Friday, 3 April 2009

Paris!

We leave tomorrow. It's been booked for ages-- long enough for it to have seemed so distant that there was no point in even beginning to think about it or make any plans. In the meantime I've been enjoying vague fantasies about languishing in the sunshine drinking hot chocolate at pavement cafes with the Eiffel Tower in the background (which reminds me of the cover of Taken for Revenge Bedded for Pleasure, and the bloke thereon, but that's a whole different kind of fantasy altogether) and skipping out for croissants in the early morning, dressed in nothing but a glamorous and quintessentially Parisian trenchcoat. This is the legacy left by watching the 80s TV mini-series Mistral's Daughter (based on Judith Krantz's bonkbuster bestseller) at a very impressionable age, and being deeply struck by the scene where Stephanie Powers (!) slips out of the Montmartre love-nest she's sharing with Timothy Dalton to get breakfast, naked except for his coat. (A tiny part of it is about 5 mins 43 seconds into this clip. Oh, the nostalgic joys of youtube.)


Looking back I can see now that all of my teenage ambitions were influenced to an unhealthy degree by the 80s mini-series phenomenon. I desperately wanted to be carried off for a few days of sinful pleasure by a priest (The Thorn Birds), longed to be sent to a strict Swiss finishing school (Lace), and what naughty Abby Green refers to as my 'blood obsession' can probably be traced back to North and South (the original swashbuckling, trashy TV series set in the American civil war, not the tastefully restrained Richard Armitage/Elizabeth Gaskell adaptation of recent years) which featured a succession of 80s hunks with big hair and tight trousers, gleaming with sweat and liberally splattered with the red stuff. * sigh* They just don't make TV like that anymore do they? Perhaps it's just as well.


Anyway-- will report back when we return; however, expect more in the way of touristy queueing for ice cream and the Mona Lisa than carefree running through early morning streets, semi-clad. Such is life.

9 comments:

Donna Alward said...

OMG North and South. I LIVED for that miniseries. Ashton, more conniving and beautiful than any Scarlett O'Hara...and who did you like, India? George or Orry? I loved George all the way. But Orry and Madeline's love story was beautiful.

I've read the trilogy as well and the Kent Family Chronicles.

And I too remember The Thorn Birds. :-) Did you happen to watch The Winds Of War with Robert Mitchum as well?

Kate Walker said...

Oh yes - obviously some memories we share! But I'm afraid I could never, ever believe in Mr R Chamberlain as the sexy priest in Thorn Birds.

And yes Donna - I was hooked on The Winds of War too

Have a wonderful time in Paris, India - I hope you do lots of 'research' and come back with some brilliant new ideas.

Katharine said...

I was just recently lamenting the loss of the sweeping miniseries. I loved The Mistral's Daughter, Lace, and The Thorn Birds. Also Harem was a great one with Omar Sharif and an American woman who is taken into a harem--what a fantasy! Have a fabulous time in Paris!!

India said...

Yes I remember it like that too, Donna. George was hotter, but Orry got the best storyline. (And the best hairdresser) The Winds of War was one that passed me by (HOW?) but I do remember a ritual congregation in the kitchen of our student house in Manchester to watch another one called War and Remebrance, featuring Jane Seymour. Chocolate and tissues all round...

I think it was more what Ralph de Bricassart stood for than Mr Chamberlain himself that got me, Kate. All that restrained and tortured lust. Oh yes... Thanks for the Paris good wishes. I'm happy because I'm taking gorgeous Angelos with me!

Kate-- Harem is another one that passed me by. I'm sure we didn't get that one here in the UK, but I'm so glad to know I wasn't the only one to be in the thrall of the miniseries. If only we'd known at the time that it was research!!

Romy said...

Ooh Harem. The original desert sheikh fantasy!

Does anyone remember another Judith Krantz miniseries, set in NY, and the opening theme song was "I'll Take Manhattan"? I no longer remember if this was also the title, but the series sure left an impression on me.

Michelle Styles said...

Have a lovely time in Paris.

I think I read more of these than watched the mini series. There was just a certain something about those books...
This is possibly because my mother noticed what I watched on television, but I could sneak books in more easily.

Katharine said...

I read The Mistral's Daughter at far too young an age. I think I was about 10...

Trenda said...

India,

The Thorn Birds...sigh...

Have a gorgeous time in Paris! My dear daughter and I are rather envious, of course, but look forward to hearing all about your trip!

Trenda

India said...

I do remember that, Romy. Was it Scruples? All I can remember was that there was loads of sex in it!!

I have all the books too, Michelle. And a lot of them are *very* well-thumbed! (But I'm sure I didn't read them until I was at least 13 Katharine!)

Thanks Trenda-- I'm sure the details will filter through!