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Need to park a Banjo?

August 2, 2012

There was an old TV series I used to watch when I was young which featured “Bayleaf the Gardener”. I have a new concept based on that theme Banjo the gardener. Let me set the scene. That nice lady decorator spent the afternoon in the cottage garden at our new house in Arundel, digging and hoeing with all her might. Banjo, the crappy cocker, the gratuitous gardening git decided to get in on the act by digging up areas that she had carefully weeded and hoed. That was when I blotted my copy book.  It was quite a funny scene, watching the horrid hound destroy all her hard work but perhaps it was unwise of me to mention ho-ho-hoeing in this context.

Where I think this could all go catastrophically (or rather dogastrophically?) wrong is that earlier, that nice lady decorator asked me what would be the best form of fertilizer to feed the roses. Before I had thought it through, I told her that horse shit is the best thing for them, which was a mistake on two levels. Firstly, she will now be on the look out for some horse produced garden elixir. She has taken to carrying around a small bucket and trowel. Secondly, I have now raised the possibility of encouraging a Banjo inspired redistribution of horse shit over our entire garden. I do hope she takes in the washing in first.

I had been dragged from my pit at some time before dawn, nearly 8 o clock I think, to attack more shops. On the way I persuaded that nice lady shopper that I wanted to see the beach at nearby Littlehampton and as if I have not had enough of Banjo, I discovered that they had named the car park after him. You will not be surprised to hear that the car park was also smelly, damp and unpleasant.

The name alone is enough to put me off

Gardening was not high on my list of priorities having spent the morning suffering more retail “therapy”, buying yet more clutter to ensure a small house has even less space that it does now.  So tired and thirsty was I after this retail marathon, I persuaded her who must shop on the way home to pop into the Murrell Arms, a charming Fullers Pub at a place called Barnham, for a pint of London Pride. The word that looms large in France at midday is lunch. In England that word is beer.

Last nights plan to take in Arundel’s Chinese restaurant was scuppered by a vicious downpour just as we were about to leave. It has, of course, rained on me at some stage on each and every day I have been back in the UK, but for the most part the rain has been light. Last night was different. Thus a family decision was taken instead to dash across the road to the chippy for some fish and chips and mushy peas. These are the sorts of delights beyond the reach of my Currencies Direct friends languishing in the sunshine and warmth of Valbonne, one of whom was kind enough to tell me that the temperature there is a steady 30 degrees, and that the dish of the day at Auberge de la Source was salmon in a cream champagne sauce at 9. 50 euros. Sauce at the Source?

Today I am on a door hunt. It seems that one of the bedrooms has a door missing. My suggestion that a visit to Jewson, or Wickes was given short shrift. It seems that we need a 16th century door so that it is “in keeping”.  This sounds like a euphemism for keeping on paying, but that is my lot. A lot more than I want to pay.

Chris France

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