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Banjo birthday shock

July 4, 2011

Banjo’s birthday? what an absurd concept, attempting to celebrate the birth of the worst dog ever to set foot on this earth. It was my daughter that suggested it when I was giving her  lift on the way back from Mouans Sartoux. I stopped the car and said if there was to be any more of that talk she could walk. It would be like celebrating the birth of Adolf Hitler or Jack The Ripper.  Banjo, as most regular followers of this column will be well aware is an over fed, over sized over bearing thirty kilo mutant cocker spaniel, owned by that nice lady decorator and with an evil spirit dedicated to making my life as miserable as is possible. His malevolence extends to biting pizza delivery men, defecating right by my hammock, stealing food from tables and other countless vandalistic acts, and for this he is constantly being rewarded by the female inhabitants of this house for his bad behaviour. It is said (but not by me in the earshot of that nice lady decorator) that dogs often take on the traits of their owners, and although she is almost as badly behaved at times, I think she would draw the line at defecation in the garden in daylight, although come to think of it I am not absolutely certain.

Today I will be going down to a camp site somewhere near Frejus to deposit said daughter there for 10 days. This should not be viewed as punishment for the birthday suggestion, but is in fact something she is looking forward to. Personally I draw the line at sleeping under canvas, in fact I draw it well before that, although I must admit to looking forward to our camping trip in Bluebell the camper, pictured here today ready for action next weekend. This type of camping is of course completely different with  fridge, cooking facilities, electricity, ipod and double bed. It is undertaken in a classic vehicle harking back to those old hippy days in the nineteen seventies, but with creature comforts. More glamping (glamourous camping) than just camping.

Bluebell raring to go next weekend, now with new carpets and curtains

Don’t miss my regular weekly grumpy old git blog for angloinfo which is published today. Entitled Happy Mondays, is designed to promote Currencies Direct (something that I am determined not to do in this column today) but is constantly being edited by the thought police masquerading as editorial assistants. Message to angloinfo, “get off my back”

On my way back from Valbonne village to buy the Sunday Times, a weekly ritual, I spotted a sign that I had seen last year and was up again “Fete des Groules”. When I got home, I used google translate as I did not know what a Groule was, and apparently nor does google as it came back with “celebration of groules”. So we decided to go down and have a look in the afternoon, and were confronted with loads of middle-aged french people with tressle tables set in a nice an olive grove, with a dance floor and loads of them dancing to something akin to umpah music. To be fair, it did not seem like the kind of event we would enjoy, except on a “take the piss and a laugh at it rather than with it” level. I suggested to that nice lady decorator that perhaps the party was an annual event staged by Mr and Mrs Groules, and do you know what, I think I saw them, and a number of relatives, or Groules as they must be called if I am right.

Chris France

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