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Dogs and Beaune

July 29, 2012

So the last day in France began with a dog and Beaune. Like a dog who is about to have his bone taken away, I was desperate to make the most of France before the ever more depressing prospect of returning to England. It was during a quick look around this charming, pretty and busy town on market day that I took today’s picture. I am all in favour of gay rights but a gay estate agent? Would that suggest that he may only sell houses with pink decor? Does that mean they do not cater for heterosexual house buyers? Seems a bit house heterophobic to me. Also, it may be unrelated but would a resident of this fair village be known as a Beauner?

A happy estate agent?

The last leg of the trip back was crowned by a visit and a very last night stay at Chateau Du Cocove, an excellent discovery we made 10 years ago. It is a wonderful place in an area which is otherwise a hotel desert. Calais is, as most people who have ever had the misfortune to pass through the area, a boring, ugly place where one does not want to linger. Thus the discovery of this hotel set in beatific secluded grounds  and which also boasts an excellent restaurant about 10 miles from Calais was a life saver. It was my duty to ensure that its standards had not dropped which I did last night.

The trip north began in warm sunshine but by the time we got north of Paris the clouds had gathered and we were still 250 kilometres from our destination when the first spots of rain splattered on the insect encrusted wind screen. Although expected as we are, after all, getting quite close to the UK, it was not welcome. I suddenly realised that I have no long trousers in my overnight bag and suggesting to that nice lady decorator that I needed to delve into the depths of the car, which is packed to the ceiling, was met with the same enthusiasm as she reserves for a visit to the dentist or gynecologist. Shorts were therefore pressed into service. The Staff there are usually so charming I am sure I will not be judged.

That’s it then, I leave in 5 minutes for the Channel tunnel, a tunnel through which I can see no metaphorical light. As my old mate Wild Willy Barrett would say, “is that light at the end of the tunnel or is that a train coming towards you?”. The train in this case is life in England. Let’s hope it is late as usual.

There will of course be benefits which I shall seek to embrace later today. A pint of Harvey’s real ale at the pub next door to our new house in Arundel seems to me the best way to start. It is not impossible that I may find a Currencies Direct customer in this very pub. Rest assured I shall be looking.

That pesky hound has been on th trip with us. Banjo, the fetid non feline has been perched in his basket barely 6 inches away from my left ear, emitted his foul breath and attempting to dribble on me as I drive. He has also been allowed into the hotels and last night was treated to a prime seat in front of the TV.  It seems that after a few drinks and whilst watching the opening ceremony that nice lady decorator exhorted Banjo to pay more attention to history in the making. “Watch the olympics, Banjo” she said. I do not know wear this will lead, but he will be on a lead tonight.

Chris France

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