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Doggy bag sir?

May 1, 2012

On the way to Gatwick the following occurred. That nice lady decorators blackberry screen collapsed and went blank, my blackberry ran out of battery during a house sale negotiation, we parked too far away from the petrol pump to put fuel in the hire car resulting in my being sprayed with petrol when I tried to fill it up, the ignition key got jammed in the car filler cap, so we took hand brake off to push the car nearer to the filler,  then the car began to move of its own volition, we got lost because we were relying on google maps which requires a mobile phone signal, not readily or continuously available in technologically challenged England, and as a result we were very late for our flight. It was an interesting morning, but still despite massive provocation we kept to our determination not to have a drink.

It was as soon as I saw Peachy Butterfield at the airport, accompanying the lovely Suzanne, our lift home, I knew he had not come plane spotting, and our planned temperance was in danger. Arriving home I politely asked if he would like a cup of tea and after a pause sufficient for him fully to understand that the offer was rhetorical and not under any circumstances to be accepted, would he like a glass of wine. I think you will be unsurprised to learn that he would like a glass of wine, and that is how it all started to get out of hand.

Once he was there, standing in his brightly coloured Vibrequin shorts at the arrivals hall at Nice Airport in a thunderstorm I knew that he had obviously become bored and that our carefully  planned and rigorously self-imposed, despite the mornings immense provocation, abstinence was not going to fail the ultimate test. He was ready for a party and nothing was going to stand in his way, and that your honour, sums up  the case for the defence.

With little in the fridge after days spent in the technological desolation that is England, it took little extra persuasion to agree to an early dinner at the Valbonnaise, the atmospheric family run eaterie in Valbonne which was full on a Monday night despite the storm.

It will be no better today. Two invitations to lunch were eventually whittled down to one, but that is enough for the continued assault on the liver which started, well, in about 1995 despite regular attempts to take an alcohol sabbatical.

It was at the Valbonnaise where I took today’s picture, summing up for me the difference between France and England. Some people may agree with the legal position under EEC law that dogs other than guide dogs are not allowed in restaurants. You never see dogs in restaurants in England, perhaps in pubs but restaurants? No. It is a clear breach of rules that the Germans make, the English obey and the French ignore. The over zealous health and safety brigade in the UK would have objected vociferously and tried (and probably succeed) in having the place closed down. This little chap was not only allowed in but given his own seat at the head of the table. I wonder if he had his own napkin?

Whats for dinner dad?

So we are safely back in the tender mercies of Valbonne, now just a holiday retreat rather than home and determined to enjoy every minute. However, as regular readers will know by now, the  word holiday is for me not the purest concept that I imagine most people embrace, and even although I should be resting I shall remain vigilant for any potential customers seeking the to move money from one currency to another as they will benefit from services that Currencies Direct have to offer.

Chris France

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