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Teenage mistral madness

December 18, 2011

Wind enveloped us last night, the mistral proving to be as destructive in its own way as the kind of wind generated after a curry, blowing over garden furniture, a bit off the roof of the pav and a couple of tiles off the roof. The good news is that when it is windy like that, the sky is usually the clearest blue and the light of that very special quality that you find in the South Of France and which doubtless attracted so many of the worlds greatest painters to the area over the centuries. I attempted to capture that sense of clarity with my photo today.

Blue sky in the Valmasque forest

Whereas the sky was clear almost everything else in my world on a Saturday was muddled due to the arrival home of both sprogs. Much as I enjoyed seeing them, the novelty wore off after about five minutes. Older parents will recognise the ominous signs of their return to the fold; unwashed dishes, the kitchen a disaster area, dirty washing piled up to the ceiling, no room on the sofa because of a steaming pile of late teenage indolence. As soon as they arrive home every friend from miles around turns up to drink my beers, turn my house into a pigsty, commandeer the Sky remote and generally do all manner of things to force myself and that nice lady decorator out of our house. Don’t you just love them?
Under this intolerable pressure we sought refuge in The Queens Legs and that is the case for the defence.

Even there, solace was temporary because having drunk all the beers in my fridges they suddenly woke up to the fact that it was Happy Hour at The Queens until 8pm, and the great unwashed hordes descended upon the place forcing us in the opposite direction.

Today, being a Sunday, lunch is being prepared. I know this to be the case because that nice lady decorator has been wrestling with an eleven kilo leg of pork for a couple of days (now there is an interesting concept) and I am quietly confident that even the starving student hordes and a few of their parents will not be able to finish that at a single session. I have found a couple of magnums of a grand cru St Estephe so will seek solace in red wine induced sense obliteration this afternoon.

The last week before Christmas is upon us and I feel it only fair that I gradually wind down from the hectic work schedule that I have been engaged in throughout the year. However before that deceleration I still have some duties to carry out, and dinner in Nice with the new Managing Director of Currencies Direct on Monday is one such engagement. Clearly he will want my insight into where I think currencies are going and he will no doubt be interested to hear that 18 months ago I predicted the end of the euro as it was then, and the return of the drachma, the escudo (the old Portuguese currency) and the lira and perhaps the Irish punt. I have not changed my mind, and the peseta may also be a candidate for rebirth.

There are I think 6 of us attending and we have all been asked to wrap up a present with a value not in excess of 10 euros to exchange on the night. I think there was a message in that request, because what item do I now have on sale at the seasonal reduced price of exactly 10 Euros? Why my book of course, so someone is going to get a real surprise treat when they open that, especially as it is signed by the author.

Chris France

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