Sweethearts, yes, I have neglected more than one of you shamelessly. Which goes to prove that absence doesn’t make the heart grow fonder. Not at all. All it does is make you forget you ever existed. Who the ‘you’ in the last sentence is I shall leave for you to decide: You, me or all of us.
The good news is that I was once proposed to by a Professor of a language I shall not disclose to you. He had accepted a posting in Paris (Goethe Institut), promised to take me to a Viennese Ball, allow me all licence taking my fancy and generally make my life as soporific as only I can appreciate it. Yes. Insert pregnant pause. And more yes. Except it was a no.
Let’s leave aside that at the time I was married already (to my first husband). Considering that I am not the marrying kind it’s never stopped anyone proposing to me. I wish I were one of Emma’s sisters (ref. Jane Austen). At least her mother wouldn’t have had any problems marrying me off.
So if I had married the Professor my blog’s readers and I would have probably never met, and even if we had, I’d be “Parlez-vous Francais?” NON? Well go away then. Because the French only speak French. Even when ordering French fries.
Fast forward – not that fast. Instead of which after gently disposing of husband number one I married an English man. An English Man of the most exacting type. You want a cucumber sandwich? You can have cucumber sandwich – extra thin. You want tea in The Ritz? You will. Just make sure to wear a tie. Unless you want to be humiliated by the doormen offering you a left over. You want an after-eight? Just make sure you … Don’t ask. I have suffered more than an education in the use of an apostrophe.
Don’t knock The Ritz. I had champagne there after getting hitched at Marylebone Registry Office (the church ceremony being in the father/motherland two days later). Wish that bloody scanner of mine be working to provide you with photographic evidence. Give me a few more months and I’ll be back in the money replacing all that is on its last leg.
Which brings me neatly back to where I started: Instead of speaking French 99 % of the day I now speak English 99.9 % of the day (I do swear in the mother tongue which accounts for the missing .1 %).
I leave all of you with offspring with a dreadful thought: Imagine I’d have married the Professor, the Angel wouldn’t exist. No contest there then.
May your egg hatch too. Happy Easter,
PS Not so much an afterthought as a fact: The Englishman proposed to me in Paris.
PPS To keep the record straight: The Englishman is now – and has been for a considerable time – married to an American. A Catholic. The Englishman, apart from being a gentleman and a defender of the apostrophe, only has two pet hates: Americans and Catholicism. One wonders. So far so good. And let me remind you: He is the father of my son. And few can claim that accolade.