This is one of my favourite outcomes from first year. We had to write and design a magazine page titled 'Three things you should know about..' As many of you will know, I've been going out with my french boyfriend Joce for a long while now! So what better to write about than an article for girls about 'Dating a Frenchman'. Read the full article below...
My final outcome (above).
Some other layouts I was working on, with my illustrations.
The text reads:
3 Things You Should Know About…
Dating a Frenchman.
Over recent years they’ve brought us Thierry Henry, chef Jean-Christophe Novelli, and well, not a lot else. But with Henry as an example, I’d say it’s time for some of you women to hop over the pond, try out the French romance and find some Va Va Voom for yourself. After all Paris is the city of love… you might just be surprised. I kissed my frog 3 years ago and he turned out to be my Prince. Ok so the long distance thing isn’t great, and let’s face it, with all the food you’ll never ever be skinny again, but I’d say it’s damn well worth it.
If you don’t like cheese you might as well stop reading right now. It’s just not going to work. The French take pride in their cheese, whether that’s from soft creamy brie or the pungent smelling epoisses that smells so strong it is banned on public transport! Try it if you dare, you will be in with the family if you can stomach it! If you are a cheese lover, you will definitely love this aspect of French life; cheese comes with every meal and is often the main constituent of a meal too.
Now of course you’d expect most Frenchmen to be great chefs, and a lot of them are. But there’s one speciality that most Frenchmen eat and love, that’s not so hard to make. And that’s cassoulet, a dish comprising of duck, sausages and beans. But, quite frankly, it comes in a tin. So don’t be fooled and say you like it if he says he’s lovingly made this himself, or you’ll be forced to eat it hundreds of times over until you discover the truth!
So I guess if you’re with a Frenchman there really is no hope on the diet front, certainly not for me anyway! With pastries and gateaux galore, cheese coming out of your ears, and not to mention the mountains of bread served with each meal, us English girls should perhaps take a leaf out of the French women’s book, who often seem to cook feasts for their husbands but then sit down to a meagre bowl of lettuce. But then where’s the fun in that!?
You can put on your best French accent and practise saying ‘merci’ all day long but the French will still be able to tell you’re English (although I don’t think the pale skin and ginger hair really give me any advantages!) Plus your boyfriend will either laugh or say you sound cute, or both. Not the reaction you were hoping for. Luckily most French people speak English of course, so if you fancy being our typical lazy selves then this won’t be a problem! You can even watch films in Paris in the original English version with French subtitles… perfect! But, if you do want to learn more of the lingo than ‘déjà vu’ or ‘je ne sais pas’ then you can always get your man to help you with some lessons, while you pay ‘full’ attention of course as you listen to him talking with his French accent...
Learning French would definitely boost your points on the family front. Meeting the parents is always a big thing, but it’s not got to be as bad as meeting French parents; the language barrier isn’t really going to help them get to know you! You can’t go wrong with a smile though, and there are always a few actions and hand gestures along the way… perhaps a game of charades would help for some practise!
So is the language of love all it’s cracked up to be? Well considering my man has managed to pick up a lovely Bolton twang I’d say perhaps he’d be better sticking to speaking just French. You could certainly get your man to write you a poem in French and express the romantic side that we know them so well for… who cares if you don’t know what it says, everything sounds better in French anyway!
I think we can all agree that the best part about dating a Frenchman, is getting to jet off over there all the time. If it’s a long distance relationship that you’re going for then I can’t lie that you won’t miss your man, but at least you can boast that your almost a Parisian now, and that you even take the plane more than the bus; it’s not a hard life! You will however have to get used to sitting around in airport lounges but you’ll soon learn the tricks of how to beat the security queues!
And the country does have a lot to offer. If you’re in Paris you and your man can picnic by the Eiffel Tower, drink a cold cider in the artistic area of Montmartre, or shop shop shop in the designer boutiques of the Champs Elysees. Just be careful crossing the road (or even when in the car with your man) as they just don’t seem to have any rules at all on the road! If you’re a big kid at heart you could also visit Disneyland, and hopefully his family will have a yearly pass you can borrow to sneak in again and again for free!
If you’re in the South you’ve got the sun on your shoulders and probably a beach not too far away so what else can you ask for? Although just one piece of advice for you English roses out there: don’t go with your man to a beach just for French locals as you will be the butt of ‘Snow White’ jokes all day! So perhaps you could sit back on the beach, close your eyes, and imagine living this French lifestyle. However, if France isn’t really for you right now then maybe you’ll be lucky enough to drag your
man over to live with you in good old England like I did! You can always go there for holidays!