Peter Mayle Quotes

Enjoy the top 54 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Peter Mayle.

Peter Mayle Quotes

We had to be up early in the morning. We had a goat race to go to ... We asked the old man confident in the knowledge that he, like every Frenchman, would be an expert. The goats who make the most droppings before the race are likely to do well. An empty goat is faster than a full goat. Cest logique.
— Peter Mayle —

Peter Mayle Quotes: Why not make a daily pleasure out a
Why not make a daily pleasure out a daily necessity.

— Peter Mayle

Best advice I've ever received: Finish.

— Peter Mayle

Sunglasses must be kept on until an acquaintance is identified at one of the tables, but one must not appear to be looking for company. Instead, the impression should be that one is heading into the cafe to make a phone call to one's titled Italian admirer, when
quelle surprise!
one sees a friend. The sunglasses can then be removed and the hair tossed while one is persuaded to sit down.

— Peter Mayle

The day when a Frenchman switches from the formality of vous to the familiarity of tu is a day to be taken seriously. It is an unmistakable signal that he has decided - after weeks or months or sometimes years - that he likes you. It would be chulish and unfriendly of you not to return the compliment. And so, just when you are at last feeling comfortable with vous and all the plurals that go with it, you are thrust headlong in to the singular world of tu.

— Peter Mayle

Peter Mayle Quotes: Depending on the inflection ah bon can
Depending on the inflection, ah bon can express shock, disbelief, indifference, irritation, or joy - a remarkable achievment for two short words.

— Peter Mayle

I have a terrible weakness for collecting snatches of other people's conversations, and occasionally I'm rewarded with unusual fragments of knowledge. My favorite of the day came from a large but shapely woman sitting nearby whom I learned was the owner of a local lingerie shop. 'Beh oui,' she said to her companion, waving her spoon for emphasis, 'il faut du temps pour la corsetterie.' You can't argue with that. I made a mental note not to rush things next time I was shopping for a corset, and leaned back to allow the waiter through with the next course.

— Peter Mayle

I like to have my morning newspaper ironed before I read it. I like to have my shoes boned before they are polished. I like to sit in the back of the car and be driven. I like beds to be made, dishes to be washed, grass to be cut, drinks to be served, telephones to be answered, and common tasks to be dealt with invisibly and efficiently so that I can devote my time to major decisions like the choice of wines for dinner and who to vote for in the next election for the mayor of my village.
That is life as it should be lived, and all it takes is money and servants.

— Peter Mayle

Peter Mayle Quotes: A connoisseur of woe needs fresh worries
A connoisseur of woe needs fresh worries from time to time, or he will become complacent.

— Peter Mayle

Oh, that,' he said. 'Poncet is grooming his ass.

— Peter Mayle

He then expounded a remarkable theory, which had occurred to him while he was playing the clarinet during one of the power cuts that the French electricity board arranges at regular intervals. Electricity, he said, is a matter of science and logic. Classical music is a matter of art and logic. Vous voyez? Already one sees a common factor. And when you listen to the disciplined and logical progression of some of Mozart's work, the conclusion is inescapable: Mozart would have made a formidable electrician.

— Peter Mayle

We had to be up early in the morning. We had a goat race to go to ... We asked the old man confident in the knowledge that he, like every Frenchman, would be an expert. The goats who make the most droppings before the race are likely to do well. An empty goat is faster than a full goat. C'est logique.

— Peter Mayle

Peter Mayle Quotes: The french it seems to me strike a happy
The French, it seems to me, strike a happy balance between intimacy and reserve. Some of this must be helped by the language, which lends itself to graceful expression even when dealing with fairly basic subjects ... And there's that famously elegant subtitle from a classic Western.
COWBOY: "Gimme a shot of red-eye."
SUBTITLE: "Un Dubonnet, s'il vous plait."
No wonder French was the language of diplomacy for all those years.

— Peter Mayle

And, as for the oil, it is a masterpiece. You'll see.
Before dinner that night, we tested it, dripping it onto slices of bread that had been rubbed with the flesh of tomatoes. It was like eating sunshine.

— Peter Mayle

Look at those vines,' he said. 'Nature is wearing her prettiest clothes.'
The effect of this unexpectedly poetic observation was slight spoiled when Massot cleared his throat nosily and spat, but he was right;

— Peter Mayle

They always asked wistfully what the weather was like, and were not pleased with the answer. They consoled themselves by warning me about skin cancer and the addling effecr of sun on the brain. I didn't argue with them; they were probably right. But addled, wrinkled and potentially cancerous as I might have been, I had never felt better.

— Peter Mayle

Peter Mayle Quotes: The french dont snack they will tear off
The French don't snack. They will tear off the endo of a fres baguette (which, if it's warm, it's practically impossible to resist) and eat it as they leave the boulangerie. And that's usually all you will see being consumed on the street. Compare that with the public eating and drinking that goes on in America: pizza, hot dogs, nachos, tacos, heroes, potato chips, sandwiches, jerricans of coffee, half-gallon buckets of Coke (Diet, of cours) and heaven knows what else being demolished on the hoof, often on the way to the aerobic class.

— Peter Mayle

It is at a time like this, when crisis threatens the stomach, that the French display the most sympathetic side of their nature. Tell them stories of physical injury or financial ruin and they will either laugh or commiserate politely. But tell them you are facing gastronomic hardship, and they will move heaven and earth and even restaurant tables to help you.

