A miserable 35-year-old man.

A cheery, shoe-loving 18-month-old girl.

Living in London.

Born English.

Speaking French.


8 Responses to “About”

  1. Meg Tiddeman said

    Salut – Love the blog!

    To anyone else, be assured that there is at least one another non-native Francophone on this sceptred isle who is at least as mad (and infinitely courageous might I add) as Piaf’s Papa

    The Linguistic Adventure continues here in the wilds of the celtic north… DD 14 months. Like Piaf, she seems to understand both languages equally in her own limited 14 month way. So “Fais signe” /”Wave”, “Où est Papa?” / “Where’s Daddy?” get the same response.

    DS is now bang on three and half and, OMG, we are starting to rock and roll – every day it gets more and more exciting. His English is more advanced and he makes mistakes ( “mon voiture” / “je vas le faire” / “elle peut pas fais ça”) BUT he is doing AMAZINGLY well – full sentences, tenses, all coming on in leaps and bounds. E.g typical conversation this morning:

    DS – Maman, on va lire? C’est une bonne idée?
    Moi – Non, chérie, je ne peux pas maintenant
    DS – Mais je veux que tu me lises! (Ahem, subjunctive, my life is complete)
    Moi – Désolée, j’ai trop de choses à faire
    DS – Il faut pas dire ça, Maman! T’es pas gentille! Je veux plus te voir!

    If he can tantrum in French, I’m happy
    Never give up. Never surrender.

  2. Meg Tiddeman said

    PS – Have just read your bit about Mumsnet and have to admit that I stopped visiting the thread as I got such well meaning but negative feedback. I decided I had to fight my corner hard enough in the real world without doing it virtually as well (Although, the major advantage was that I found out about you and Piaf!)
    Child rearing is always an emotive area but the Language Thing really does seem to incite an incredibly judgemental response. If I were an excellent musician and teaching my children the violin at a young age, everyone would nod approvingly. But in my attempts to pass to my offspring the talent that I do possess in the best way to ensure any longterm success, I have been accused of arrogance, insanity, pushiness and most painfully, emotional detachment.
    Like you, I feel that French forges an incredibly strong bond between myself and my child; a whole linguisitc universe for the two of us to explore. They are our special words, our special jokes, our special songs.
    However, on an optimistic note, I would say that the Doom-Mongers do start to quieten down and grudgingly shift their stance once the child can reply and you can hold lucid French conversations with your three year old. This will happen with Piaf – tiens le coup!

  3. Meg Tiddeman said

    I used “gigoteuse” for a baby sleepsuit – I found it a most endearing bit of vocabulary!

  4. Nikki said


    and where are you?

    Since falling pregnant and giving serious thought to the possibility of bringing up my baby to be bilingual (whilst living in England at least until the baby is two)… i started my search in earnest to find some encouragement and ideas…

    This is how I came accross Papa et Piaf….and since finding your site I log on daily for an update…. but you have been oh so quiet of late.

    I have so many questions I would like to share with you, to pick your brain and challenge my own ideas. If you have the time to help a curious and (in honesty) pretty nervous soon to be mamman with working out how the devil to achieve this lofty goal I would be over the moon.

    Hope to hear from you.


    • papaetpiaf said


      Where am I indeed? Well, a mix of laziness and the financial year end of the sizeable London borough that employs me has kept me away from the blog, but I am still here and keep meaning to post something – perhaps this can be my impetus.

      Where are you based, Nikki?

      Anyway, fire away with the questions – if any are particularly lengthy, involved, or just personal, I’ll give you my email address.

      Look forward to hearing form you and thanks for the interest!


  5. Nikki said

    Hi Sean

    Good to hear from you. It would be great if I could have your email address to drop you a line.

    Speak soon


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