We have just come back from Venice where we were invited to the launch of a joint venture between the estate agents Savills and a local company called Views on Venice. We stayed in a penthouse apartment overlooking the Grand Canal. The weather was amazing, sunny and warm, and we walked for hours on end, discovering parts of Venice that I have never seen before.
Another thing I discovered is what I most miss about living in England. I thought it was M & S or Waitrose or Bendick’s Bittermints. It’s not. It’s the girls. We went out for dinner Monday night after the launch party. There was the Savills PR girl Fiona, Rupert, three other female journalists from The Standard, the Mail on Sunday and Country Life (did you know by the way that it comes out weekly? Amazing, I can’t think what they find to write about. Apparently they have a dog of the week column now, is that animals or women I wonder?) and me.
Anyway, we sat down to dinner, ordered vast amounts of wine and had such fun. Having lived in France for seven years I have forgotten that all women are not forever counting calories and refusing to drink more than one half glass of wine. These women wouldn’t drink any less than half a bottle each. And OK you might wake up with a hangover, but all the laughing you’ve done must counterbalance the health threat of the alcohol.
English women are great. They are feisty, fun-loving, generous, warm and just fab company. Even Rupert, who was severely out-numbered, had a good time. I cannot imagine a group of French women having such a riot, and they certainly wouldn’t have drunk their way through four bottles of wine. Topics of conversation ranged from journalism (and how crap it can be, but then you do get to go on trips like this), children, men (and how crap they can be, except for Rupert, obviously) and whether to give up your maiden name when you get married. No is the answer.
Had I been out with a bunch of French women, I may have woken up feeling more clear-headed than I did on Tuesday morning, but where’s the fun in that?
Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2007