There is a new trend in town: a lot of my friends have been to Paris for a weekend with their respective boyfriend or girlfriend and –surprise surprise!- they all came back engaged. It must be dome sort of ritual for young couples in a manual that I missed. Once back, I get a full description of how he popped the question. It is usually something along the following lines “And in the middle of the Champ de Mars, in front of the Eiffel tower, he went down on one knee and asked me whether I wanted to marry him. Everybody applauded. It was sooooooo romantic. Paris is the most romantic city in the world. Oh, I love Paris! I said yes, of course.” And so on, and so forth. I am, of course, very happy for them, despite the fact that I keep hearing the same story and it is becoming slightly boring (Am I becoming cynical?). On top of this, I have to admit Paris doesn’t have the same effect on me. There is nothing romantic about dog crap every 5 yards (be careful where you kneel, boys) and mad drivers everywhere. I would know, I used to live there.
OK, I will say it: London is, to me, a lot more romantic than Paris.
There are lovely parks everywhere and the dog poo usually comes in a plastic bag! Seriously, even the lampposts are reminiscent of an old love story. You don’t believe me? I was once wondering what the cryptic signs on the Westminster lampposts meant. I got some help from my deliciously British friend the Accidental Londoner (check out her blog here). She happens to be a fountain of knowledge. Apparently, the W stands for the Duke of Westminster, who had a 10-year relationship with Coco Channel, hence the interlaced Cs on the other side of the lampposts. Obviously the Westminster council disagrees with such an explanation and has said that W stands for Westminster and the double Cs for City Council. What a bunch of old bores!
Coco Chanel famously turned the Duke’s proposal of marriage down, arguing: “There have been several Duchesses of Westminster, there is only one Chanel”. That’s French bluntness for you!
In London, you see, you don’t shout your love from the rooftops. You write it on a lamppost. How original is this? Frankly, I have never seen it anywhere else. Anyway, I know need to meet my friend L. Guess what: she was in Paris last weekend and she has got something to tell me. Why do I have this sense of déjà-vu?
Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London