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Drought worsens

April 26, 2012

So we arrived at Chichester in Sussex to book into the Ship Hotel, with half a plan to meet some renegades from Valbonne, Norman and Suzie Philpot to share lunch and complain about English food. It was a good choice of hotel as a ship would have been quite useful in parts of the country today. Norman, a happy Currencies Direct customer is nothing if not innovative as my picture today shows. When it is raining the British know just how to deal with it, although it is a shame that this particular innovation was used at the expense of his dog Paddy who had apparently had some testicular anomaly corrected recently. I will however resist the temptation to make a joke about the dogs bollocks as it is beneath the quality output threshold I fail regularly to impose on this column.

Is this a man of the cloth? he seems to have a dog collar on?

When we arrived at The Ship we realised that it was a bit up market as actress Prunella Scales (Basils wife in the classic BBC TV series Fawlty Towers) was lunching there with fellow actor Timothy West. I had half a mind to join them and ask them if they knew the difference between a Bordeaux and a claret but when the offer was not forthcoming we decided to spread our metaphorical wings  (or should that be set sail?) and seek less dramatic surroundings. It was however somewhat ironic to be staying in a country hotel and seeing Mrs Fawlty in residence.

Luckily this was very fortuitous as we took lunch at the Earl Of March pub near Chichester which is rightly renowned locally for its gastronomic heights but where they served the smallest belini’s known to man, no bigger as it turns out than a Victorian penny as my picture today would illustrate if that nice lady decorator had emailed it as promised and had I not later been presented with the photo opportunity from heaven that is featured today. Otherwise exemplary, we ate while we watched the wind drive the clouds and lashing rain across the sun parched terrain which was surprisingly green for a land gripped by drought.

It had been difficult to reach this far-flung outpost due to flooding which at least means those poor gardeners will not be missing their hose pipes for a few days during the hose pipe ban currently in place throughout much of England.

A siesta was vital but thereafter we explored Chichester and quickly came across a Fullers pub which served a very decent pint of London Pride and boasted a barman who seemed to know every restaurant in this tiny city and guided is to another Thai emporium where we once again found solace in food from the east.

Today we shall canoe down the road to Arundle renowned for it castle, charm, cricket pitch and wetlands. Seems to me that the expression wetlands could apply to the whole country. We are due to view a number of properties that the nice lady decorator considers possible abodes for us now that we have been banished to the old country. She will be considering the relative merits of the various houses, I shall be considering the merits or otherwise of the local pubs and restaurants as in my opinion (which of course bears minuscule weight in my household) this is a far more important consideration as to where to live.

Mere showers forecast today so a veritable feast of a day when umbrellas will not be require for more than 50% of the time, real treat. I hear that the temperatures are in the 20 ‘s back in Valbonne and long to be back there. but no such luck until next Monday.

Chris France

10 Comments leave one →
  1. Rev. Jeff permalink
    April 26, 2012 12:24 pm

    ….. ‘ Prunella Scales was lunching there with fellow actor Timothy West.’……..

    Perhaps you should have mentioned ‘husband’ and fellow actor Timothy West.

    I know you would be the last person who would want to be the cause of any salacious gossip !

    Bradley Halfacre in person eh….what a treat.


  2. Julie permalink
    April 26, 2012 1:21 pm

    Im wondering when you are returning to France as I am slightly fed up with this drought now and it most certainly has worsened since your arrival back in the UK.
    Well done Rev. you know how people natter!


    • April 26, 2012 7:26 pm

      things are improving in the UK due to my prescence, the rain has now stopped and the floods, doubtless due to injudicious use of hosepipes in the past, are beginning to subside


  3. Rev. Jeff permalink
    April 26, 2012 2:08 pm

    Thanks Julie. Obviously a girl after my own heart.

    Incidentally I meant Hardacre didn’t I.

    Surprised Pinman didn’t pick me up on that one !


  4. Pinman permalink
    April 26, 2012 3:07 pm

    Sorry……..!! Too busy lunching on a warm salad with camembert and lardons followed by tender rings of calamare with spring vegetables and saffron rice then dessert of a chocolate mousse and a tiramisu, washed down with an excellent rosé and strong black coffee…….not far from where Chris used live !.


  5. Rev. Jeff permalink
    April 26, 2012 7:06 pm

    Sounds superb. I had an omlette !!

    Where Chris used to live in France or the U.K ?


    • Pinman (With a nod to Reverend Jeff)........ permalink
      April 26, 2012 9:14 pm

      I am sure there is a tiny clue concealed in the menu………………


  6. Rev. Jeff permalink
    April 26, 2012 11:42 pm

    Ah yes I see what you mean. A little more fish required in the old diet I fear Jeeves…..


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