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Us writers must stick together

March 25, 2012

It was as she was unscrewing the screws holding up one of the corner cupboards on the wall of our house in UK whilst I was holding it to prevent it falling that she said “I could have done with something with a longer handle”. My retort, which was that she had married me so she had to put up with the results was met with that dismissive snort I have come to covert. It is the sort of snort I often hear from people who are using their banks to move foreign currency rather talking to me about the benefits of opening an account with Currencies Direct.

So after a busy morning wading through the accumulated detritus of our lives, Mr Clipbeard showed up to have a nose around. Inevitably after he had cast his eyes over my belongings and selected some of the best pieces in order to adorn his new abode we adjourned to the pub, The Chequers in Weston Turville which is much nicer outside than inside but to which I am warming as at least the staff are pleasant and the beer is good.

Inevitably, at least inevitably in my opinion, discussion turned to the success or otherwise of my book “Summer In The Cote d’Azur”. Mrs Clipbeard who along with Mr Clipbeard was visiting us in Buckinghamshire. Her brother is the famous historian and fellow writer Andrew Roberts (mentioned by our Prime Minister Mr Cameron during his public pronouncements with President Obama recently) who is nearly as famous as I. She had told me some weeks earlier that she would ask him to review my modest offering in his column for The Sunday Times, but it appears, and this may be an understatement, that he was slightly reluctant to do so. Jealously can be so destructive don’t you think? I do feel us writers should stick together and support each other. I was saying just the same to my mate Ernest Hemingway who as you can see from my picture is alive and well and living in Havana.

Ernest Hemingway in Floridita's in Havana

On Friday evening at the excellent Raj Indian restaurant in Wendover, Slash and Burn Thornton Allan, who is our house guest whilst we are in England, was praising the tarka dal served to him saying it was best he had ever taste. When I remonstrated with him that he was cruel and heartless and that I did not think a curry was a very pleasant ending for an otter he declined to agree saying that if anything it should be a little hotter. A clear case of Tarka The Otter.

Slash and Burn also claimed during an early evening pint yesterday in surprisingly warm sunshine to have made some 250 flights last year which sounds excessive to me and I must admit I lost the thread of the conversation. I heard mention of DVT as a result of this “high” life but as anyone with any knowledge of technology will know this will soon be replaced entirely by Blu-Ray.

Anyway, the local populace were enjoying the weather, summer has come early to England but soon it will be over and then winter will beckon. Sadly I will be sharing this fate with them much more than I would like this year due to Mr Sarkozy and the idiosyncrasies of the French tax system which has involved my becoming a UK tax resident again.

Just two more days now and I will be returning to France and although the last few days have produced a rather rich vein of blog fodder, I feel that Valbonne provides the richest and most continuingly reliable seam to mine. I shall soon be donning a miners helmet and begin to dig.

Chris France

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