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Work commitments in place of leisure?

September 28, 2011

Great characters abound in Valbonne, but we seem to have lost one. Derek Barrowcliff, originally from Warwick but a fixture in Valbonne for the last 30 years has disappeared. Have a look at this Facebook page, has anyone seen him recently? the old chap is in his 90’s and concern is running high for his well being.

There are some characters I could well do without in the village, notably the horrid hound Banjo who ability to deposit faeces in the most inappropriate places in my garden and strategically where I had intended to walk on our daily marches around the Valmasque forest is legendary, now if he was missing there would not be the concern there is for Derek, merely loud cheering, certainly from me.

Today I have been summoned to a very important meeting at the Cafe Des Arcades to discuss the literary lunch or “paunch launch” as it has been rather unkindly called by a regular reader of this column whom I cannot name, but for arguments sake I will call Peter Lynn, of possibly Valbonne’s  soon to be most talked about publication, again certainly by me, my book “Summer In the Cote D’Azur“. It is currently only available for Ipad and kindle devices but that will all change on Halloween, 31st October when the paperback will arrive and you will all be given an opportunity to come for lunch and buy a copy. I am not proud, you can buy copies for people you don’t like, I just want your money. What a great Christmas present for a boring auntie or the mother in law? Need something to prop up the bed, a door stop? The meeting will be to iron out the details of the big day, and as soon as all is finalised , the invitations will go out and fiercesome plugging will commence in this column, but keep Halloween lunchtime free. I have even attempted to get successful rock and roll failure  Mr John Otway to be my guest of honour. So far he has not responded to my calls and emails, but there is still time, I will catch him soon, most likely when he comes to stay with me in Valbonne for his birthday at the weekend. After all he will want a bed and a fair exchange is no robbery.

My picture today is of a more intelligent that normal Peachy Butterfield taken last weekend. His adorable wife Suzanne has been on at him to eat more greens and he seems to have taken that to heart, along by the look of him in this photo with a gut full of Rochdale Rioja.

Now eat up your greens young man

Careful advance planning and a great deal of bribery with the celestial powers that be has ensured that the usual south of France weather to which I am know to be partial will be available to me during my three day stay in England starting Thursday. I have deliberately impeded and had saved up all the good weather during the UK summer to be certain that it was reserved for when I come back to blighty. I may have had to sell my soul to the devil, but as I know the Reverend Jeff, I feel sure I will be pardoned or exorcised or whatever those religious chaps do when you do something selfish.

Tennis has been postponed tonight due to Greg Harris of Cote d’Azur Villas and something called “work commitments”. This is clearly a preposterous concept, work getting in the way of leisure activities in the evening? poppycock. Running scared after last weeks mauling no doubt. Perhaps he will be having a couple of private lessons to iron out that laughably weak backhand, as opposed to backhander?

Chris France

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