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Book penetration

January 1, 2012

It was an entirely democratic decision. The most we can seat indoors for a dinner party is 14 if we raid some outside garden furniture, so that’s seven couples. One might think in the modern world that the more chivalrous amongst us, still clinging to age-old conventions of fairness might expect that the nice lady decorator would choose four couples and I would choose three to invite for New Years Eve. What I had not bargained for was her invoking a little known local rule that says the division of choice takes place only after she has invited all seven couples.

Thus amongst the revelers last night not invited by me to welcome in the new year were several people who had abused both myself and my book on the day before. By way of illustration I give you today’s picture once again of Mr Clipboard and  my literary output being subjected to rather contemptuous public school boy antics. At least he had the good heart to return the 10 Euros he had stolen from me (he had purchased a copy of “Summer In The Cote D’Azur” from me at the tennis boys lunch at the Auberge St Donat and then the money had disappeared from my wallet after he had destroyed it), but given that the missing euros came in the shape of some seventy coins in a mean plastic bag says something about the spirit of this gesture.

Now, what is happening here?

Chateau Gloria, Grand Cru St Emilion, champagne, Baileys, all were spilled on my floor before the old year had finished and at about 2.40 am this morning after “Won’t Get Fooled Again” by The Who was replaced on the Ipod by The Bee Gees “Staying Alive” I was overcome by a bout of extreme tiredness and headed to bed, however before that I distinctly recall the lovely Maryse who bears the burden of being married to the Wingco, telling all and sundry that she was a regular reader of this column and found it highly amusing. The Wingco himself of course found this revelation unamusing, which given his constant description of this column as “Ghastly” and his stated principled refusal to read it at all was not surprising.

We had fireworks as well, some of the funniest and pathetic examples I have ever witnessed and probably more entertaining as a result. These were thrown into fine contrast as the night sky over Valbonne was alight with a myriad of fireworks being let off all over the village, but not even the rockets we had made it much more than 20 feet into the air, and many went off in the bottles, prompting one party go-er to say it reminded him of how deliveries arrived at a sperm bank. The inspiration for this display had clearly not come from the magnificent London firework display which we had on the TV at 1pm, midnight back in the UK.

So today, a communal walk in the hills behind Gurdon is planned, but already the 11am start time has been delayed and it could be delayed until tomorrow as far as I am concerned. A bloody Mary or two may have to pass my lips before I fund any enthusiasm for such a pastime despite the continuing glorious weather.

A passing mention however must go to a hastily convened game of tennis, indeed a return match yesterday afternoon in which the superiority of the MOGS was once again underlined by a whitewash of the opposition who were at one stage looking at a 6-0 drubbing before a late rally (so to speak). One of our opponents, a banker with the nom du plume George Cavendish is also an author so we decided to swap books, which as I explained later to the disgruntled Wingo meant yet another sale for my heartily abused literary offering, although I did have to explain the principle of barter to him, and I am not certain he grasped it.

I hope you note no mention of Currencies Direct today.

Happy new year!

Chris France

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