THE SECRET LIFE OF A PARISIAN IN LONDON



In our first Secret Life Of 2020 we live vicariously through the very vivid, colourful and highly fashionable life of a Parisian in London. Envy is impending as you read through her week of goodie bags, fashion parties, threesomes, excellent food, ALL the clothes, and most envious of all her first ever introduction to the works of Agatha Christie.


BOOK SLUT STATS


FROM: Paris, France

AGE: 33

CURRENTLY IN: London, UK

OCCUPATION: Fashion

SEXUAL ORIENTATION: Straight

IDENTIFIES AS: Androgynous

CURRENTLY READING: Une Saison en Enfer by Arthur Rimband, And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie, Adèle by Leila Slimani 



DAY ONE (Friday)


11.00AM Wake up to furious sunshine beaming in through my thin linen curtains, I fumble for a glass of water by the side of my bed. Turns out to be vodka. 

I have a lunch date at 2 and I feel like it would be nice to walk there. 


11.30AM Head to the kitchen to get an actual glass of aqua and trip up over my Manolos that I unceremoniously relinquished from my feet last night and the gift bag filled with Jo Malone products from the dinner I went to. I sling the bag into the crook of my arm and enter my teeny tiny kitchen. Which isn’t really a kitchen more like a cupboard with those pocket doors that open up, but I do have a Nespresso machine. Which I turn on and wait to warm up whilst I rifle through the contents of my goodies.


Espresso drunk, goblet of water drunk. I am armed with sweet smelly stuff and head to the shower.


12.15PM All wrapped up in my new soft towels, but my head begins to ache. I decide to make a green juice to help myself out. I learnt this hangover cure from my friend P; spinach, celery, granny smith apples, pear, ginger and vodka. It’s her adaptation of one she had many years ago at some restaurant, there they called it naughty gran, she calls it slut juice. Not sure which sounds worse.


12.30PM Get dressed. Keeping it simple. Black turtleneck and a Tom Ford suit with black Balenciaga trainers. I put on my usual standard make up, cateye flicks and a slick of Fucking Fabulous by Tom Ford lipstick. Vintage YSL cateye sunglasses and my LOTD is complete. 

Walk from my place in Marylebone to Carnaby Street. 


2.00PM Lunch. 


Go to Señor Ceviche in Kingly Court, I love Lima and haven't been here yet. We get the tasting menu, as I think it’s the best way to assess a new place. 


My dining companion is an old friend's little sister who wants to get into the fashion industry.

I will obviously do anything for my friends, but she is just so dull and I can’t stop thinking about how she would get eaten alive out there. She has obviously put a lot of effort into her outfit to come and meet me, but it just looks so try-hard and unnatural. I feel bad for her, she is obviously really nervous. I suggest she could come and intern with me, at a quiet point early next year. Her face lights up; oh to be so young and naive.


4.30PM Walk over to the office. Pick up an outfit for this evening. I am going to a dinner at Chiltern. 


4.40 – 6.30PM Run through today’s e-mails and send off some things. 


6.30PM Walk home.


7.00PM Arrive, have another coffee, take off makeup and reapply a smokey eye and a dark purple lip. I’m wearing a Tom Ford jumpsuit this evening with a très très low V. The one benefit of having mosquito bites is no need for lingerie to obscure the line.


7.15PM Walk over.


7.30PM – 1.30AM Chiltern; a blaze of oysters, champagne and cocaine.



DAY TWO (Saturday)



1.30AM – 3.30AM I saw my ex. X. He is married now. I took X home, we drank wine, we fucked against my wall, on the sofa, on the floor eventually moved to the bed, where he is now asleep.


3.30 – 4.30AM I am rereading Une Saison en Enfer by Arthur Rimbaud. I find myself relating to Vierge Folle, l'époux infernal on a deep level. Go into my kitchen wearing his shirt, finish the bottle of wine we opened and then forgot about. 


6.30AM Wake up to his alarm, lean over to turn it off, and see the torrent of missed calls from his wife. I feel awful, and not to do with the alcohol, shellfish, or drugs. It wasn’t even very good and I think he is an asshole. Why did I do that?


