If Terence Conran could sell French country style to the English in the 20th century, why shouldn't I sell English patisserie to the French in the 21st century?
If only it were that easy. I hadn't reckoned on French bureaucracy, weather and good old xenophobia. But hey, life on the traditional French markets is full of surprises so I thought I should share them with the wider world.
After 20 years living in the centre of uber style-conscious London, I shipped out to live in the rural bliss of west central France, leaving all semblance of chic and style behind me together with my manicured nails to live in muddy boots and ripped jeans to work on the 'renovation of our French country ruin'. Eventually finding a need for contact with humanity in whatever form, I came upon the idea of selling fairy cakes to the French. Only problem was; I didn't have a kitchen!
This blog will be a document to the success, or otherwise of my enterprise along with the tales, trials and emotional rollercoasters of life on the market in France. I hope you will enjoy.......

quintessentially English

quintessentially English
........but in France!

Friday, May 14, 2010

English crumpet!

As so many English men fantasise about the sexiness of French women, so it seems the French have their own fantasies about the English! Out in the cold morning air, the male market traders around me seem to have varying approaches to the seduction of a 'petite anglaise'. If you have ever seen a French comedy film or TV show you will know that the humour is very much of the trouser dropping variety, and I'm finding that far from the idealised Parisian romantic, the average French country bloke is pretty much still in caveman territory!
On a cold morning there are no end of offers to 'warm me up' ranging from the randy single fishmonger's over enthusiastic 'bises'(kisses moving from cheek, down towards the neck, if he gets half a chance!), to the married ex-army baker's dirty jokes, in some vain attempt to shock me into submission. Apparently every new girl who starts the markets gets this treatment for a while, but in my case apparently there seems to be some added challenge with constant "Hallo's" shouted across the market and competition amongst the baker, fruit & veg man and roast chicken seller to see which one can make the amorous fishmonger jealous. All this is in the best lighthearted humor, and keeps us all laughing in a not very glamourous part of rural France. Hey I'm not complaining, it gets me and my stand noticed and I have had a few good sales as a result of some really corney comments about 'les petites anglaises'. Sinking almost to their level I did point out to the roast chicken seller the other day, the English significance of the word 'cock' as he was contemplating getting a plastic cockerel to put on his stall to go with the bleating sheep on the cheese seller's stand, and the pig on the sausage stall. So of course we had the whole morning filled with a barrage of 'coq' innuendos which went completely over the heads of the biddies buying their veg, but had the rest of us in stitches!
All this to sell a few fairy cakes, but hey - that's the way it works around here, and everyone comes to me for their sugar fix now, not to the boulangerie!

1 comment:

  1. Ooooh errrrr missus! You'll have them all laughing like Sid James by the end of the year. Perfect your Kenneth Williams snort now!