How the proud fall...
This week takes me from my tiny Parisian cubby-hole in the
capital's grungy 12th district, just off from Bastille, and
transposes me to the very heart of la vieille France, the
Far from the hustle and bustle of cool bars, fabulous
restaurants, and 24-hour tabacs, Burgundy is a region of peace,
tranquility and cows. A harmonious idyll, where the red wine flows
freely as water, wife-beater tees are all the rage and the mullet
is still considered de rigeur. And though partial to the odd mullet
myself (been there, done that), I tend to prefer them with a side
of gorgeous girl rather than the slight odor of manure...
Once upon a time, escaping the manic urbanity of the city was
just what the doctor ordered. But not this week. Disaster.
I put it down to a little known lesbian ailment known as
'getting ahead of oneself.' Its symptoms can include mild
heart-ache, possible flashes of disappointment and sporadic bouts
of crying. Oh, yes. In the words of the famous poet Spears, 'oops I
did it again'.
Except that I went and did it in the record-breaking, supremely
lesbian time period of ONE WEEK. Girl meets girl, sparks fly and
connections are forged in the fires of Sapphic Mordor, or might
that just be the smoke of the infamous U-Haul van, long since
passed and now hurtling down the road in search of other
Last week I spoke of finally getting over heartbreak... I had
met someone. We were going on a date. Bugger. As in all good
lesbian, head-over-heals, tempestuous roller-coaster relationships,
the chronology was all off. What should begun slowly, gradually, a
little swerve here and a gentle corner there, quickly became big
O's and dramatic upside-down maneuvers, the finish arriving all too
abruptly for a ride which had just begun. It was all so intimately
French, it was all so infinitely lesbian. Let's just say, I'm
getting back together with my dog.
But never again shall I complain of the vibrancy, the vivacity
and the all-out craziness of the city. In the Burgundian fields of
isolation, I have five cows, two donkeys and a pear tree to soothe
my aching heart and bruised ego. I had never really appreciated the
dilemma of the poor young lesbian, trapped in a small town, obliged
to watch episodes of The L Word back-to-back for comfort,
inspiration and a sense of participation. I have become that
lesbian this week.
So here, are my five tips for any girl, who may perchance find
themselves in the middle of nowhere, with farmyard animals for
company and only the memory of a lurve that could have been.
1. Red wine is your friend; nurture that relationship.
2. In the countryside, there are NO GIRLS. So, let your skin
breathe, leave makeup off, don't wash your hair. Wear that checked
shirt you would never normally dare to. Be free!
3. Make friends with the local residents. Invite the 70-year-old
who lives at the farm next door for a cup of tea and a chat...
4. Time stands still in the countryside; read a book, enjoy a
sunset, learn a musical instrument! Personal fulfillment!
5. Discover regional specialités... Oeuf en meurette (or dying
eggs) - poached egg and snails in a red wine sauce. Slimy!
And if all else fails, upon my return to the big city,Paris
Plage 2011awaits me. Every summer the banks of the Seine are filled
with sand, deck chairs and gorgeous French people; a veritable
Blackpool à la Francais. Could it be that after a week of rest and
reflection, I will have decided to stop pursuing roller-coaster
sensations and be able to enjoy a calm evening on the fake
dunes of the river Seine, staying far away from the pleasures of
les parc d'attractions and the jinglel of the coin machines?
Probably not. Certain clichés encapsulate my current condition;
head over heels, heart on sleeve, sucker for punishment...
The fair is back in town.
Fancy joining Gemma and the rest of Paris at Paris Plage
2011, or even escaping further into the French countryside? Book
your Eurostar tickets at www.raileasy.co.uk.