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Tourists sail in

June 29, 2012

Life in the Cote d’Azur is beginning to collapse for the summer. The normal exemplary service at the Cafe Des Arcades in Valbonne is being seriously denigrated by the arrival the tourist. Once they arrive in larger numbers, usually in summer, getting a table becomes more difficult, the service levels decline because of sheer weight of numbers and last night some food had to be returned to the kitchen.

A little like mosquitoes, but no less annoying, tourists are supposedly in short supply this summer, but whilst the spraying of the River Brague and the lakes, such as the Etang in Mougins, seems to have worked magic in reducing the mosquito population, there is apparently not a similar treatment that is as effective on tourists.

There have been some worthy attempts to stem the tourist tide, the Euro crisis which has reduced the comfort for them. The Olympic games being staged in the UK has also stemmed the tide, giving them an excuse not to come over here but nothing has been as effective as that spraying.

Don’t get me wrong, some tourists are very welcome. As long as they have either rented my house, become Currencies Direct customers or have bought a copy of my book then they are very welcome. However, quite a large proportion of tourists have done none of those things and I think a bit of spraying would in these cases be in order. My picture today, again taken by Slash and Burn Thornton Allan illustrates just the sort of thing these tourists crave.

Aboard L’Exocet on the way back from St Tropez

Talking of irritating tourists, I must also prepare for the imminent arrival of Mr Clipbeard (formerly known as Mr Clipboard) on Sunday. He will be here for the whole of July, so I must be strong in the face of adversity. Actually that also describes him very well, “Mr Clipbeard, the face of adversity”. He will be wanting to lose to me at tennis and golf during his stay and I will be doing my best to accommodate him. He will of course be pathetically pastily pallid having not seen the sun since last year but I think that makes him better looking.

Last night then, into Valbonne after some singles tennis, which my opponent correctly predicted would not be covered in detail in this column due to lack of space. The house guests have gone and the rental season approaches, if we get any clients, and the return to England, which now looks like it will be delayed for a couple more weeks is looming ever closer.

Before that, I have a lot more to cram into life before donning the winter clothes and putting a brave face (and goloshes) for the winter weather in summer which seems now to be the norm back home. One such event is the informal “bring your own” lunch at the studios of Marina Kulik between 12 and 2 on Monday, where I shall be making the final decision as to which painting I shall feature on the cover of my second book, provisionally entitled “Valbonne Daze, the Valbonne Monologues”. It is the kind of event that I love, being all about me. If anyone wants to come and watch me enjoy it all being about me contact Marina Kulik.

Next Wednesday there is an exhibition of photographs at Galerie Valbonne by Kevin Kerslake, who has directed videos for or photographed a number of rock n roll artists over the last three decades including David Bowie, REM, Nirvana, Quentin Tarentino and hundreds of others. It starts at 7pm until late and I feel it is my duty, as a rock n roll icon myself, to support such an event. That and it is in the Square at Valbonne thus offering a nearby opportunity for a nightcap and supper.

Chris France

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