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Dark side of that nice lady decorator

July 21, 2011

The German campers in the camp site pitch alongside Bluebell on Tuesday night should never have started it. German ragga music can never have been popular beyond the borders of Hamburg or Berlin, so playing such a racket at such a volume whilst that nice lady decorator was cooking dinner was their first mistake. The second was to ask her to turn down Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, which she was playing, one of the best-selling albums of all time in any language, the title of which seems a fitting backdrop to her cooking.

These young whippersnappers clearly did not remember the 2nd world war, or who won. Personally I don’t remember it either and I would not have mentioned it. I think she mentioned it once, but I think she got away with it.

From Agay we travelled back to Valbonne along the wonderful coast road up to Mandlieu via Theole sur Mer, one of the prettiest drives in the world, to put Bluebell the camper out to grass for ten days whilst we head back to dank dreary depressing England. We were greeted at City airport with wind and rain, a fitting epitaph for the English summer, and things do not look good for this morning, the cricket, the first day if the Lords Test against India. However we shall battle down to the Marylebone cricket club and no doubt find that at least there is some action in the champagne tents which will be open and have to make the best of it.

On the way to the airport, back in the Merc, which was something of a sea change from the last week spent in Bluebell the camper van, we found we had enough time for a sea change lunch on the beach near the airport, at St Laurent du Var,  where I took this picture from my luncheon table. I will be referring to it regularly whilst watching the scudding grey clouds that encapsulate an English summer during the coming ten days.

La Pannisse restaurant on the beach at St Laurent Du Var

Last night, for purely medicinal reasons it was necessary to find a pub bearing London Pride, the finest ale known to man, followed by a curry. This course of action, the dash for comfort food is forced upon one by the cold damp weather and the subsequent need for fortification against the elements.

A disaster has occurred with my wardrobe. My silk smoking jacket and cravat, de rigeur for the Members Enclosure at Lords, have mysteriously unpacked themselves from my suitcase. That or they have been stolen. In any event, at the point of writing this column, I am not in possession of suitable attire, and may not have time to get to my tailor in Savile Row. Thus I may be forced to buy something known as “ready to wear”, a totally alien concept, in order to gain entry to the cricket. The one good thing is that I will not have to exchange currency with Currencies Direct for the purchase, and will not take this obvious promotional opportunity as I am still on vacation until 1st August.

And so, the battle between India and England on the cricket field will commence shortly. India are the top rated Test side in the world, whilst England are third. Should we be able to win the series of five matches by a margin of two them we will become the number one team in the world, so I shall be doing my bit today and tomorrow to urge England on to victory.

Chris France

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