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Big cats or big dog?

November 26, 2011

It was a tough decision. After arriving at the faceless square grey box of a hotel called The Jury’s Inn at London’s Heathrow Airport, a recommendation from my old friend Peter Lynn, a decision had to be made. It was late afternoon; either take a late siesta, or go straight to the bar and go straight through to an early dinner and then bed?. There was never really going to be any doubt, so we headed to the bar.

It’s not that the hotel was uncomfortable, the wine undrinkable or the food inedible, it’s just the mind numbing blandness and total lack of warmth that characterise these airport hotels that gets to me, and drives me to drink. After all, what else is to be done in this situation? What possible entertainment is to be had?

So an early start today, the reason we had to stay near the airport and by the end of the day we shall be in Africa. The Reverend Jeff comments that he will be expecting a number of terrible puns in the coming two weeks along the lines of “safari so good” and I told him that he was absolutely correct. He rightly says he has known me too long, as they say, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, which is a very contrived way to lead into today’s picture of the family dog, the one we all like, Max, complete with those eyebrows.

Max with those eyebrows

A very long day awaits us as we fly to Nairobi in Kenya for the trip down to Medina Palms on Watamu Beach south of Malindi. Regular readers will know that this trip cannot possibly be construed as work as I am an agent for this beautiful development, which was this week named in the Top 10 overseas developments in Country Life. That I have to see it with my own eyes is a given and we shall be staying at the show house Alhamra owned by old pal and cricketing pal Nigel “mad as a box of frogs” Rowley and his lovely wife Leslie.

My accountants will therefore not be surprised to know that I have the most solid grounds for submitting the expenses as a bone fide business expense. Clearly it will be necessary to have secretarial support in the form of the very beautiful nice lady decorator, who has been complaining recently that I never have anything nice to say about her which is probably true but does not reflect how I actually feel about her. However, before the real work commences on Monday, there will be time for a little relaxation, and this will take the shape of a “big cat experience” at the Nairobi National Park early on Sunday morning.

We are talking the real thing here, we are hoping to see some extra-large tabby cats, and if we are lucky enough to witness them it will be, as the Reverend suggests, safari so good. Sadly work commitments will allow us just a short trip into the bush before flying down to Malindi from Nairobi on Sunday afternoon

By the time many of you read this, I expect one of my handful of BA pilot friends to have done his duty and managed to secure the upgrade to business class that I so obviously deserve. If not, then Cathie the Culture, my Australian friend and now client with Currencies Direct, who in what I thought was a slightly jealous outburst yesterday hoped that I would languish in economy beside a very overweight, loud American with bad breath with a baby screaming throughout the 12 hour flight.

Hopefully I will reveal the outcome in tomorrows column, internet access permitting.

Chris France

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Cultured Cathie permalink
    November 26, 2011 10:31 am

    Not sure that questioning the intelligence of a new client is a good way to endorse your product.?


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