I kick him awake. He wakes up with a jolt and then smiles at me motioning to come into his arms. 


I throw his phone at him and remind him I am hungover, angry, French, and he has a wife.


Not the morning sex he was expecting. I don’t even give him time to order an Uber.


I watch him from my windowsill in the blinding morning light, squinting into his phone to order a car, I see his frustration when his phone dies. HA. I smoke my morning cigarette. I see him hail a cab on my second and snub it out when he gets in.


7.30AM – 11.00AM Sleep. 


11.00AM Hesitantly arise. 


Wash my face and have a quick shower. Lightly cleanse and moisturise. Put on a long cashmere cardigan, mom jeans, and this time the white Balenciagas. And walk over to Bonne Bouche for baguette and croissant. 


12.00PM Run a bath, and light all the Jo Malone candles I can find. 


12.30PM I enter the hot water, and attempt to rinse off the remnants of his touch. 


I have put a platter of strawberries, coffee, croissant, orange juice, and champagne on the table next to me in arms reach. I periodically flit between.


My girlfriend P gave me a copy of And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie after I said I had never read her. It is her favourite of the novelists' work. And I think this is a good time to disappear deep into another world. I trust her recommendations. 


3.00PM I have refilled the water 3 times and now all the bubbles have gone. My fingers are wrinkled and my Champagne glass is empty. I get out. 


Move to sofa. 


I can’t read anymore, but I will finish this book tonight. I just need to do something mindless now. 


I scroll through Netflix. And end up watching a continuous stream of 73 Questions on YouTube. They are all that my concentration can amount to currently.


6.00PM Awaken to the sound of my laptop falling on the floor. 


I have a date tonight. He is not like the man from this morning. 


I said I would cook and I cannot cook. He is arriving at 9. I call P, she always knows what to do. 


She answers! A rarity – I would say she one of my closest friends is but she is harder to get hold of than the Harry Potter manuscript in Devils Wear Prada – but she always delivers when in need.


She is having drinks at Home House and said she would leave now and come straight over. She is always late, so I get in the shower and fully wash last night's regret out of my hair.


7.00PM P arrives with grocery bags, she always delivers. 


7.30PM I don’t know what she is doing but it smells so good, she talks me through it so I can tell P2 (My date) what “I” have made. 


We met in Paris ten years ago, I poured a glass of wine over her because I found my boyfriend chatting her up at a bar. I don’t know how but we have been friends ever since. 


8.00PM Poulet à la Normande, she tells me after browning the chicken in my Creuset. She puts other things in and then pours in cider(?!) and puts the lid on and places it in the oven.

She has put some crème fraiche in a ramequin to “finish the sauce with at the end” and have put the thinnest sliced chives I have ever seen “to garnish” Coming from someone who burns water I don’t understand how P does it. Never ever with a recipe.


8.30PM We’ve been drinking and eating chunks of the baguette I got earlier with some of the (INCREDIBLE & FRENCH) butter she brought when she turns over her phone to a flood of notifications. “Bollocks, I’m late.” So British. She leaves.


Quick deep clean before P2 arrives. Wipe crumbs off the table and light candles (not scented, food smells too good).


9.00PM On my doorstep – wine, no flowers – disappointing. 


9.04PM Get message from P, “take off lid, keep in oven.”


P2 is talking about his week; he is more dull than I remember. We met in Paris six months ago and have been an on-off fuckaround since then.


9.15PM P “Take out of the oven, stir in crème fraiche, garnish with chives, I made you a salad that’s in the fridge. I’m going to dinner now, if he is boring come find me.” I didn’t even see her make it.


Food is amazing, company IS boring. He seems to have aged a decade in the space of a couple weeks. 


He is 43, so only 10 years older, but looking at him now I feel a bit deflated and it’s making ME feel old. HA.


I decide to drink instead. 


We finish the food, which he can’t stop talking about, and keeps saying that I have to make it for him again. I doubt I will be seeing him again. 


11.30PM We smoke on my tiny terrace. Conversation has been challenging, and since we no longer have forks of food to occupy our mouths, tobacco will have to do to remove the awkward silences. 


We kiss, what I feel shall be our final one. 


