Thanks for the add! Gros bisous :-)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Boredom, chicks, and more chicks

This one may be a tough one to pull... One of my favourite blogs is written by The Stationary Explorer, he loves to dwell on past experiences, and a couple of entries ago he reminded me of how in my youth I spent much time being bored.

I think I was bored mostly because I did not have any siblings yet, and was brought up mostly by my grand-parents whilst my mom and dad were busy having a divorce... please no tears I survived.

Some of the most boring times I would spend was when I had to sit waiting for my grand-mother to do her job. She was then a maid for a busy couple who had no kids but had a fancy hairdressing salon right on the grand-rue in Château-Chinon. Madame Rafattin had a poodle, Monsieur Rafattin was impeccable in every way, very like Mary Poppins. They WERE a funny couple, they insisted on saying "vous" to each other.

Monsieur and Madame Rafattin were always very proud of their shop window. They really made an effort. They had themes, and the windows of their hair salon would always be dressed with the most beautiful shiny material of pastel blues and pinks, delicate musical boxes. amidst pictures of beautiful women sporting the hair cuts of the day, and of course a few vials of hair elixirs. They had a proper Christmas window, but the real treat was their Easter window. They would have a lamp heated corner where eggs lay just a couple weeks before Easter, and sure enough they would hatch and out of the shells would come a colony of coloured chicks like these, which would animate the shop window for a few days, the time their feathers went back to yellow.
What happened to the chicks once they had done they were done being cute, the story doesnt tell.

But out of that time spent sitting at the kitchen table waiting for my grand-mother to be finished doing whatever task there was to do that day, laundry, cooking, ironing, etc, came many moments spent  floating in the half conscious boredom.  This couple had a television and as a treat I would be allowed to watch the children's broadcast on Thursday afternoon. "Belle et Sébastien" was on. It is then at the tender age of 7 that I fell in love for the first time with Medhi
And when I wasnt thinking about Medhi, I would browse through the pile of old magazines that were no longer in use in the salon. These would be mostly "Jours de France", a kind of 1960's celebrity magazine. Like George Petty was to Life magazine, so was Kiraz for Jours de France. I just loved his portrayal of the "Parisiennes", and his funny captions
"He let me down crually, after he gave me a taste for luxury"
These girls were elegant, sexy, everything a little girl would dream of being later on. Looking at these pictures in this very respectable magazine had something of the forbidden about it, as I guess at the time these were a tad daring, and possibly titillating. These girls made you think of what you might want to be later in life.

At the time one of the most glamorous professions for women was to be a stewardess. They were modern women, the new sailors... possibly with a man in every airport waiting for them, goddesses who spoke several languages, and flew to unheard places on Earth. They were always immaculately dressed, and put together. Not every one could be an air hostess, that much every little girl knew. You had to have model like proportions, hence joining the air hostess corps was a ticket to being part of the new female aristocracy.

Mireille Darc, the actress, was the embodiment of the perfect air hostess.
I don't think she ever played the part of one, but original illustrator of the comics series Natacha, François
Walthéry, was inspired by Mireille Darc's physique to create his heroin (if you want my opinion, she rather looks like Falbala (on the right), from the Astérix series (another great pin-up).
I am quite sure you all recognize the infamous Emmanuelle chair in the above cover.
Ain't she sweet... see what idleness and boredom lead to when you are a little girl???

At least, I wasn't alone in my dreams, here is Jacques Dutronc singing about his dream.... which was to be an air hostess.. I wonder if he spent much time as child being bored....


Anonymous said...

Natacha has been inspired by Mireille Darc ! And Falbala also, maybe. Well, thank you for this great cultural instant.

Danièle said...

Yes, weird but true. Also Falbala in English is Panacea, also strange. I think Falabala was meant to be modelleed more on Brigitte Bardot though.

Pinupmania said...

Je ne savais pas que Mireille Darc avait inspiré Walthéry pour Natacha. J'en apprends des choses
Bisous tout plein

Kitschmoog said...

Oh Danièle !

Que de merveilleux souvenirs, une fois de plus !
Beautiful pics of 70' nostalgie !
Hapinness memories for My brain !
That's so great !

Danièle said...

Olivier merci, j'attends que nous fasse un hommage à Kiraz ;-) Ses parisiennes le méritent bien.

Danièle said...

Dan, je suis heureuse de savoir que mes souvenirs sont partagés.

Anonymous said...

Falbala--> Brigitte Bardot, pas faux, pas faux...
Par contre, j'ai pas compris le Panacea en English version. Tu penses que Falbala a une signification particulière dans la culture anglo-saxonne ? Genre en Allemagne, les Schtroumpfs, c'est Schlumpf, parce que Schtroumpf (ou plus exactement Strumpf) veut dire collants ou chaussettes en allemand.

Danièle said...

Moi non plus je comprends pas bien, je me renseigne. En allemand apparemment Falbala est Walhalla .

Les transferts sont parfois bizarres. Je sais que notre Pollux du Manège Enchanté est devenu Dougal en anglais car Pollux était trop près du mots "Bollocks" (= couilles pour ceux qui ne connaissent pas l'argot anglais).

The Vintage Knitter said...

A lovely post Danièle. I loved reading about Monsieur and Madame Rafattin and their Easter shop window display.

Danièle said...

Merci ma chère :-)

Anonymous said...

Ah! La ressemblance avec Falbala est terrible! J'avais jamais trop fait le rapprochement.

Ton enfance me paraît fantastique. Je ne sais pas pourquoi. Peut-être parce que je trouve ça marrant de se faire élever par des grands-parents qui côtoient des gens excentriques. Mais de la belle excentricité, ici.

Du coup, ça te fait des souvenirs et de belles choses à nous faire partager :)

La pépite modeuse said...

tu me permets de reviser mon anglais héhé !

Danièle said...

Vous êtes trop mignonnes les filles :-)

Danièle said...

Excentriques? En fait tu as raison Paulinette, moi je les voyais plutôt à l'époque comme snobinard, mais il me semble que Madame Raffatin avait aussi un loulou de Poméranie ou genre. En tout cas ils étaient très sympas, et ils avaient de très beaux meubles.

Justine/Sewcountrychick said...

I really enjoy your writing and love to learn about French pop culture on your site. Isn't it funny how American stewardesses now are so frumpy compared to those days. I wanted to be a stewardess too!

Danièle said...

Thanks Justine see you soon on your blog :-)