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did you read this? for all francophiles and anglophobes....

26 replies

cremolafoam · 06/11/2007 17:32

in the Sunday Times
just thought it was funny

OP posts:
TwoIfBySea · 06/11/2007 18:36

That is genius! Love it!

themildmanneredjanitor · 06/11/2007 18:41

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BroccoliSpears · 06/11/2007 18:41

It got my back up too mmj, but I think it was supposed to.

themildmanneredjanitor · 06/11/2007 18:43

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TwoIfBySea · 06/11/2007 19:16

The true sense of humour is the ability to laugh at oneself.

Even if the tongue was not in the cheek it was very funny!

cremolafoam · 06/11/2007 22:00

it is meant to be a parody in that she is an absolute anglophobe herself.

"Thoroughly French Hortense

About the author: Hortense de Monplaisir is from a very old French family who did not need to buy their particule. After studying at Sciences Po, one of the grandes écoles, or top universities, she married a grosse légume in banking and has made a career embellishing his grey world with her vivacious conversation and colourful table displays.

Thanks to her expatriation, her children are bilingual and au fait with binge drinking culture, while preferring to sip Orangina and dance le rock taught by a maître danseur from Paris. She and her husband live in London, but have homes in Paris?s Left Bank and in the Luberon, as well as one-tenth of the family manoir in Brittany.

An incisive observer of the English, she remains French through and through. Her interests include le scrapbooking, painting on porcelain and organising holidays in Verbier, St Barts and the Ile de Ré.

She has an exceptional IQ and is a member of French Mensa. "

OP posts:
margoandjerry · 06/11/2007 22:05

I saw that article in The Week - she claimed the French have no word for "foodie" because "all french people love food" which is:

a) a load of baloney viz the creation of frozen, microwaveable croque monsieur


b) inaccurate linguistically since "gourmand" in the sense of someone interested in the food and eating is a decent translation of "foodie"

DaddyJ · 07/11/2007 08:46

No punches pulled, very amusing and some
of it even spot on.

She would make a formidable Mumsnetter

  • could call herself iPoisson.
SSSandy2 · 08/11/2007 09:59

She's smart but she's a little too unkind. I could write something like that about Germany but I wouldn't do it unless I was able to write it "wohlwollend". It's a bit cheap otherwise. Still British tabloids do so much of this kind of thing in a much tackier manner so I suppose we have to swallow it with a good grace.

I have to admit that she has some points and it brings back a French lesson I had once when I was a student. I turned up in jeans, pullover, flat boots, hair hanging down. The Frenchwoman had a 2 month old baby sleeping in a cot, her place was immaculate (what I saw of it, all cream sofas and carpets and no mess lying about). She was slim (no sign of a post birth jelly-belly), she had her hair dyed golden and carefully styled in long curls, wore a long-sleeved black, low-cut t-shirt with a black skirt and masses of chunky gold jewellery. I had to think of her when my own baby was small and I was hard-pushed to get my hair washed in the mornings.

NotQuiteCockney · 08/11/2007 10:18

A gourmand is not a foodie! A gourmet might be, but a gourmand is someone who eats too much.

I thought it was funny, and well-written.

Swedes2Turnips1 · 08/11/2007 10:29

LOL I read this article. I embraced my inner Alf Garnett too . I handed it to my DP, saying: "Read this..... bloody awful woman". He took the open page and gazed at her scantily-clad body, stretched out like a cat, and I could tell he was thinking that she was not awful at all.

UnquietDad · 08/11/2007 10:38

That's not her, though, is it?
That delightful creature stretched out at the top of the page is Arielle Dombasle.

Callisto · 08/11/2007 10:43

A gourmand is a lover of food, not just a glutton.

I thought the article was a bit too bitchy to be very funny, and not particularly accurate.

DaddyJ · 08/11/2007 11:25

UQD, you really know your French totty, don't you!?

I bet you enjoyed that Vodafone ad, 'Time Thief'!

Swedes2Turnips1 · 08/11/2007 11:28

UD - Is that not her? I have now re-read the article in a different light. Imagining Hortense to be dowdy and middle-aged, dressed in a shapeless suit, a Hermes scarf, too much make-up and hair that moves 3 hours after she does. In summary, a cross between a flight attendant in 1980 (Charter airline) and a Russian prostitute (pre the Gazprom privatisation). Oh and too much Arpege de Lanvin perfume which makes the statement: "I need this much perfume because I have not have a proper wash since I last had sex in 1976 (but of course I don't talk abour Pierre-Marie's mistress)".
Also she states that Seg. Royale looking chic in a bikini made her proud to be French. Ms Royale is Russian. (Surely a bit like looking at Gordon Brown and saying he makes you proud to be English?) Also she says that all Brits want to live in France...... I don't think this is true. They want to live there because the houses are cheap, for a lot of expats it is a shame that these mellow-stone houses are in France not to mention the problems with the marmite supply.
Plus, what self respecting woman would want to be married to someone called Pierre-Marie? For me it conjures up slip-on shoes, short-man syndrome and infidelity.

margoandjerry · 08/11/2007 11:30

NQC - a gros gourmand is a glutton. A gourmand is just a connoisseur of food - ie a foodie. That's my understanding anyway. But also, yes, gourmet would seem like a good translation for Foodie. Either way, French bint is wrong

margoandjerry · 08/11/2007 11:36

LOL @ Pierre-Marie

I have lived in France and I think the article is a load of tripe. Yes, women in the Seizieme dress smartly but they're not too shabby on Bond St either. What I always noticed about France was that there was very little fashion - chic, yes sometimes, fashionable, not really. And if they're not chic, bloody hell are they frumpy.

And the food - just try telling them that Creme Brulee is actually English (which it is). It enrages them.

And that old canard (a l'orange) about meat with jam? Well, we don't eat meat with jam unless you think cranberry sauce is jam. But we do eat meat with fruit and so do they (canard a l'orange for example, or porc a la normande).

Ha. Love French-baiting.

RosaTransylvania · 08/11/2007 11:39

It is a piss take guys. The author is not French.
This is the relevant bit!:

About the translator: Sarah Long is the author of two novels, And What Do You Do? and The Next Best Thing. She lived for 10 years in Paris, where she met Hortense at a wine-tasting, leading to a lifelong friendship of such intensity that she paraphrases Flaubert in claiming: ?Madame de Monplaisir, c?est moi!?

margoandjerry · 08/11/2007 11:41

Rosa don't spoil my fun

Summerfruit · 08/11/2007 11:45

Message withdrawn

Swedes2Turnips1 · 08/11/2007 11:46

Rosa - Hortense is real. Have you not seen her in SW6 crying into her Crepe saying: "I can't do this"?
Q. Are Quenelles de Brochet Pike testicles?

Swedes2Turnips1 · 08/11/2007 11:47

Summerfruit - Would you say a well-honed sense of humour was typically French?


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Marina · 08/11/2007 12:17

I thought it was a very clever parody of a certain type of urban Frenchwoman.
Most of the French people I know are indeed nothing like that Summerfruit and are happily domiciled in London to get away from it all
One of them chose to go Estonia this year rather than face the prospect of having to go back and live in Paris again

Marina · 08/11/2007 12:19

Swedes, my French associates have mostly a rather Gothic and bleak sense of humour, they really crack me up

Swedes2Turnips1 · 08/11/2007 12:29


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