11.45PM I say that I am tired. And want to go to sleep


12.00AM He leaves.


12.30AM My cab pulls up on Dean Street. I find P at her usual table of her club, remnants of her dinner with friends and empty wine bottles litter the table. She sees my face, gets up, takes my hand and takes me straight to the bar. 


We go upstairs and dance until the music ends and the lights go up.



DAY THREE (Sunday)


1.00PM I don't know what time I got home, or left the club. I do find my shoes off and a bucket by the bed and a note on the pillow. So I am sure I was being looked after. I check my phone which also reassures me.


“Lightweight” – P


2.00 – 4.00PM I think about going for a walk.


4.00PM It’s already dark. 


4.01PM Order Deliveroo. 


4.30PM Pizzzza


4.30 – 7PM Friends reruns.


7.30PM Finally get up and have a shower, cleanse, and moisturize.


8.00PM Bed. Today was a good day.



DAY FOUR (MONDAY)



6.00AM Urgh


Get up, change, and run to...


6.30 – 7.30AM Hot Yoga


Urgh


7.30AM Green juice and coffee


8.00AM Home, shower, cleanse, moisturize. 


OOTD: Double breasted Tom Ford suit. Black Balenciagas. Fucking Fabulous and cateye. I also wear a beret today, because I am feeling extra me. Sunglasses on. Black leather gloves on and laptop case in hand. 


8.45AM Walk to work


8.55AM Another coffee at my desk.


9.00AM – 7.30PM A blur 


7.45PM Leave office and stop at Itsu en route home, damn should have sent someone earlier, all the good stuff is gone. Get a couple rogue boxes, some miso, and rice cakes.


8.30PM Eat in between sips of green tea and miso. I think I sweated out most of the alcohol this morning. Feeling refreshed.


10PM in bed with Leila Slimani’s Adèle. I accidentally knocked my copy of And Then There Were None into the bath and it is still drying out on the radiator.


10.15PM This book is feeling too close to home. I close it and try and pray for a dreamless deep sleep. 



DAY FIVE (TUESDAY)


6.00AM Urgh


Get up, change and run to...


6.30 – 7.30AM Hot Yoga


Urgh


7.30AM Green juice and coffee


8.00AM Home, shower, cleanse, moisturize. 


OOTD: I’m going to have to go straight from work to a party tonight, so this calls for a day-to-night Breton pullover underneath the Tom Ford jumpsuit from a couple days ago (I know it's bad to wear twice, but I will be wearing other jewelry, also no one who is coming tonight was there anyway, also why am I defending myself??) I put ankle socks underneath and a pair of Chanel heels, black with the simple Cs. Black leather gloves, vintage glasses, and as it's getting really cold I pick a long black Chanel coat to complete. Usual makeup.


8.50AM Walk to work, glad I put on the extra layers, it’s getting very cold.


9.00AM – 8PM Work


8.10PM Don’t have time to reapply makeup. I just take off my pullover, brush my hair, and put on a long pearl Chanel Cross that settles perfectly on my sternum. 


9.20PM It is a nine minute walk or a nine minute cab to Berkeley Square. My nipples are already hard thinking about that cold. I call a car. 


9.40PM I arrive, I should have just walked.


9.40 – 11.30PM I do really love my job, but I feel like I am too old for these kind of events. I would rather just be home with wine and a good book.


11.30PM I still like goodie bags though. Let’s be real. 


11.45PM One last espresso martini for the road. A young male model tries to get into the cab with me, but it just makes me feel like a pervert. I don’t know how men do it.


12.00AM Clothes off, wash face, cleanse, moisturize. 


Sleep.



DAY SIX (WEDNESDAY)



6.00AM Urgh


Get up, change and run to...


6.30-7.30AM Hot Yoga


Urgh


7.30AM Green juice and coffee


8.00AM Home, shower, cleanse, moisturize. 


We have some run-throughs today. Need to look angry and fashionable.


OOTD: Black Tom Ford suit, silk white shirt, Black Louboutins Pigalles. Chanel drop pearl earrings, black leather gloves, and a black and white Chanel houndstooth coat. 

Usual makeup. With sunglasses to hide last night's drinks.


