I feel such a weedy weed. I used to be intrepid, adventurous. I used to boldly go, and even to go boldly to assiduously avoid split infinitives (until someone suggested it wasn't even grammatically incorrect). Now I read Jaywalker's adventures to the circus with her boys in the snow and think: "She describes herself as an 'unfit mother'. What does that make me?" I do not expect answers on an e-card, thank you.
We did try to take La Fille out yesterday, really we did. We decided to go to the Guignols puppet show on the Champs Elysées and perhaps take a stroll down the Christmas Market nearby. We looked out of the window and noticed it was snowing, or more accurately, raining soggy ice but it did not look that wet. We dressed accordingly, though for some inexplicable reason the Frenchman forgot to wear a hat or bring gloves and neither of us bothered to grab one of the half a dozen umbrellas next to the front door. "It's just a bit of rain," he said, as he always does. We jumped on the Metro heading for the left bank of the Seine so we could take a pleasant stroll over the river, but in the 15 minutes it took to get there the drizzle had turned into a downpour. We ploughed on valiantly the Frenchman and I walking around huge puddles, La Fille through them to reach the Seine. It was only 100 yards or so but by the time we on the bridge we were completely drenched. The rain was osmosing up my trouser legs and the Frenchman complained he was "frozen". When La Fille said she was cold I discovered her trousers were making their way to her knees - taking her knickers with them - because I had forgotten to tighten the elastic in the waist. Consequently the bottoms were so soaked they were dripping water into her boots. To make me feel even more guilty she wailed: "It's all my fault, Mama. I forgot my umbrella," as her glasses steamed up under an oversized hat.
We were by now half way across the bridge over the Seine with the Eiffel Tower, half shrouded in cloud behind us, and the coloured lights of the Christmas Market stalls half shrouded in rainy snow in front. The idea of watching a puppet show in soaking wet clothes did not seem a great idea but I didn't want to disappoint La Fille. "Where's the puppet theatre?" I yelled at the Frenchman who was in charge of logistics. "Don't know," he yelled back. "Well which direction?". "Don't know." "What, no idea?" "Not a clue." I said: "Let's go home." I looked at La Fille: "Home?". She nodded. Water ran off her nose and dripped into her sodden scarf.
We came home. Pathetic really.
Quid pro quo
5 weeks ago