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Where did you get that hat?

August 27, 2012

When England is sunny and warm, and one is walking down the beach, or taking in some classic English entertainment, as we were outside the Eagle pub in Arundel at lunch time yesterday, there is no better place to be in the world. The problem is that by 5pm, the cloud and wind had built up, and a wonderful afternoon and evening was ruined by having to eschew shorts, don long trousers, a hat, a sweater and then eventually a coat in order to counter the puritanical English fun gods, who are seemingly intent on ensuring that no one in England can enjoy a whole day without cold and damp.

It has to be said that after a few drinks that nice lady decorator and I disagree about the relative merits of living in England or France. She would prefer to live in a cold wet English environment, I would rather be in a sunny and warm place such as where we are headed today and so, as she had her choice indulged for the past 4 weeks, now it is my turn, albeit for a shorter period.

Whilst it was sunny in the morning, a short walk to “empty” the dogs developed into an exploratory 5 mile walk along the beach at Clymping to Middleton on Sea. Beautiful but thirst inspiring, so to sake that thirst we wandered into down town Arundel to see what festival hostilities were occurring and to find a pub hosting some. The Eagle was that pub where outside, a 60’s trio were entertaining the populous with a string of songs that I will not admit ever to having heard before. I have a picture of them below.

Street music in Arundel

Beside where they were playing there was a stall specialising in vintage attire, so that nice lady decorator was in retail heaven and found an original electric blue Biba jacket. The drummer was changing hats from that stall between songs and I especially liked the one he is wearing in the picture.

Tiring of standing up we adjourned to The Moorings wine and champagne bar where we joined in the last of the watery sunshine by Clive “Oh no you’re not” Panto and delectable wife Catherine. I think he had no choice but to become a professional entertainer given his surname. He was entertaining in his own way, that is he wasn’t trying to make us laugh but did. I am never certain but I think that we were not laughing with him but at him.

Later, after the rather inevitable siesta we took in some of the bands playing on the Jubilee stage across the river. It is the penultimate night of the festival but our last for this year and were treated to a couple of local bands that did their best to destroy some rock classics. The mist rising from the river giving a particular poignancy to a dreadful version of “Smoke On The Water”. I am not sure how I managed to find myself alone and locked in the garden of The White Hart smoking a cigar close to midnight, but it was a wonderful practical demonstration as to why it is so important to have a gate into your own back yard. Everyone should have one.

Yes, we are headed back to France today and with luck I will be in the web before 8pm tonight with a glass in my hand and my zeal for finding new customers for Currencies Direct refreshed. Already I have an array of social occasions lined up, drinks on Tuesday, lunches Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and with the long-range weather forecast for Valbonne pointing to temperatures in the high 20’s for the next ten days my cup (or more likely my glass) runneth over.

Chris France

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