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Hells Angle scary?

October 13, 2011

I have made a discovery; the sun can be seen as early as 8am, which as most sensible people know is a time a very late night out tends to end. This was my cross to bear yesterday morning. Instead of meandering back from a decent dinner and several decent bottles of wine in the early hours, I was actually getting up and dressing, ready for an impossibly early trip across to St Endreol in the Var. The reason? my work with Currencies Direct required my presence.

Later in the afternoon, I returned to the civilised Cote d’Azur for some tennis at the Vignale in the warm October sunshine. I do so think that it is the taking part that is so important, so you will be unsurprised to know that I cannot recall the result, but I suspect that Matt Frost, my opponent in singles (the entire tennis four other than myself having chickened out, and soon no doubt to discover white feathers in their tennis bags) is at this moment smarting and licking his wounds.

So after yesterdays exertions down in the Var, I think I deserve a day off tomorrow and so I have an outline plan to play tennis this morning and adjourn to lunch, possibly at Lou Fassum with some chums and, if she is well-behaved, that nice lady decorator. that she has been badly behaved recently is clear if one looks at some recent pictures that have adorned this column.

My picture today was taken last weekend and is of Pamplona Beach at St Tropez, amazingly empty despite a temperature of 25 degrees, amazing as during the summer you cannot move on the beach. Imagine a beach like this in the UK being deserted in 25 degrees? No, I can’t either.

Pamplona beach empty

Last night after that very pleasant game of tennis with an indeterminate result, I dropped in to the Queens Legs for a pint of Guinness to discuss tactics for the launch of my book “Summer In The Cote d’Azur” on 7th November. Matt Frost from French Mortgage Express has agreed to be my Master of Ceremonies, and as such we needed to discuss logistics and organisational details for the big day, which has already sold out.

He was concerned about the possibility, nay, almost certainty of heckling, and the noise that the attendant throng might be making after a few complementary glasses of champagne. He was also concerned that we may have gate crashers, given that the event has sold out nearly a month before the launch and clearly ticket touts will be looking for opportunities. It was decided that a strong doorman would be needed, and who better than that nice lady decorator. This is because, many years ago, she was employed by me at the door for some of my gigs, many of which were during the punk boom in 1976. One gig in particular featured punk icons The Damned. The local chapter of Hells Angels who were pathologically opposed to all things punk arrived en force at the gig and were inside before I was aware of what was happening. When I went to remonstrate with her, as I had no security staff, she pointed out that they had all paid. I fleetingly considered suggesting to the biggest one, their leader, that he had spelled Angel incorrectly on his jacket, and that being a Hells Angle was not quite as fiercesome, but thought better of it. Matt Frost then suggested that having this kind of chapter at a book launch was not a good idea, and he has a point. As some of my better educated friends would most likely agree, some of my chapters are for more scary.

Chris France

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