First let me clarify, I mean Paris the place not Paris the person. As I sit typing, Paris is currently under invasion and I would like to make it clear to the residents that neither myself nor the hubby had anything what-so-ever to do with it.
Assuming she hasn't already be deported back to England, my mother is in Paris. She will be easy to recognise by any Parisian, she is accompanied by my amazingly tolerant step-father who I can honestly say is one of the most naturally intelligent people I have met (yet he still married my mum???!!?). With them is my sister-in-law and my brother.
Mum is in her early 70's and is the one speaking the world's worst French and being absolutely certain it is just the people of Paris who are being bloody minded when they act as though they don't understand a word. My brother is the caveman with the broad Yorkshire accent which has quite likely become even broader just for the sheer hell of it. My sister-in-law is that woman who keeps trying to walk off in the other direction without them noticing and my step-father is the one who is simply nodding and smiling at mostly everything due to the fact that he won't admit he is deaf. Either that or he and my mum will be engaged in bickering and arguing but neither really listening to the other due to the fact that my mother will also not admit she is deaf.
They will already have caused offence in some french restaurant or other as my brother will have asked for his steak very well-done, he will also be muttering on about not being able to find a pub. Mum will be proclaiming things such as, when viewing the stained glass in Notre Dame,
"I'll not deny it's pretty, but it's just as good in York,"
or when faced with the Eiffel tower,
"Well, it's just like Blackpool really, only bigger".
She will also be highlighting things like,
"I'd rather live where we are and be able to pop out to Derbyshire" and "It's only the same as London, except they speak french".
This is mum's first time abroad and she was panicking about leaving England behind for weeks in advance. She also decided that the French would go on strike anyway so there would be delays in the journey and she was never going to set foot outside England again (once more, this being weeks before the actual trip). You may wonder why on earth are they in Paris at all? Well, my step-dad persuaded my mum somehow that it would be a wonderful gift for my brother and sister-in-law's 25th wedding anniversary.
Of course, once everything was booked, paid and confirmed, that's when my mum and step-dad found out they were two years early. My brother and sister-in-law had simply kept quiet on that one!
Obviously, one of the precursors to this whole thing was my mum, after all these years, having to get a passport. It took months! Her advice to me?
"If you're applying for a passport, for God's sake don't tell them your grandmother is Irish."
I kid you not.