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600th post

November 11, 2011

A hair dryer. At 4am. That was the reason given for the fire alarm at our squalid hotel near Earls Court going off. Who is using a hair dryer at 4am? And then again at 6am? I wished with every fibre of my being that they had been in the bath at the same time with very soapy slippery fingers.

Parents evening for sprog 2 was enlivened by a decent supply by the college of quite a decent Bordeaux designed to ease the pain of hearing about ones expensive children’s activities, and then shortly afterwards I was again being fleeced by my sprogs at a Chinese restaurant in Earls Court, before retiring to bed with an unsuspected alarm call at 4am from the fire alarm. Locusts could not be more destructive, mosquitoes no more determined to snare their prey, me.

Yesterday morning I was subjected to one of my least favourite activities, shopping in London. I was not looking forward to witnessing the lack of Christmas spirit that is encapsulated in Oxford Street in London’s West End, but even I was shocked by the picture I took of Father Christmas selling the thrusting left-wing magazine created to help the unemployed, “The Big Issue”. As you can see, times must be hard for Santa, he has clearly lost a great deal of weight either through recessionary pressures, or perhaps the frankly, much needed, gastric band had been tightened a couple if notches too far? I also like the nice touch with the dog, or is in an emaciated reindeer?

Santa Clause falling on hard times?

Some London Pride was required at lunch time to help take off, indeed I have been flying for so long, at least two weeks without much respite, I guess I should be more concerned with the landing which will commence today as I wind down towards the weekend. I even had to turn down a round of golf today with Peter Bennett from Blue Water Yachting as I have several meetings today, one of which is to rescue to client from his bank and convert him to the benefits of using Currencies Direct for all his foreign exchange movements. Lunch was taken at the Fullers Ale And Steak House near Waterloo before the joyful return to France last evening.

Today is my 600th column. 600 days on the trot I have been faithfully reporting events as I see them. I admit that on some occasions my  interpretation of some events may have been at variance with many others who had witnessed the same events but that is all subjective. The doubters must accept that I am right and they are wrong.

Lin at The English Book Centre in Valbonne wanted me to point out that she has a good stock of my book the recently launched  “Summer In the Cote d’Azur” prominently featured and that this shop is the only place in the village where this rare and valuable item can be obtained, alongside now, I see, the two John Otway books, the second of which is in hardback, I feel I may have missed a trick here. Another trick I have missed is the non inclusion of photographs. This will be remedied next time.  I can almost feel the shudder of misapprehension reverberate through the local literary community; there is going to be a next one? Oh yes, the planning will start this weekend. I can hear the exhortation from the Wingco from here, “Ghastly”. However, what he does not yet know is that his lovely wife is going to surprise him at Christmas with a specially signed book, the title of which I cannot reveal.

Chris France

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