9.00AM – 7.00PM Work Work Work it.


7.00PM Send an intern out to get sushi. Eat some depressing sashimi in a vain effort to line my stomach before this evening. I wonder how much mercury is in it. I hold the rest of it and just eat the Veggie Dragon Roll instead.


8.00 – 8.30PM Send off the last of the ‘Urgent’ e-mails, the rest can wait until tomorrow.


8.30PM Change into a black lace Kooples long sleeved top and leather trousers. Put on a very dark plum lip and tidy up my eyes with concealer. Leave suit and shirt for dry cleaner. 


9.00PM Cab to Shoreditch for a launch party. 


The cocktails taste like ass. I would be embarrassed. 


I move to espresso martinis to be safe. When I first moved here I had to be ruthless to get to where I am today, it meant that I earned the reputation of being a sassy angry Frenchwoman, but that was me a long time ago and I have tried to shake off that persona the longer I have been here. It’s just difficult when everyone thinks they know you. Also, it is difficult for me to not think that someone just wants nice clothes.


Stand outside and chain smoke half a pack of cigarettes. 


Two friends from New York (D & G) spot me and come join. I feel less alone.


11.00PM We decide to leave and go to a bar nearby. Good decision.


11.45PM We decide to leave and go to mine. Questionable decision. 


12.30AM Arrive at mine, I think the cleaner played around with the thermostat because when we get in, it is HOT. Bottles are opened. Clothes are taken off.


1.30AM We have a threesome. It was fun but nothing to send a postcard about.


Fall asleep at some point in bed with two men. 




DAY SEVEN (THURSDAY)



6.00AM Urgh


Turn off alarm. D & G wake up, we all do it again. 


This is better than coffee. And I think qualifies as a form of hot yoga.


7.30AM I get in the shower, D makes me a coffee when I get out. They know I am OCD and have already cleaned the glasses and other paraphernalia away by the time I am out. 


G gets in the shower next, he has a meeting in my office at 9.30 and I said he could get a cab over with me. It is too cold to walk today.


I tell D that he could stay at mine – which I wouldn’t normally do, but we have known each other for years – but he says he wants to go change back at his hotel.


He wants to meet back up for lunch.


OTTD: Head to toe Gucci. Wool Suit trousers with a matching wool bustier in a black and pineapple print, I have the matching jacket too but it has an ugly sequined cherry across the heart, which is just not me. I instead put on the matching pineapple waistcoat with the GG Belt and a velvet cropped cape for smoking. Complete the look with their bee earrings with drop pearls and black platform fringe loafers. Sunglasses, and gloves, the usual. Make up, the usual. 


9.15AM Arrive at office, leave G with concierge. 


9.15 – 11.30AM More coffee and work. And thinking about how last night and this morning felt so natural. It reminds me of that film Savages with Blake Lively who is sleeping with two male best friends. I think they all die in the end. 


I always hated it when people told me I reminded them of Blair, but now headbands are back in fashion.. 


11.30AM I get reminded I have lunch with a friend. Merde. She is already en route and I cannot cancel now. I text D & G. They suggest dinner instead. I have plans, but think of a workaround.


12.00-2.00PM J arrives. I let her decide where she wants to eat. She wants to go to Little Social. We walk over, apparently it has relaunched and is now called 5. Their prix fixe is just as good as before, and the wine the sommelier selected is very good. 


J and I met a few years ago in London, she is Spanish and moved to London at the same time as me and so we bonded over trying to navigate how to be more ‘British’ and what different slang words meant. It took me a long time to realise that if someone is nice to your face, they don’t like you, and if they are horrible in your face, they do.


She is very beautiful and so lovely and kind but she always goes for such ugly men. The ones that are ugly on the inside too.


She has just got engaged to one of these ugly men, B. I cannot stand him and he always comments on my clothes. And makes stupid jokes. I can’t believe someone can think they are so high and mighty when they wear off-the-rack Marks and Spencer suits (BUT I have to say I really do love their cashmere, I am not a snob). 


Last night really tired me out. We have a coffee, but I need something stronger. 


I do a couple lines in the bathroom. 


