I am not working in the land of escargot and fromage (snails & cheese), but that does not mean that I am bored, not for one second. I start two weeks of immersion French lessons at the end of this month which means I’ll have somewhere to be every morning, a very scary thought. In the meantime I’ve decided to try my hand at different professions, starting this week with Sports Journalism. I am sure Hugh is looking forward to the morning I announce it’s ‘chef’ week.
I present to you, my first ever sports interview. Although it kind of changes into a lifestyle interview part way through, you’ve got to learn to adapt to your subject right?
H – Sup girl
Hugh I’m not Celia, I’m Maurice the Sports Journalist.
H – How’s it spelt? You have a high-pitched voice for a dude, where’s my coffee; and crumpets? I want coffee and crumpets.
Thanks for taking time to talk to me on your day off, speaking of which, it must be pretty scrum-believable to have a midweek rest
H – It is really nice to have a day off with my S.O, and a big ol’ sleep in.
What does SO mean?
H – Significant other.
Right. Your apartment here in Paris is beautiful, what a find! Might I just add I love that doorstop… you must love it too?
H – The apartment is wonderful. The doorstop? I don’t think it was originally meant to be a doorstop?
Yes. Yes, it was.
H – I don’t think Zara Home made it to be a door stop though?
Right let’s get onto the serious questions.
When you are not staring transfixed at your golden-haired angel of a girlfriend in the stands, what are the major differences on field that you’ve noticed between French and Australian rugby?
H –Is this a rugby interview? Um look, the language, I don’t talk as much during the game.
It’s a ‘this is your life’ interview, anyway, next question. Hugh, what makes you the happiest? This time it’s multi-choice, I don’t think enough sports journalists include multi-choice questions in their interview.
A. My girlfriend Celia
B. Celia, my lady
H –Is there a D?
H- then C, that was funny.
What’s your favourite thing about French cuisine?
H – I’ve actually noticed the pasta and sushi is really good, but it’s weird to say that because they aren’t French. There are some delicious sandwiches out there, great prices, baguettes with crisp outsides and soft centres.
What’s the best meal you’ve eaten in Paris, when and where?
H – Besides the meals my girlfriend has cooked for me?
Yes, good answer, continue
H – La Coïncidence, Celia’s birthday dinner, my first time trying foie gras and it was deliciously interesting.
Best coffee in Paris?
H – Good question, um, (takes deep breath) you’re asking the tough questions today. (Gazing out window, more pausing), um, yeah probably the one I had at holybelly. It brought back memories of Melbourne. It was just right, you know? Done well…
Do you have any friends in your team yet? Friends as in, they-would-also-have-to-say-that-you-are-friends friends?
H – Oh, I was ready to shoot after the first part of the question but the second part made it tough. I don’t want to go out on a limb and get embarrassed. No comment.
You usually travel by train to away games, when you catch a glimpse of yourself in the window reflection do you see yourself as a young Harry Potter on the Hogwarts Express?
H – (laughing), um no. I do actually enjoy the train rides though; I’ve seen some sweet French countryside. I saw a dog on the train the other day. But no, I don’t really get lost in my own reflection like some others (stares at me)
Well that’s awkward. Are you first class in the train, are there classes?
H – I think there are, it’s good I’d liken it to an exit row of an airplane but with wider comfier seats. But no ‘in train’ entertainment it’s all BYO. There’s a cafe but you have to walk there. But it’s a good way to travel. No check-ins, it’s nice
I heard yours was the only bag sent to Marrakech on your return flight last weekend. Do you think that was part of your initiation by your team mates? All the bags were branded with your team logo?
H – I hadn’t thought about that… I thought it was an airline fault. I hope it wasn’t malicious; um it was good though I got it back the next morning, swift service. And, nice to know my bags been more places that I have.
H – Did you just snort?
Moving along, best Oh em gee I’m a total tourist moment so far?
H – I don’t say oh em gee.
I know it’s just a question?
