Who is Papa Bouilloire
Papa Bouilloire (Pa Kettle) was born when I travelled to France with my beloved Kitty and Miss P. one Autumn.
Although Paris is perfect in every way (of course) I had noted that in the hotels there was no evidence of that most essential of items for anyone with any British blood…a kettle.
My Father, of undisputed British yeomanry stock, contributed to half of my make-up, the other being 5 generations of Australians which consequently meant that I am also a mixture of most of the countries of Europe but mainly Scottish, French and German (although my Grandfather insisted that it was Schleswig-Holstein).
Anyway, the Britisher within craved a cup of tea at eventide and consequently I thought it most perspicacious of me to purchase a small electric kettle to use in my French hotel to brew the “cup that cheers but does not inebriate” just before falling into the arms of Morpheus.
I shared this excellent plan with my French friends and they were instantly horrified.
“But what should I do if I want a hot drink before I go to bed?” I asked.
“Why, you go out and buy one!” was the astonished reply.
The idea that anyone could be so banal as to wish to brew hot drinks in their room when all of the cafes in Paris beckoned was anathema to them and I was instantly dubbed “Papa Bouilloire” and have been ridiculed for my peculiar kettle fetish ever since.
I wrote back to my friends when I travelled to Oxford soon after and the letters from Papa Bouilloire describing 2 wonderful weeks around and about this wonderful city can be found here if you care to have a glimpse at Oxford from a slightly different perspective. PAPA BOUILLOIRE GOES TO OXFORD