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Put a cork in it

November 17, 2011

From 50,075 to 29,500 in the Lulu best sellers list is a meteoric rise by any standard. A rise of over 20,000 places in one day? if you draw the graph on that one I will be in the top 10 by the weekend. Obviously the book launch was less of a launch, more of a stellar blast off. You can help this sudden ascendancy by ordering one from the tab on the right or by clicking here. For those lucky enough to live in Valbonne, home to many of the idle rich of whom I have been known to write about in this column and in that book, don’t forget I shall be at the English Book Centre in the village between 11 and 12 on Friday 18th November to sign those personal copies as Christmas presents. I do hope you will not be put off by the rush. I hear that the crowd barriers will be in place early and that seems a wise precaution. Any suggestion that these will be used to keep people in until they have bought a signed copy is as heinous as it is true.

My daily walk through the Valmasque forest is a constant source of photographs for this blog. They tend to get used when I have no fresh stupid pictures to use, but today is different, I do have some more from the weekend stored up, and unless the appropriate bribe is received shortly then several people will be the subject of that particular strand of attention for which this column is justly infamous shortly. Today’s picture is of an old cork oak tree that I found in the forest on Monday. The numbers of these magnificent trees are now being reduced significantly due to many vineyards turning to non biodegradeable plastic stoppers made from oil. This is a ridiculous concept in any event. Personally on principle I would send back a bottle using a plastic stopper if served to me in a restaurant . Screwtops I can understand if you are happy drinking crap wine but how can we justify turning away from using a traditional and sustainable method to seal wine bottles, using up valuable natural resources and increasing the landfill problem? It makes me mad. OK rant over, lets get back to local gossip, innuendo and faithful reporting of alcoholically generated stupidity that is the natural realm of this column.

A cork oak. Should be enough corks to last a week or two there

So today I shall also be in Valbonne to satisfy a huge wholesale book order. 4 copies might not seem many sales to John Grisham or J K Rowling but to me it is a significant sale. The fact that the girl buying them, Pat Toohey, wants to give them as Christmas presents to her friends back in her home village in Ireland warmed me to start with, but when she mentioned the fact that each year she is give a book written about her old village in Ireland by a local resident, and wanted to get her own back I wavered. Let her have the books or not? I think my meeting this morning to write individual dedications for her friends back in the old country tells its own story. There is also the matter of her being a Currencies Direct affiliate, so what is a man to do?

I the weekend weather remains as beautiful as it has been all week, then the REGS golf tournament will be a delight. I see I am drawn to play with Mick Pedley again. I wonder if he will be wearing his German shooting trousers again…

Chris France

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