H – Ok then. Ah, the day at the Eiffel. We had a big day at the Eiffel. It was a funny day actually, the wedding photos we saw! The page boy! I feel touristy every day; I drive past the tower on my way to work each morning. I still get pretty stoked when it sparkles as well.
Your girlfriend has decided to document your life in Paris via paristhethird.com it is really great writing; I mean I think she has one heck of a gift. However, you are a private man, how do you feel about it?
H – Um, what’s your interviewer name again?
H – Well Maurice, I find her hilarious, she has been pretty deprecating towards me in it but its ok and I can deal with that. She’s always said ‘never let a person’s feelings get in the way of a good joke’ so she’s living out that motto which is great.
NOT TRUE! I’ve never said that have I??
Hugh, you’re quite bossy. Sorry it’s just what I’ve heard? Anyway, you’re bossy, and I imagine you quite enjoy calling the line-out as it’s your chance you be the play-maker. Any challenges to ‘bossing the line’ since moving to the other side of the world?
H – My French number pronunciation is pretty horrible. It’s the language thing again ce…sorry Maurice, but you’ve got to have challenges in life or else what’s the point in living?
How very profound. So how was the move itself, to get from Melbourne, to Sydney, to Paris. It must have been a shemozzle?
H – Twas a shemozzle, I got to sell a couple of cars, I had to move out of our apartment which is pretty sad actually, we’d only been able to live there a short time but there were some good memories… but now I’m in Paris so kind of speaks for itself!
Tell me about the ambiance created at your new club? I’ve heard chandeliers in the gymnasium? That screams all round 10/10’s from the block judges to me!
H – Yeah I think Darren would be impressed. Good lighting, it’s nice. It’s fancy.
What’s the best thing about living in Paris?
H – um, the buildings. The history. People are really friendly.. It’s just all new, so many new experiences to have and to be had.
NOTE: Hugh now faux smoking a rolled up piece of paper and coughing from it
This is a scenario questions, its Rugby World Cup time and there are three face paint colours available. Gold (Australia), Blue (France) and Black (New Zealand) which paint do you go for?
H – Is this a serious question? I didn’t think you even needed to ask this question? Do you think I’ve got no loyalty or something? Blue (laughing) no I’m kidding, Gold definitely!!!
If someone else was offered the chance to move to Paris what would your advice be to them?
H – Learn French. Try as hard as you can to learn French. Because I did not, and I wish I did. Pack all types of clothes, people do wear shorts in Paris, it does get sunny. It’s not just jeans and jackets 24/7.
Your passion for fashion has come along in leaps and bounds since moving to France. You’re still an AS colour man through and through but it’s been noted that you’re becoming more conscious of your threads and have added depth and variety to your wardrobe? What would you say has been your main inspiration?
H – UGHHH (Kanye noise). I think necessity is a large factor, it’s coming into my first cold winter where I hear that temps can get sub-zero, I don’t want to be unprepared. My fashion choices are largely based on if it fits? That’s it, that’s all I’ve got.
……Is this the end of the interview?
I told you, soon. What are you most looking forward to over the next few months?
H – A cold Christmas will be interesting it will be AWESOME if we have a white Christmas, but not sure of the chances in Paris. Also, we get a week’s holidays it’s going to be cool. I am looking forward to any and all posts on paristhethird, they’re really insightful and I find out a lot about what I’ve been doing in those posts. Looking forward to taking up smoking (laughing).
Any regrets about the move Hugh?
H – Pretty annoyed I left my Timberlands at home, I really feel like I need them… those and my global kitchen knives.
And finally, your managers, what legends for helping out with this move, and your coach and club have also been super helpful. Anyone else you want to give a shout out too?
H – Nope. Jokes! Mum and Dad were really helpful, Emily was helpful, Tom was helpful he dropped me at the airport…. hmmm who else?? Paul and Marg helped get Celia on the plane… ummm… Sally for looking after Celia on her trip..
Oh and I guess Celia, for making it here on time
On time for what?
Just for making it here…
This has been tough
H – I’m going back to my trailer……
Smoking is not Hugh’s future. Any references to smoking were sarcastic and a joke. Just making that clear.