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Mushy peas don’t hit the spot

January 30, 2012

I saw sleet in Cannes yesterday afternoon. After a benign winter so far, the arrival in town of loads of Brits desperate for lunch on the beach to do some business was enough to turn the weather very sour indeed. To say I was not at my best today following dinner out with Al Yiddley in Cannes the night before would be like saying Bin Laden had been a bit naughty. I had forgotten that Al, when informed that La Chunga the bar across from the Martinez in Cannes was a known haunt for ladies of the night, had insisting on going there after a fine dinner and three bottles of a very good but vastly overpriced St Emilion Grand Cru, and once again it seemed to be my round. He was desperate to go and dance with the pretty vacant eyed beauties and was a bit indignant when none of them wanted to know. Apparently a fiver and a fish and chips and mushy pea dinner was not quite sufficient for any of then to contemplate incentive for doing the business he had in mind… I have heard it said that good judgment is the result of a bad experience,  but the bad experience is usually down to poor judgment.

I took this picture yesterday of the forlorn beach viewed from the Riviera entrance of the Palais Des Festivals in Cannes. The MIDEM festival, now in its 46th year, and I have attended 6or 32 years in succession, is gradually dying as the industry lurches towards global deals rather than territory by territory licensing deals which in the past has provided a wonderful opportunity for expenses led excess in the good times.

Even Cannes looks miserable in the rain

I contemplated this sad state of affairs over a sumptuous lunch in a beach restaurant without a hint of irony, merely the hint of rain drumming on the hastily erected plastic roof coverings. It was a necessary course of action to shake off the lethargy that engulfed me during the morning and it worked, I improved from totally ghastly to merely a bit grizzly after lunch, but even I could not finish the beer I had ordered to test the “hair of the dog” theory.

Today, more of the same, educating the music business and music publishers in particular that they can save 3% or more of foreign currency receipts if they simply use Currencies Direct as the conduit, and then lunch on the beach today at Vegaluna, one of the more stylish beach eateries with yet another lawyer, female this time who, if nothing else, will almost certainly be prettier than Al Yiddley.

One of the upsides of rain in Cannes is that it will fall as much needed snow in the southern Alps and that may give us a chance to zip up to the mountains later in the week for a spot of skiing.  Friday looks the best bet. Talking of mountains and skiing leads me to thinking about man mountain Peachy Butterfield who is back from the UK, no doubt loaded up with more Skelmersdale Chardonnay who last year retired from skiing when he realised that what he liked was the lunch and the mountain air. The bit he did not like was the skiing. Me, I like skiing up until lunchtime and then it loses its allure. Also, it does not do to arrive too early on the slopes as it is often icy, and then it is not a good idea to ski too late as it can become heavy. What I think I am saying is that apart from one run from the top of the mountain in perfect snow in the sunshine with a break for a coffee and cognac on the way down, I am with Peachy.

Chris France

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