Friday, 13 September 2013


Today I am sharing too much information, yet again.  This is also inspired by Chantelle of Fat Mum Slim, who always seems to inspire me to embarrass myself.

Today I am talking about:

My most excruciatingly embarrassing moment

I can't remember where this was, but it was on an island
in a river in a French town, where I met my first 'boyfriend'.
He was Michel, and he was 11.  I was 8.
This is my brother, me and my Mum.
Thanks to Dad for taking the picture.
In 1982(!), we went on a family holiday, camping in France.  We didn't go on a Canvas holiday or a Eurocamp (by the way, have you been on one of those holidays?  I'm thinking of going with the kids and could use a recommendation).  No, we took our own tent, and we camped in proper French campsites.  My parents had formulated a plan and everything.  It was an adventure.

Being 8, I was supposed to have helped pack my stuff.  But I didn't.  Obviously.  Instead my Mum packed for me, which was very nice of her.  Unfortunately, it wasn't until we were in France that we realised she'd forgotten to pack me any knickers.

My brother, enjoying the sunshine, and our tent.
This tent died in Welsh floods about a year later.
No problem.  We would go into the local town and buy knickers, and for the moment I could wear my Mum's fancy Janet Reger knickers, because they were the smallest ones she had.  

In 1982 you couldn't go to the supermarket and buy a pack of 5.  No, you had to go to a shop that sold knickers, and discuss your requirements with the shopkeeper.

Sadly my Mum's French was not that awesome.  Later in the holiday she would mix up the words bateau and baton, and ask the baker for a boat, much to our hilarity.  In our hunt for knickers she was going to get by on minimal French and plenty of pointing.

Regarde!  Nous sommes en France.
Not sure my French is any better than my Mum's!
Photo of my Dad with my brother and I in a French town.
Photo taken by Mum.
So we went into the shop.  My Mum availed herself of a pair of knickers, and addressed the shopkeeper: "Je voudrais... (point at knickers), pour elle (pat me on the head)."  Pretty good, no?  You'd understand that, wouldn't you?  However, the shopkeeper seemed to require further clarification.  She asked my Mum something in French.  Silence descended.  Mum had a think.  Some other ladies came in the shop.

Mum decided to speak slowly and clearly and use more pointing.  "Je voudrais... I would like..."  pointed at the knickers.  Shopkeeper tilted her head to one side.  Mum lifted my skirt and showed the shopkeeper, and all the other ladies in the establishment, that I was wearing her fancy Janet Reger knickers.  And then, while I was hoping that the ground would open up beneath my feet, she added, emphatically; "s'il vous plait."

We got knickers.

Needless to say, I've never forgotten to pack knickers again.  Sporrans are another matter though.  Sorry about that.

What about you?  What's your most embarrassing moment?

Posts in this series

This post is one of a series I'm doing inspired by Chantelle of Fat Mum Slim's suggestions of 50 things to blog about.  If you're interested, here's links to all the ones I've done so far.