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Poster notes

January 18, 2012

Often I feel a little like Brendan Behan who once described himself in this fashion “I am a drinker with writing problems”. The problem is that when I am off the drink, which I was until a St Emilion Grand Cru crept into vision last night, at the behest of that nice lady decorator, my normal flowing verbosity recedes like the sea before a tsunami, thus most of today’s column was written in the glow only a good red wine can provide.

The reason for the early temperance back sliding? Well, thirst, a night off last night and the words of The Lancet which by my interpretation recommends not having long periods of abstinence followed by binges. Better by far to continue a steady intake of one of the finest fluids known to man and full of statins as well!

There was another reason to turn to drink, my French neighbour. Unlike most of the French people I meet down here, who are almost without exception charming, he is from Paris.  I suggested to him recently that his hedge was rather high obstructing light and that a cypress tree was in danger of interfering with the coverage of the first Test against Pakistan, but I do not think he is a cricket fan as my complaint received short shrift and effectively the written version of a Gallic shrug.

It seems that we make a lot of noise from time to time, especially in the summer and he is not best pleased about it and is enjoying immensely the prospect of making us suffer in return. Big mistake. We thought we had been very restrained in our rowdiness over the past year, so now, gloves off, we will forget restraint. Big big mistake. I fear we are destined to become bad neighbours. This reminded me that at The France Show last week I met Sally Stone, the ultimate good neighbour, the very high-powered boss of Les Bons Voisins. That’s French for Good Neighbours who specialise in looking after unattended houses. She was amused by my surname, considering it a plot to try to secure here company as a client. When I told her that my mother was determined that her first son would be called Justin, until she married my father, well, she was convinced that anyone who might have been called Justin France was a sales invention and thus a contrived plot. It seems that although there are 30 Les Bons Voisins franchises in existence there is not one down here in the Cote d’Azur. Those looking to start a business down here take note and click here.

A sign of the times?

My picture today shows the pull up for my book designed by the redoubtable Valbonne resident Paul Thornton Allan of The Big Picture throwing the very expensive Currencies Direct stand into the shade. If only they had spent £150 like me instead of £80,000 they could have had a pull-up like mine.

The South Of France Theatre Company are still desperate for somewhere to rehearse in the Valbonne to Antibes area, has anyone got some space they could use?

No news of tennis for today  so I suspect one of the public schoolboys has a roasting to go to or something. It appears that they are all in touch on what they consider to be a higher plane (not the kind of paper planes they were making from the pages of my book on the same day my beard had its restaurant “accident”). No, it seems they are able to communicate the fact that tennis is not occurring tomorrow by telepathy or the like and as a council house interloper their vibes do not reach me. Maybe I am not on their wavelength?

Chris France

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