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Judging a book by its cover

July 3, 2012

The decision is made. A painting of my good self by Sandra Seymour-Dale will feature on the cover of my next book, to be called either Valbonne Daze or the Valbonne Monologues, or perhaps a combination of both. Sandra wanted me to include her email address in case anyone wants a portrait painted. She can be reached at

There were seven completed entries, from Marina Kulik’s painting class, all of them very  good in their own ways so I will include them all in the book when it is published in November.  I have created a new page with all seven entrants. Click here to see them.

It was the sort of lunch I love. It was all about me (and Currencies Direct of course) so what could possibly go wrong? Well, a thunderstorm at the exact moment the decision-making process came to a head could have been interpreted on two ways. Either as a message from the gods to draw back before it is too late, or, the interpretation I favour, the ideal portent for the storming success that will overtake the literary world once the book sees the light of day.

What a devilishly good-looking chap

If I had a criticism of the winning painting it would be the inclusion of a demon dog on the brim of the hat. I think it would have been more apt had the heinous hound Banjo (for it is an image of him) had been on my shoulder, much as in the expression “a monkey on your shoulder” which is sometimes used to describe a bad luck omen or something you are trying to get rid of. Need I go on?

Talking of getting rid of animals, I heard a story at the very convivial lunch that followed the momentous book cover decision. It seems that one of the ladies from the group had a neighbour who moved abroad to Germany. When they arrived at their new home, the first thing out of the removal van was their neighbours cat. I asked what happened next? It appears that the neighbours did not much like the cat so it stayed with family that had moved. This gave me an idea. If any of you are moving soon, especially if it is a long distance away, please let me know, as Banjo enjoys long drives.

After lunch I did nothing. The partying over the past few months is catching up with me, and with the lunch today being the icing on the cake after Sunday’s drunken sailing trip to and from St Tropez, I did not even want a drink last night, I think I am now a broken man. On the plus side I expect to be repaired by tomorrow. If not, then certainly by Wednesday when the regular ritual thrashing by the moustachiod Old Gits of Messrs Blind Lemon Milsted and Dancing Greg Harris from Cote d’Azur Villa Rentals will be followed by a quick look at the Kevin Kerslake photographic exhibition at Galerie Valbonne in the Square, followed no doubt by some victory libation and a pizza.

Today will be depressing as it will be taken up with the boring detail of the move back to the UK. Phones, Internet, Sky TV, parking permits, council tax, gas, electricity, water must all be dealt with ready for the rain-sodden return to the home land at the end of the month. I watched a little of Wimbledon this afternoon in between the showers and people were wearing thick coats in July for christ’s sake. At least when we have a shower, as we did today, it is over in an hour and then hot again. This will not end well.

Chris France

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Midgeoz permalink
    July 3, 2012 10:46 am

    Looks like a good old Aussie boy to me cobber.


  2. Rev. Jeff permalink
    July 3, 2012 12:47 pm

    Great picture. Reminds me of a a 1950s paedophile masquerading as a public school teacher. ‘Come and sit on my lap little boy and we’ll go through your homework together’ !

    According to The Express this unsettled weather is due to last till Christmas and we are to have no summer at all. I’ll be down your way for three weeks in August but assume you’ll be battening down the hatches over here by then.


  3. Rev. Jeff permalink
    July 3, 2012 2:39 pm

    Just had a look at the other pictures and they are all really good but the one you have chosen captures the real France essence and is the most striking.

    Would love to tell you I am pulling your leg about the weather but ‘fraid not. It’s really grim here again today and is set to be so for the foreseeable future. However Holly tells me it is actually impossible to forecast beyond a few days ahead so there is hope. I believe the problem is that the weather system affecting us is moving so slowly that it could hang around for ages. Spain on the other hand who are on the other side of the system are getting extremely hot weather. Anyway this is what I’m told but don’t quote me on it !


    • July 3, 2012 2:56 pm

      glad my departure has been delayed. Can you get Holly to do her best to make things a bit better by the time I get back?


  4. Julie permalink
    July 6, 2012 12:51 pm

    Rev you are right the the next 10 days is most definitely rain rain and a bit more rain…and its hard to even see that its so dark out. However I am chasing sun and will be in Portugal this time next week. If needs must…..


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