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Provencal summer flowers

June 9, 2012

On a perfect sunny Provencal day, and after a quick trot around the regular Friday Valbonne market with the incomprehensible Scotsman, the idea to partake of lunch took shape.

Before the incomprehensible and geographically challenged Scotsman departed we loaned him a map for his journey to Albi, over in central southern France, where he is due to attend a wedding  on Saturday. Because of his ineptitude exhibited in following very simple instructions which had needlessly extended the simple trip from Nice airport to Valbonne (normally 20 minutes) into a 90 minute fiasco the night before, we thought it was wise. Albi should be a four hour drive, but given the form I have witnessed recently he should make it by Tuesday, several days after the wedding. Instructions in English were clearly too much for him.

Earlier I had chanced past Cafe Latin and although too late for church (the regular weekly worship of coffee and gossip hosted by my style guru Mr Humphreys – if he is free -).  I came across the Naked Forker and Cathie The Culture (see blogs passim) sharing a coffee. Late for church; as the Reverend Jeff will lament, the story of my life.

Anyway, because it is all about me we discussed the progress of Marina Kulik’s painting class, and specifically how they were getting on with the potential cover artwork for my new book. It seems that many entries are finished and my judging will start soon. Please be sure that bribery will take a part in the process.

For many years we had said we should lunch at La Poelan, in old Valbonne but had continually passed it by in favour of a dash to the Cafe Des Arcades. Yesterday was different, we made it.

It has a terrace with seats outside but off the main drag on a side street where you meet people you don’t expect. That nice lady decorator chose to describe the road as a kind of back passage. She then proceeded to utter a string of double entendres on the same subject. Let me give you an example; walking past as we ordered our food was fellow golfer and pensions specialist Paul Howard with his parents who were visiting Valbonne. After he had said hello and continued on down the street that nice lady decorated said “you never know who you will encounter up a back passage”.

As if this was not enough to get my note taking blackberry twitching, a little later, when a lovely cooling breeze arrived (readers in the UK, I know it is a difficult concept to grasp but stay with me) she ventured the opinion that it must often be windy up the back alley. What a concept, windy up a back alley.

Yucca in bloom

Personally I was celebrating the departure of the incomprehensible Scotsman. I am sure he is a charming chap but like that Fat Fighters character in Little Britain played by the excellent Matt Lucas, when confronted by an Indian lady with an accent, I have no idea what he was saying. That nice lady decorating interpreter told me later that he is an expert in the culinary world. It seems that his particular speciality is the Haggis burger. I jest not. Whilst I was glazing over when listening to the guttural Glaswegian guests gob, that nice lady future haggis burger fabricator was talking notes and I fear that sometime soon I shall be forced to eat and pass comment on such an animal. I hope that I do not have literally to pass such a delight.

A busy day ahead, to an afternoon quiz in Bar Sur Loup in aid of Help For Hero’s sponsored now by Currencies Direct and then off to a barbecue in Valbonne.

Chris France

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