April 1994, London
I was not yet ready to head home to Australia as I was keen to develop my new language skills by using them in some way. Through The Lady magazine I applied for a position as a nanny with a French couple living in London. They were planning to move to Paris in the coming month. Once established at their huge apartment, a few blocks from the Eiffel Tower, I was told by my employer that the main reason I had been given the position over another candidate, was my “beautiful white teeth”. It was a compliment I’d never before received, let alone them having been the reason for my securing a job!
My charge was an 18 month old little boy named Alex. He was sweet and smart and an absolute joy to look after, especially as my work finished at 5.00 pm – no night duties, hoorah! We had fun together, going out for fruit and veggies at local shops and a regular street market, visiting the park under the Eiffel Tower three or four times a week and exploring other parts of Paris via the Metro or on foot. His room was decorated with an extremely large array of Babar the Elephant paraphernalia, posters and toys. Assuming his mother was a big fan, I commented on the theme. Apparently it was his father’s childhood nickname. Much to his dismay he was the frequent recipient of Babar gifts, the trend having intensively accelerated after the news he was to become a daddy. On my departure for Australia, I was given one of his Babar toys as a memento, which I treasure to this day.
So here I am flashing my fabulous pearly whites. This could be another photo for a French visa or a random stop at a booth, I am no longer sure. It was taken on 22 April 1994 when I was very close to leaving for Paris.