Who is Papa Bouilloire?

THIS PANORAMA WAS TAKEN FROM THE TOP OF THE TOWN HALL IN ST MALO. LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO DRINK BAD WINE…OR INDEED TO NOT HAVE A KETTLE HANDY WHEN THE OLD BODY CRAVES A CUPPA!
THIS PANORAMA WAS TAKEN FROM THE TOP OF THE TOWN HALL IN ST MALO. LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO DRINK BAD WINE…OR INDEED TO NOT HAVE A KETTLE HANDY WHEN THE OLD BODY CRAVES A CUPPA!

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.

This is one of a pair of Russian Gardiners Porcelain teacups I found dusty and unloved in a local antique shop.
Do not be caught “on the Continong” without your trusty teacup!

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

This charming view from the abandoned picnic ground at the base of a cliff I fortuitously tumbled down was a joy to behold.
This charming view from the abandoned picnic ground at the base of a cliff I fortuitously tumbled down was a joy to behold. Just one of the many episodes in Papa Bouilloire’s thrilling adventures!
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9 Comments

  1. I can fully appreciate Pa Kettle’s desire for a nightly cup of tea. As a Britisher myself, I take a kettle with me whenever I travel to places unlikely to provide that desired evening (and morning) beverage. Very well told, and I loved the embedded humour.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m merely an American who prefers to start the day with a cup of strong, well-brewed black tea, and I can relate completely. (Actually, I blogged about it here: http://wp.me/p44h81-ON)

    I went along to Lausanne, Switzerland and Freiburg, Germany with my husband, who is an academic of some repute and therefore invited to travel constantly to University cities around the world. (And he hates to travel. It’s really sick!) This was my first real vacation after having and staying home with our two kids who are a few years apart in age, so about six years of zero adults-only trips.

    I bought an inexpensive electric kettle at an Aldi grocery store the second day and hid it in the hotel closet when we went out. Perhaps the maids saw and thought I was a cheap, crazy American. I just can’t care too much when most of the world CAN’T BREW TEA PROPERLY!

    Most restaurants in the USA use warm water from the coffee machine to make under-extracted tea. It’s really awful. Canada–who SHOULD know better, considering its British heritage–has not proved very capable, either. On cruise ships, I’ve begged waiters to please put the tea in the water IN THE KITCHEN when it’s just off the boil, hoping to get a decent cup.

    When we travel by car, I now bring my electric kettle with the luggage. I only make one or two cups every day, but those cups are very important to my happiness and well-being.

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    1. Ah! Hail to you fellow bouilloire! I, like you, can never believe how little people seem to understand brewing tea. It is not rocket science. Just really hot water and leave it alone a bit. Us Aussies know how to make tea and I am shocked to think that our Canadian cousins should be so unpatriotic 🙂 So glad to hear you are out enjoying the world after the great job you did raising kids. It is a wonderful world (despite the tea deprivation). Very best wishes to you!

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  3. I’m already a fan of Papa Bouilloire. I’d even wear a Tee-shirt proclaiming this! I’ve even looked half-seriously at portable Nespresso machines for my travels around UK. But NOT to European mainland. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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