There’s a scene in a film – the ’92 adaptation of Agatha Christie’s The Mirror Crack’d – where Amanda Elwes’s character is asked why she moved to England. She replies: ‘I like English men.’ By the same logic I should be booking a one-way ticket for the Eurostar, powerless as I am in the face of Gallic charm. Admittedly Adrien is rarely charming to me. Most of the time we’re foul to each other, so much so that the other French speaker in the office likes to quote idioms in her mother tongue about the thin line between love and hate.
This is when I piss on my own parade and tell you Adrien lives with his half-Spanish, wholly beautiful girlfriend. His ‘imaginary girlfriend’, as I call her – twice she’s been a no-show at work drinks. Sensible woman.
‘Ce soir,’ I say to him, over the top of my computer, ‘j’ai un… qu’est-ce que c’est ‘date’ en français?’
‘Rendez-vous. J’ai un rendez-vous avec un homme qui est… demi-francais?’
Adrien frowns a moment. ‘Ah. La moitié français.‘
‘Qui est la moitié français, donc je peux pratiquer mon français!’
He nods, smiling.
Et, je pense to myself, j’espère qu’il est half as incroyable as you.