You all know the old saying ‘less is more’. Basically, it means ‘don’t overdo it’. As in, for instance, don’t put on a gorgeous necklace and fantastic earrings, because it will be too much and could even clash. I used to completely agree with such an attitude. Well, now, I am not so sure. What has changed exactly? Well, lots of things.
For starters, the latest craze in London is the crop top. Basically, just like hot pants, the shorter, the better. Take a normal T-Shirt, cut it just under the breast and there you go, you have a crop top. Crop tops are everywhere, and Crop ! Crop! Crop! seems to be the new motto in London. This made me wonder: why does everything need to be in a lighter, shorter version?
I ordered a salad in a restaurant tonight. It was a bit disappointing because all I had was 4 leaves of endive topped by a spoonful of crab meat. Surely it was, once again, a minimalist version of a normal dish. I ended up ordering a big British cheese board to compensate, and immediately felt better.
Sometimes, you just need more and less is not more. Honestly, don’t you think that this minimalist fashion is, well, a bit boring? Where is the fun in this? Come on, it is perfectly ok to have a maxi dress, is it not? And to have a starter AND a dessert? And if I want to have three necklaces and earrings on top of it, so be it! After all, who cares?
In a professional environment, I was repeatedly told that I should not make my points too strongly, because, you see, you need to suggest and, in a British environment, less is more too. What a load of rubbish! At the end of the day the notes I was reading were so bland that I didn’t know what to think after reading them. Not helpful at all…
This minimalist mindset is starting to get on my nerves. Come on, why can’t we have full-length T-shirts ? Or large portions of food when we are hungry? And if I feel strongly about something, why can’t I tell it as it is?
How do you deal with it? Did you succumb to this minimalist mindset? I sometimes wonder where it will lead us: minuscule T-shirts and non-existent opinions?
Naively, I thought that hot pants could only be something informal but no, I was wrong, there are hot pants for all sorts of occasions. In British fashion, that is. I have never seen a French woman wear hot pants in a formal setting. You can wear them on the beach during a sunny day but that’s as far as a you would go. And given the fact that I do not have the legs of a young girl, I am not sure that I would risk it. Would you? This is a great fashion schism: hot pants are BIG this side of the channel, but not in France.
Well, that’s a tick in the box. That said, as I am French, I will stick to my black dress. And she will stick to her hot pants. She is British, you see.
I have to break it out to you: in France, we don’t celebrate Boxing day. We simply don’t have it. Tough but true. It is common practice to go back to work on the 26th of December. Usually, you celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve and you have a big lunch on the 25th. That’s it, celebrations are over. See, contrary to popular beliefs, the French are sometimes working when the Anglo-Saxon world just stops for a massive shopping spree! I thought that I should clarify this point. Somehow it makes me feel better. It might have something to do with the fact that I used to be told all the time that ‘we French’ never work.
When we first moved to London, I didn’t understand why you don’t have to go to work on the 26th of December. It took me a while to get it. That said, there is a Tube strike in London today and I won’t venture anywhere near a shop today. Not a chance.
Boxing Day is just a bonus for us. London is empty and it is a good time to catch up with family and just take it easy. I might even go for a lovely jog outside it it doesn’t start to rain again. I might be British now but I can’t really run in the rain. What are treadmills for anyway?
I hope that you are all having a lovely time, and that you don’t have to work today!
I am spending a few days in France to visit family. The thing is, I come from a small village and, basically, there is no choice: I have to rent a car to get there. This means that I have to drive my little ones in a country that’s supposed to be mine but that I don’t recognise any more.
Well, driving in France is nothing short of a challenge. It looks like there is a different set of rules over here. People at the wheel become some sort of monsters who will stop at nothing to make your life a living hell while you drive.
For instance, speed limits must not be respected. Speed limits are, in fact, a minimal speed. Unless there is a police van or a radar, of course. I tend to be very disciplined and I was driving at exactly 90km per hour (the speed limit). Well, everybody was overtaking me. Everybody, even lorries and motorcycles. Unbelievable. Maybe I ended up in the middle of a race without knowing it.
If you don’t have any visibility, it is not a problem, you can overtake. I find this behaviour incredibly dangerous, especially on small country roads, but it doesn’t seem to bother anyone. Have I missed something?
If you believe that the driver in front of you is too slow, you stay as close to him/her as possible. Lovely. Maybe it is supposed to be funny. I need to buy a ‘keep your distance’ sticker. I am not sure that it will work but you never know, it might be worth a try, I suppose.
Traffic lights are just a Christmas decoration at night. Stopping at a red light in the middle of the night is considered to be rude because you are hindering the fluidity of the traffic. Of course. How come I hadn’t thought of this?
No car is too old to be driven, preferably fast. I see old cars from my childhood everywhere…Some look like a pot of yogurt and I thought that they might disintegrate on the motorway. But they didn’t. Mind you, they almost flew.
In short, every time I have to drive somewhere over here, I am freaking out. You do have the odd angry driver in London, but it is the exception rather than the rule…well, it is the other way around over here.
I really hope that I will make it back to London in one piece, as I am honestly appalled with such road rage.
That said, apparently I shouldn’t complain. I am told that it is even worse in Italy. Life is full of challenges I suppose. Maybe I should buy an old tank?