J says B is nearby and wants to come say hi. As if. I say I have to get back to work, I order and pay for our bill. Anything to not have to see that prick. 


I love J but urgh. Yuck. 


2.15 – 4.30PM Attempt to work. 


4.30PM Text D & G to see where they are. My plans start at 8 and they are wanting to get dinner at 9. I say yes if also in Soho.


4.45PM I close my laptop and walk home. 


5.00PM And There Were None is dry! Take my clothes off and lay them on my bed.

I get in the shower and wash my face, cleanse, moisturize and make tea and settle on the sofa with my now dry – very wrinkled – book.


7.00PM How is it 7? I don’t want to leave. I need to finish this. This is why she is so famous. This book is so good. I have to finish it. I text to say I am running late – WHICH I NEVER DO.

I am a slow reader but I am nearly getting a papercut turning the pages.


7.45PM FINISHED. I want to read all her books now, I cannot believe I haven’t before. 


7.46PM Order more Agatha Christie books, I get the Seven Deadly Sins boxset. And a Best of Poirot


I have drunk too much this week, the books arrive tomorrow and I am contemplating not going into the office and just reading. I need a self-care day. Endless Night might be first on the list. I am officially hooked. 


Get dressed back into the same pineapple printed wool ensemble, this time I forgo the waistcoat and loafers and put on the Pigalles. I do a flick of red eye liner, and do a cherry red lip to go with the soles. I keep the coat but switch the cape for a vintage fur stole. I don’t ever buy new fur. The only fur I own is at least 70 years old and belonged to my grandmother. 


8.15PM Cab to Hertford Street. 


8.30PM Arrive 30 minutes late, but it was worth it. THAT RED HERRING! Still can’t get over that book. Tomorrow's delivery cannot come soon enough. 


Drinks with T, C, H and H’s new fling. She has really long blond extensions and fake tits. I don’t know how he can find that attractive. Her clothes are so tight and tacky. I wouldn’t be surprised if she was a stripper. 


Even though I wouldn’t have any problem if she was one. I do really want to try pole dancing, it is really good for your core. 


9.15PM D & G arrive we head up to the terrace with T, C, H and HF.


HF is making it a weird and awkward dynamic as she is openly flirting with D.


9.30PM I couldn’t be happier when I see P walk onto the terrace! She knows D & G, and also T & C which I didn’t even realise before!


Some of her friends come outside to join us and we all chat, she is 100% Serena.


I am getting really hungry, and it seems that none of the guys have booked anywhere. The guys suggest downstairs but P says it's overpriced and inedible. They listen to her. She makes a call. And then says goodbye to her friends, saying she will meet them afterwards.


9.50PM In cab to somewhere! With D, G, T, C, and P. I really needed this. 


I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder shortly after coming to the UK, no one at work knows as I am still unsure of how they would react even though I know that the conversation is much more open than it was ten or even five years ago.


10.00PM Arrive at HIDE. I have really wanted to come here for a long time. We get swept away to a private area of the basement vault and get treated like royalty. I don’t know how she does it. The food is incredible but the company is even better. We could have been anywhere. 


I am currently in my dream job, but my second dream job would be to be a food critic. Everything we eat is exquisite. I wish my trousers were not so tight and I had worn something other than a bustier. 


1.00AM we are still here. P says she has to go and meet her friends in Soho as she is “three hours late.” That comment gives me intense anxiety but I know she doesn’t mean it, it just happens.


1.30AM C asks for the bill, but it turns out P sorted it out on the way out! I make a mental note to send her a thank you in tweed.


T and C want to go and join P, but I want to go home to bed with D & G. We say are goodbyes and make excuses as to why D & G are coming with me, we get in separate cabs and depart.


I get a notification for the time slot of my morning book delivery. 


I send an email to our EA to cancel all my meetings tomorrow, and to put my out-of-office on. 


Pick up a couple bottles of wine, cigarettes and whipped cream en route back home with the boys. 


2.30AM Drink a lot of wine, I start envisioning a perfect polygamous relationship with them both. One in which we don’t all die in the end like that forgettable Blake Lively movie. 


4.30AM Go to sleep sandwiched between two beautiful men, dreaming of the books being delivered in a few hours.