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Bonjour Mama, Bonjour Papa

Cher Mama et Papa,

I’m so sorry not to have written recently and I just want to reassure you that I’m ok and that everything is going very well indeed in my job here in London. If you saw something in the sports section of Le Soir the other week which showed a picture of a banner with my name on it (and Roland’s) this is because we are trying to encourage the movement of our customers (in addition to our players) around the network of football clubs that Roland owns and we managed to arrange 20 of them to go to Sint Truiden – I think the banner was their way of saying thanks.

Anyway, as I say, everything is working out. I know you desperately wanted me to carry on with my Law career but you have met Roland when he came to dinner at ours and, d’accord, he mystified Papa with his stories of working for British Intelligence and having been in the Resistance during the War but that’s the quirky, funny side of him that few people see or appreciate. A more charming man you couldn’t wish to find and he has given me this wonderful post as CEO of a football club in London that were formed only shortly before he took over and they have been playing at their ground (The Valley) only since the 1990s.

I have taken my role as CEO very seriously and have achieved much. For example, I have persuaded over 3,000 of our long-term customers (they call them here Season Ticket Holders) to pay to see the games whilst in reality they actually stay at home! Oui, I know, I’m so excited, and for 3 customers at every game I have instituted a luxury match-day experience where they view the game from a pitch-side chaise-lounge.

We are going through what they call in England a transition phase which includes changing the colours of the club from Red and White to Black and White and many of the fans are helping us to achieve this with only about 2% resisting the change. Next season we are going to introduce our own team of cheerleaders called The Duchalettes and we are going to expand our restaurant and catering outlets and I am taking the lead on this having undertaken a fact-finding tour in Ireland.

Roland lets me take care of football matters as well, can you believe it? You remember when I was six and Pierre Boisard kicked a ball in my face and said girls can’t play football? Well, look at me now! As soon as I arrived I got rid of the ageing players in the squad (including an arrogant Frenchman call Yann who looked a lot like a grown-up Pierre Boisard actually) and brought across a top European striker in Piotr Parszyszek but you won’t have heard of him.

I also discovered England’s next Alex Ferguson, an Israeli called Guy Luzon and installed him to be manager here for 25 years or maybe longer. You will be proud to hear that I used my lawyer experience to ensure that he had a work-permit for England but someone in my staff failed to act on it and the appointment was delayed. Non importe, the member of staff involved is now buried under the chaise-lounge. Ha, Ha, no, I of course joke - she was just let go.

But, it’s not all work. I had fun joining in with an impromptu street-theatre event just the other week which reminded me of my gap year in Paris. These Charlton boys are so sophisticated, they put on a spectacular pre-game entertainment with a rendition of Carlo Carllodi’s Pinocchio with hundreds of them in puppet masks dancing through the streets and calling my name: Mire, Mire, they seemed to say – I cannot always make out their accent.

Anyway, I must go, I’m going to be on television at le weekend and I must practice my camera presentation skills and choose my best Versace scarf. There is a rumour that the fans (that’s what they call themselves the little diablotins) are going to gather outside the main stand even before the game has finished to cheer me on.

So, voila, tout est bien



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    Slow Friday?
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    Slow Friday?

    Retired and preparing for Sunday!
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    Ma chere Katrien,

    Ton pere et moi sont vue le banner. Tant pis Katrien.

    I will awitch to English now as you seem to be adopting English spelling...Chaise Lounge? Even as a girl you had the ability to use words wrongly.

    Our neighbours were very supportive to us after the embarrassment of the banner and the way Roland treated those Charlton fans.

    Im afraid to say your work is damaging your father's health. Since you gave up law and took on this Chief Executive role we never see you and he is worried you are out of your depth and ruining your career. We try not to read the papers now and you know how much your father used to love that.

    Please Katrien, can you walk away before it's too late?

    Your loving mother.
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    Oh mama, quele dommage.

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    Coyote you may be retired but you've not lost your sense of humour top writing! You should re-title it though bit complex for most!
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    Yes, feeling homesick Katrien?
    or just sick?
    After Sunday, maybe just maybe, you will finally get the message that your time here is over.
    Go Home!
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    Slow Friday?

    Retired and preparing for Sunday!
    Retired? That sounds like it would've been nice...
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    why.jpg 76.8K
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    Mange tout Rodney Charlton Trotter!
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Roland Out Forever!