Petite Anglaise is the pseudonym of Catherine Sanderson, a British blogger living in Paris, whose blog articles caused her to be sacked from work and whom subsequently she was offered a publishing deal. Her first book, “Petite Anglaise” was published in 2008. Her second book, “French Kissing” was published in 2009.
Catherine’s blog is at petite anglaise – not updated so often now that Jack (the new baby) has come along but, there is a lovely photo slideshow thingy showing the aforementioned Jack and his sister, Tadpole.
I asked Catherine if she would consent to an interview, she seemed enthusiastic – I assumed that she hadn’t looked at A Taste Of Garlic.
Not wishing to miss my chance, I put on my Sunday best and sped right off towards Paris.
Unfortunately I hadn’t realised that being seen in public in a Val Doonican cardigan is a criminal offense in France and it took a little while to convince the Gendarmes that it wouldn’t happen again.
Thus, I had no choice but to send the interview by email.
|1). Could you offer any advice to all those people who are planning to follow your example and move to Paris to meet a man in a comments box?
Catherine - Ha! Moving to Paris is one of the best decisions I ever made, but meeting a man in my blog’s comment box worked out less well for me, even if it did give me plenty of writing material…
French dating sites – like Meetic – I can heartily recommend, however.
My newborn son’s funniest gift was a ‘child of meetic’ T-shirt.
|2). Reading through an old blog entry (from July 2006 – you see, we do actually read the blogs we highlight at A Taste Of Garlic), you list the 33 things that characterise you.
Two of those items brought lumps to our throats… 1). Your father was a Morris Dancer and 2). The first record you ever owned was Boney M’s Night Flight to Venus.
Which of these two do you consider to be the most cringeworthy?
Catherine - I don’t take any responsibility for either, but I think as a child I got much more flack for my dad’s hobby…
I’d be shopping in York city centre on a weekend with my girlfriends, trying to look cool, when suddenly my dad would appear out of nowhere in full Morris dancing costume and say ‘hi’.
3). We are all very glad to hear that French rock star Johnny Hallyday has emerged from a medically induced coma. Should France have a public holiday in celebration and should Que je t’aime become the new national anthem?
Catherine - I never understood the whole Johnny thing until recently, when I saw a documentary and realised he’d actually been quite subversive and groundbreaking when he first became famous. As for the public holiday, yes please! Any excuse. I’ve just realised that pretty much all this years jours fériés will be falling on weekends…..
4). Taking myself, the aforementioned Johnny Hallyday and Nicolas Sarkozy out of the equation; who is the sexiest man in France?
Catherine - Official answer: my husband. Unofficial answer: I do have a soft spot for the guy who presents Canal+’s Le Petit Journal‘
5). Has any book changed your life?
Catherine - My own books have changed my life the most. Without them I wouldn’t have met Richard and Judy. Or sat on the This Morning sofa. Most importantly though, they got me out of secretarial work and into a new career.
6). On a totally serious note, blogging about the workplace is a great way of keeping the bosses in check and, for good employers, evangelising about the workplace. Would you care to comment?
Catherine - I wouldn’t advise anyone to blog about their boss, not unless they fancy a trip to the Assedic, followed by a trip to the Prud’hommes. Neither are much fun. I actually still have occasional nightmares about running into my boss, three years later. But I’d have given anything to be a fly on the wall the day the media got hold of my story and their phone began to ring off the hook. I don’t think they saw that coming.
7). Ricard or Pastis?
Catherine - Neither. I detest aniseed. Make mine a gin and tonic.
8). As a member of the “Paris School of Writers”, exactly how many hours a day do you spend sat outside Le Dôme or generally being inebriated around Montparnasse?
Catherine - I’m more of a Aux Folies (Belleville, not Pigalle) kind of girl. But I’ve never got much work done in cafés. People watching is so much more fun.
9). What do you say to the people who believe that Elvis isn’t dead but is quite happy working as a roast chestnut seller in the Bois de Boulogne?
Catherine - You obviously haven’t read the ‘True Blood’ Southern Vampire novels.
10). Are you working on a new book at the moment and, if so, what is it called and when is it due to be published?
Catherine - I’m not. I’m taking some time out to make the most of my son’s first few months and then we’ll see.
11). Like Joanne Harris (the other famous writer who we recently interviewed), you are a Yorkshire lass. Which is best; black pudding, fish in batter and a pint of John Smith’s or boudin noir, oysters and a glass of Pouilly Fumé?
Catherine – I’d always choose fish and chips over oysters. Provided there were mushy peas on offer. And some soggy white sliced bread and butter. Washed down with a cup of Yorkshire tea. Although I must say, whenever I go back to York and actually have some, I get one hell of a stomach ache afterwards. I’m not used to that much saturated fat in one sitting any more.
12). As Christmas has recently been (and gone), what were you hoping for in your stocking, and did you get it?
Catherine - Santa brought me an iPhone and a baby sling. My biggest disappointment this Christmas was that I couldn’t get my hands on any mince pie filling.
13). Do you want to answer any more questions or would you prefer to pop off down to Le Dôme for a nice pint of absinthe and let me make up the rest of the answers?
Catherine - Be my guest!
Well, what a nice lady with a very interesting story (and a daughter called Tadpole!)
All the best
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