduce me to 'the help'?'

I was actually annoyed because I looked digusting and there were a couple of Attractive Men in the office that I had to shake hands with whilst sporting greasy hair and a pale grey jumper with orange foundation all over it. If I would have had some prior warning I could have spruced myself up a bit, nothing extravagant, maybe a dress, some perfume, false eyelashes... You never know, I could have gone in as an au pair in false eyelashes and come out as the young mistress of an octogenarian shareholder who just happened to be visiting the office...

Work has been ok so far this week considering I am with the children for eleven hours a day because it is school holidays. The little boy and I have been playing an excellent game that even tops Dragon Baby. At the moment he has a really comfy sleeping bag on his bed because his radiator has broken and it plays a key role in our new game. The new game is called Dragon Cave and I play the part of Scared Cavegirl who thinks a dragon is coming and hides in her 'cave'. Then the dragon really does come along and jumps up and down elbowing and kicking the cave trying to get in. In other words, I have a snooze in a lovely warm, dark sleeping bag while the five year old boy makes growling noises and claws at me through a protective layer of padding.

The padding is the sleeping bag by the way, not my fat, although truth be told I have been consuming everything in sight since I came back to Paris, despite resounding to Reign It In after my mum hinted I had put weight on when I went back to England. ('That's what happens when you're carrying too much weight on your thighs...') At lunch today I tried to show restraint but the two girls barely touched their food and the mum was like 'Eat it, eat it, go on' as if she knew I am a Disgusting Food Hooverer and then when I refused dessert the eleven year old girl was genuinely shocked and told her mum in French that I must not understand the menu so they ordered me some ice cream.

(Talking of food, the weekend that has just gone I had my mum and her friend to stay and we ate sooo much nice food in places I've never been to before. I'm going to write about each place properly in another post though, like a proper informative Paris-dweller and everything.)

Over lunch today, the mum asked me what I wanted to do next in life and I after a lot of umming and ermming I said 'I like writing, I don't know...' and she blinked at me and didn't probe any further. I wonder what she would have said if I'd answered her truthfully: 'I just want to live in a squat and have a cat.'

I know that doesn't sound very aspirational but I wouldn't just sit in the squat with the cat all day, I would probably get a job washing up or making hot drinks so I could go to clubs at the weekend. I am well good at washing up though. I might not be able to control children or speak French but if you've got a roasting dish that needs cleaning then by gods I'll wash it up for you! Unless you expect me to use one of those little sponges, I'm only good with those brushes-on-sticks really.

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