Posted by / Category Cultural Differences, London /





Before I start, I have to admit that I love London. I love it so much that I have applied for Permanent Residence and maybe one day we will have a British passport.

That said, I keep wondering what makes British people that extra bit special. After the best part of 7 years I don’t have the answer yet, but I might be getting closer as I had an epiphany the other day during the school run.



I am always in advance -big mistake- and I had managed to park my Chelsea tractor just in front of the school for once. I was pleased with myself as I hate parallel parking. We were waiting and nicely listening to the radio, and my 5-year old was probably telling me something about Tinkerbell that, I must admit shamefully, I can’t remember.
Then, this woman parked her car just in front of mine. She went out of the car. She was still waking up, she didn’t have any make-up and was wearing an ample track suit bottom with what looked like Uggs shoes. She was middle-aged, very normal and I would normally have forgotten her immediately. But she decided to open her trunk and when she did, her trousers collapsed, showing her bottom. I am talking about the whole thing here, not just the start of the bum cheeks at the end of the back. For some funny reason -and this proves that the law of gravity can be deceptive sometimes, she ended up with her track suit on her knees.

Suffice to say that if it had been me, I would have been mortified. Not that her bottom was an awful one -it was average – not a star’s bottom, but just the normal, average wobbly thing…but, being French, I would have been so ashamed and embarrassed that I would have dyed my hair blonde, change car and basically entered the local equivalent of the Witness Protection Programme.

She did none of this. She didn’t even look around to check that anyone had seen her. She just pulled up her pants, closed the trunk, got her kid and brought him to school.
I was amazed. That is the essence of Britishness. Never complain, Never explain, Get on with your life whatever.
Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London
  • Excellent ! Bonne année, MumuGB

  • Susi

    hahahaha! That was rather funny actually. But at the end of the day what can you do about it? Very British indeed.

  • HA HA HA

  • I figure if she was happy to step out of her house looking like that, inadvertently revealing her bottom was unlikely to phase her! Good for her (I guess?) but I hope it hasn’t left you feeling too traumatised…

  • I love this. I took my kids to school once, well, maybe more than once, in a long night gown with a winter coat on top. Nothing fell down but I did have car trouble. And tt was before UGGS. Yesterday I clicked on 2 blogs at random off the Blogging site at She Writes. One was yours, a French woman living in England and the other was D Lawrenson, an English woman living in France. I thought that a neat thing to do. I like the memoir style and your brightness and I would take London any day. I’m American an I write about women usually in the first person but I just did a post on Geraldin Ferraro, you might like it. I’ll stop by again.

  • That is funny, I agree if she was happy to step out in tracksuit bottoms and Uggs then she is not the type likely to be fussed. Now I do love Uggs and I have been known to throw them on with tracksuit bottoms too but only to pick someone up, nothing that would involve me getting out of the car! She may have had a brief moment where she stared at the back of the car and thought ‘oh my god, how embarrassing’ and then thought it better to carry on as normal!

  • W…O…W. Granted a lot of things still shock me to this day but that is one thing I will admit I’ve never heard of before! I do however respect that ‘Never complain, Never explain’ mentality. I have to learn that still as I have the tendency to over-explain. I think life would be much simpler if we all became a little bit more British in that sense. 😉

  • LOL Love it! Just another day another pants drop, no biggie.

  • Stiff upper lip?

  • Lol! I would be equally mortified but I guess unless someone is watching no one really cares! And she didn’t care even if someone did watch! I mean her pants were slipping and there wasn’t much she could have done about it!

    Except for Mark Darcy (Oh! Mr. Darcy!) there isn’t another British fascination I have!

  • Excellent first blog. Introduces you and one of the reasons why you love England. I’d have done exactly the same as that woman did, but then, I’m English. What’s to be embarrassed about? That kind of thing (fallen skirt, slacks, open blouse, open dressing gown = full frontal, entire dress falls in street, underpants slide down in public place) has happened to me a lot, and all I do is remedy it and get on with whatever I’m doing. No explanation needed.

  • HAHA! I so laughed out loud at: “normal, average wobbly thing”! =P With this story, I am loving the British too! =) The last lines of this post are excellent mottos to live by! =)

  • Oh Muriel, too bad you didn’t take video, lol. UTube it or video blog it hahaha. 🙂

  • Oh – that just made my night! LOL – I can just see her there with her bum hanging out – too funny!

  • Pingback: Are French And English Any Different? Let’s Go To the Bottom Of This! | French Yummy Mummy()

  • ALK

    Showing your bottom is one thing, but there is no excuse for Ugg boots. Ever.

    • I love a male perspective on this! So refreshing!

      • ALK

        You only have to ask me, I’m always good advice. On anything!

        • So, have you ever done the school run in your PJs? Or gone outside to run an errand in your PJs? I was wondering if it was at all acceptable…