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Phone home? no chance

April 29, 2012

We circled the last round-about at Arundel about (irritating alliteration?) 11 am yesterday having received instructions from Mr Clipbeard that we were invited to lunch. In his customary regimented fashion we were instructed to be at the house at 1pm sharp, scrubbed and tidy, having previously had a short back and sides and to be ready for inspection.

We arrived breathless with barely 30 seconds to spare to find him looking at his watch with clipboard in one hand and slapping his swagger stick against his jack boots. I don’t know exactly why he was doing that and cannot pass any comment as to what gratification he may derive from said slapping, but slapping is  a good description. Perhaps it reminded him of something from his school days, but I digress.

Having seemingly passed muster (which until then I thought was in Ireland) we were treated to lunch which seemed to comprise of the neatly arranged left overs from a feast from the officers mess from the night before, to which we had not been invited, but as that included some 1994 St Julien Grand Cru followed by  a couple of glasses of 1983 Warre’s vintage port (“sip it don”t glug it man”) left over from the visit of their important friends who had been invited the night before I think you will understand why I was content to be on report.

Our house hunting is done for now, decisions have been made, offers have been made, and lunch had been made (for us) so after a siesta (“report back at 6.30 sharp”) we prepared for pre-dinner drinks in best bib and tucker for further inspection by Mr Clipbeard.

Our penultimate night in England took the shape of dinner chez Clipbeard and a rather splendid event it was. From the moment the cork was removed from that 2005 Pomerrol  I knew I was the evening was in safe hands and so it came to pass.

One thing that is going to drive me insane living for long periods in England is the diabolically poor mobile phone signal. Even at Mr and Mrs Clipbeards billet less than a mile from the M25, the busiest motorway in Europe, no reliable mobile telephone signal can be found. How can anyone do any work or stay in touch? I had a client yesterday ready to sign up for an account with Currencies Direct. He had some questions to ask me but I could not get a continuous signal. I took this picture outside a house in Chichester a few days ago which seems to me to sum up the state of mobile telecommunications networks in the UK.

England calling?

Talking of technology, Mr Clipboard has 3D TV but this wonderful invention appeared to confuse that nice lady decorator. “Why is the TV so out of focus?” “And what are these silly glasses for?” Technological advances have often passed her by with the notable exception of her I pad.

Today we have luncheon on the spreadsheet once again with Mr Clipbeard and his exquisite wife Ashley close to his regimental head quarters, in fact at The Mill at Elstead in Surrey with my favorite aunt, the Clipbeards and both sprogs, who given the sniff of a free meal anre descending upon us just to ensure the bill will be as bloated as possible. Then tomorrow, glory be, back to France for a few weeks at least, back to the cradle of Valbonne, sunshine, and a life spent mostly out of doors instead of indoors, a necessity yesterday as it did not stop raining all day. Let me take a peek outside now. Yes, still raining.

Chris France

4 Comments leave one →
  1. April 29, 2012 11:33 am

    Raining here, too, Chris. Sorry.


  2. Pinman permalink
    April 29, 2012 11:43 am

    Extended Forecast……….stay where you are if you are bringing this weather with you…!!
    Monday Overcast with rain. High of 17C. Windy. Winds from the ENE at 20 to 30 km/h. Chance of rain 90% with rainfall amounts near 15.0 mm possible.
    Monday Night Overcast with rain, then a chance of rain after midnight. Fog overnight. Low of 11C. Winds from the NE at 10 to 15 km/h. Chance of rain 80% with rainfall amounts near 5.1 mm possible.
    Tuesday Overcast with a chance of rain. High of 18C. Winds from the NE at 5 to 15 km/h shifting to the ESE in the afternoon. Chance of rain 50% with rainfall amounts near 3.8 mm possible.
    Tuesday Night Partly cloudy with a chance of rain. Fog overnight. Low of 10C. Winds less than 5 km/h. Chance of rain 40% with rainfall amounts near 1.0 mm possible.
    Wednesday Partly cloudy. Fog early. High of 18C. Breezy. Winds from the SW at 10 to 20 km/h.
    Wednesday Night Partly cloudy. Low of 12C. Breezy. Winds from the West at 10 to 20 km/h.
    Thursday Clear. High of 19C. Breezy. Winds from the SW at 10 to 20 km/h.
    Thursday Night Partly cloudy with a chance of rain. Fog overnight. Low of 13C. Winds from the West at 5 to 15 km/h. Chance of rain 20%.
    Friday Partly cloudy. High of 20C. Winds from the SE at 5 to 20 km/h.
    Friday Night Partly cloudy. Low of 13C. Winds from the WSW at 5 to 15 km/h.
    Saturday Partly cloudy with a chance of rain. High of 21C. Breezy. Winds from the SSE at 10 to 20 km/h. Chance of rain 20% with rainfall amounts near 0.8 mm possible.
    Saturday Night Overcast with a chance of rain. Low of 14C. Winds from the WSW at 10 to 15 km/h. Chance of rain 20%.



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