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Annoying facial hair shock

October 19, 2011

As we sat enjoying a sun downer in the pav after a long lunch, when discussing how many copies to order for the print run of the first edition I said to that nice lady decorator “I don’t suppose you are going to pay me for your copy of the book?”. “No, I don’t want one at all, fu*k off” she said. This seems to represent an under stated market reaction to the quality if my writing, but a reaction that I must apparently expect to become accustomed to. Despite almost inevitable fame on my doorstep she still calls this column “writing silly stories for my friends”.

Lunch at the Auberge St Donat after tennis at the Vignale was the usual lively affair. Tennis earlier in the day had been usual triumph despite a new pairing. After the first set when myself and Mr Mundell, my new partner for the day had cut the opposition in the jointly rotund shape of the Wingco and Mr Clipboard to shreds, winning by several clear points on a tie break, there may have been a slightly anti climactic second set, the result of which I cannot recall.

What I do recall is that I once again had to fight to retain my goatee, the Annoying Facial Hair or AFH by which it has become known, and which I am cultivating for my book launch on 7th November. I am told that the reason I am tending and protecting this luxuriant growth is a vain attempt to appear more interesting than I actually am but as I pointed out last night and again at lunch, if one is prepared to enter into the world of vanity publishing with the gusto so clearly evident, then the growth of a lowly beard is as nothing in comparison.

My picture today shows the ugly side of jealousy in the shape of Mr Clipboard armed with some garden clippers clearly intent on removing an amount of my AFH which probably equals or exceeds the entire amount still growing on his head.

A picture worthy of Crimewatch?

Take yesterday for example. We are full for the launch lunch 7th of November at the Auberge Provencal, but yesterday a film director and his wife asked if they could attend, so what self-respecting (this is a considerable understatement) writer, or should I say author, can resist the tantalizing possibility of having his work turned into a film? After all, I have first hand experience of someone close to me turning their life story into a film (

So after struggling to stay awake and watch some old episodes of Foyles War on the TV, I retired to bed to consider the wonderful possibilities of a cinematic future.

Lunch today will be taken on the delightful terrace of the golf course at St Donat, between Mouans Sartoux and the perfume capital of Grasse, after which we shall play 9 holes of golf, assuming the possibility of thunderstorms has abated by then. That the golf after a nice lunch is unlikely to be of a high standard is a given, but at least we will have some time in which to formulate a wager of some kind.

Before that then I must concertina a full days endeavour on behalf of Humble Pie or more specifically for the groups drummer Jerry Shirley and the late Steve Marriott, the singer and guitarist in this legendary group who were huge in the 1970’s especially in USA, the estate of whom I still represent, and Currencies Direct. Jerry Shirley also has a book released this week in USA called  “Best Seat In The House”.  Us authors must stick together.

Chris France

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