— Peter Mayle

If I live to be sixteen, I shall never fully understand the rich complexities of human nature. Not sure that I want to, either. It would be a lifetime's work, and brooding over the mysteries of existence is bad for your health. Look what happens to philosophers. Most of them end up barking mad, taking to the bottle, or becoming professors of existentialism at obscure universities.

— Peter Mayle

The mistake I had made, obviously, was in overestimating human intelligence. By and large, one can not deny certain of mankind's achievements, such as the invention of lamb chops and central heating, but many people are strangely unreceptive to nuance. The hint, the diplomatic nudge, the oblique statements
these very often pass straight over their heads, and man and dog find themselves looking at each other through a fog of incomprehension. Thus it was with the management and myself. Delightful and welcoming, they certainly were, but not, it seemed, too quick on the uptake.

— Peter Mayle

There were far too many at my birthday party, and I wouldn't have invited any of them. I couldn't see them at first, because it takes a few days for the eyes to open, but they made their presence felt. Try having breakfast with a football team, all of them fighting to get hold of the same piece of toast, and you'll know what I went through.

— Peter Mayle

What a marvelous sunset,' she said. 'Yes,' replied her husband. 'Most impressive for such a small village.

— Peter Mayle

We had been here often before as tourists, desperate for our annual ration of two or three weeks of true heat and sharp light. Always when we left, with peeling noses and regret, we promised ourselves that one day we would live here. We had talked about it during the long gray winters and the damp green summers, looked with an addict's longing at photographs of village markets and vineyards, dreamed of being woken up by the sun slanting through the bedroom window.

— Peter Mayle

Gu himself presides over the room- a genial, noisy man with the widest, jauntiest, must luxuriant and ambitious mustache I have ever seen, permanently fighting gravity and the razor in its attempts to make contact with Gu's eyebrows.

— Peter Mayle

After being rationed to a single ball, a whole box of them gave me a delightful feeling of sudden wealth. French politicians must have a similar sensation when elected to high office and permitted to dip into the chateaux and limousines and government-issue caviar. No wonder they cling to power long after they should be tucked away in an old folks' home. I'd do the same.

— Peter Mayle

Peter Mayle Quotes: Perhaps the single most enjoyable part
Perhaps the single most enjoyable part of my researches, which covered a period of about four years, was meeting the artists themselves, the people who provide the luxuries. All of them, from tailors and boot makers to truffle hunters and champagne blenders, were happy in their work, generous with their time, and fascinating about their particular skills. To listen to a knowledgeable enthusiast, whether he's talking about a Panama hat or the delicate business of poaching foie gras in Sauternes, is a revelation, and I often came away wondering why the price wasn't higher for the talent and patience involved.

— Peter Mayle

There is nothing I like better at the end of a hot summer's day than taking a short walk around the garden. You can smell the heat coming up from the earth to meet the cooler night air.

— Peter Mayle

One must never forget that life is unfair. But sometimes, with a bit of luck, this works in your favour.

— Peter Mayle

No matter what their background, the southern French are fascinated by food.

— Peter Mayle

Peter Mayle Quotes: Sundays in france have a different
Sundays in France have a different atmosphere to other days, with fewer phone calls, no postman, no delivery men and no one banging on the door.

— Peter Mayle

I don't have a boss. Well, I have a boss: the public. If the public doesn't buy my books, I would be out of a job.

— Peter Mayle

I have a robust sense of humour which helps me deal with problems.

— Peter Mayle

There are plenty of miserable millionaires all over the place.

— Peter Mayle

Peter Mayle Quotes: Very little happens in my books
Very little happens in my books.

— Peter Mayle

You don't like it when a French housewife gets mad at you. If she gets steam behind her, she is an unstoppable creature.

— Peter Mayle

I have a very set routine. I work six days a week, but only half days. I work from 9 in the morning till 1 in the afternoon, without any interruptions, a fair slug.

— Peter Mayle

The great thing about having money is that you can actually just get on with your life and not have to think about paying the bills or crouch over 'The Wall Street Journal' or the 'Financial Times' and look at the stock figures and things like that. That bores me rigid.

— Peter Mayle

Nowadays, if you have a journey, albeit a simple one, you consider yourself lucky if nothing happens.

— Peter Mayle

The funny thing in France is that writers are not allowed to retire, because the French government say you are still earning money from books you wrote 20 years ago.

— Peter Mayle

Peter Mayle Quotes: In the south of france the phones cut in
In the south of France the phones cut in and out, the electricity isn't particularly reliable. I think many people would get very irritated with that life.

— Peter Mayle

I left school at 16 and skipped university to work, initially as a waiter. I think I missed out on what would have been great years.

— Peter Mayle

Peter Mayle Quotes: When i was very young in london i had a
When I was very young in London, I had a bank account, which didn't have a great deal in it. I should think at least every three months the bank manager would call me up and threaten to strangle me because I had no money, and I was writing checks.

— Peter Mayle

Good manners make any man a pleasure to be with. Ask any woman.

— Peter Mayle

The English kill their meat twice: once when they slaughter it and once when they cook it.

— Peter Mayle

Peter Mayle Quotes: Id rather live precariously in my own
I'd rather live precariously in my own office than comfortably in somebody else's.

— Peter Mayle

Prescription for writer's block: fear of poverty.

— Peter Mayle

Day after day we looked for rain, and day after day we saw nothing but the sun. Lavender that we had planted in the spring died. The patch of grass in front of the house abandoned its ambitions to become a lawn and turned into the dirty yellow of poor straw. The earth shrank, revealing its knuckles and bones, rocks and roots that had been invisible before.

— Peter Mayle

There is nothing like a comfortable adventure to put people in a good humor ...

— Peter Mayle

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