Heather's Boutique, picture from Getty Images

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Au Revoir

This is my last post before I go to Paris on Thursday, then my friend Gerry will be here. He's eaten all the Victoria Sandwich cakes I made him, and I've handed over my login details.

Although we've been friends for about two years, I'm just a bit worried if I can trust him. He doesn't have his own blog, so isn't aware of the huge responsibility.

I mean, if he fails to write an interesting cutting edge post for me, then it will make absolutely no difference to anybody, anywhere. It will improve his typing skills though, something he

I have no clue as to what he will be writing about, he amuses me with his little jokes, but does have a worrying opinionated side, sort of Jeremy Clarkson-esque, without all the flash cars. Gerry drives a Skoda.

Don't hold back with any comments, he likes banter.

Anyway, I'm off to pack some cute dresses and heels, to help with my French look.

Heather x

Friday, October 20, 2006

Time Out

I've been reading up on Paris with the help the guide books. I don't want to make another faux pas concerning gastronomic oddities or walk down the Champs Elysees in the wrong shoes. I want to be prepared for all eventualities.

Paris Time Out say "No world famous tourist trap or low life club has been left unvisited"

Interesting, lucky journalists having to visit the all best places as well as the grotty ones, all in the name of research for their grateful readers. Sounds very stressful, I can just imagine how the conversation would go if I had that job.....

Friend says, "Heather, are you coming out for dinner on Wednesday night to that place that we always go to in Soho?

Me "Sounds nice but we always go there, have you booked?"

Friend says, "No, because we always go there"

Me "Ok, let me check my diary, what time?"

Friend says, "Well, we have to get there early because we haven't booked"

Me "What about 7 o'clock?"

Friend says, "Great I'll meet you there."

Me "Hang on a minute sorry I can't, I've got something already on for that evening. I've got to go to Hakkasan for dinner."

Friend says, "Have you booked?"

Me "Yes, I'm going with some other journalists from work, you know, research and all that, it's part of my job"

Friend says, "That's Chinese isn't it? I hear it's gorgeous, famous for Dim Sum, quite expensive though, do you have to pay?"

Me "No "

Friend says, "So you're going to Hakkasan for dinner, with colleagues, and you're not paying for any of it?"

Me "That's right"

Friend says, "Shame you're going to embarrass yourself using chopsticks then isn't it."?

Yes that job would be just my cup of Lapsang su shong.

I have managed to bribe a friend with homemade Victoria Sandwich cakes to look after my blog for me when I'm away, more on that soon, and H'Scopes.

Heather x

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Bad French

I'm going back to Paris in November. It will be a nostalgic trip to visit friends, and my former employers Monsieur et Madame F.

While I'm there, I'm hoping to visit an amazing flea market at Porte de Clignancourt. It's supposed to be the largest in Europe. Some of the things on my list will be a new pair of sturdy football boots for Paul Robinson, and a pad for Steve McClaren. He's always making notes!? What could he be writing? Little poems to all the players? A short novel about the life of an England football manager?

What do I say to the Parisians if the conversation turns to football? Shall I just change the subject back to French politics and pretend I'm not English? Which means I'll have to do an impression of a French person with a regional French accent. Not an English person without an accent speaking French with a bad accent.

I once confidently asked for "Les yeux avec du pain, s'il vous plait" which I thought to be, "eggs on toast, please". Only to be met by guffaws of laughter from the waiter and my date. Said date, then kindly pointed out that I may have confused the similar pronunciation of "Les yeux" with, "Les oeufs". It turned out I had ordered, "Eyes on toast."

Not yummy, even in France, even with lots of red wine.

But I wonder if they sell recipe books at the Porte de Clignancourt market? I wonder if there is an ancient provincial recipe somewhere for "Eyes on toast?" I'm not saying I would like to eat this, however I know a footballer who should.

Sorry Paul, I mean that in the nicest possible way.

Heather x

Sunday, October 08, 2006

The Dogs

I remember a time when I could put a glass of champagne on my coffee table, and it wouldn't get dribbled on.

I could go for an uninterrupted walk, at my own pace, without having to stop to leer at birds.

I could even have a nice hot bath without a huge slobbering beast, hovering over me.

Fond memories indeed, but to be honest, my life was completely dull before I met my husband and somehow we've managed to work through the slobbering problem. Well, for most of the year anyway, he sometimes has relaspes around Valentines Day and Christmas, but generally he's ok.

But this isn't about him, it's about my lovely cuddly Newfoundland dogs, Grizzle and Fluffy.

Where do I start?

I could tell you about the time they escaped from a friend's house and I found them at the beach, casually swimming around the bay. Or the time when my mother had just cooked 24 current buns, left them to cool, and Fluffy hoovered up the lot.

Another one I am particularly proud of, is when Grizzle stole a chocolate Swiss roll from someone's kit bag, at a local football game in the park. The image of me chasing my dog around a muddy pitch, being laughed at by the WHOLE team, even the subs, is not a happy one.

To save Fluffy's dignity, I won't be telling you about the time she had a fling in Cornwall, with a spaniel called Fudge. Highly embarrassing when I had to go to the vet for the canine version of the morning after pill I can tell you. I can feel myself blushing just thinking about it.

But I will tell you that if you ever feel the need to have two bears living in your house, like something to keep your feet warm, and enjoy getting swamped by affectionate strangers when out walking. Newfoundlands are the dogs for you.

Someone once asked me "Why did you call your dog such a daft name? (Fluffy)

I told my husband Piers Geronimo, that he should know perfectly well why. The name was taken from the Harry Potter books, and it sounded better than Fang, which was the name of the other dog in the book.

More posts coming soon, including QPR, Charlton Athletic, Paris and a new purchase. Heather x