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Ghastly apparition before dinner

September 2, 2012

Regular readers will know that I consider all so called modern art to be a huge confidence trick. The parable of the emperors new clothes could not be better illustrated by some of the “artworks” on display in Valbonne village, one of which I feature today.

I want a kilo of whatever the artist was smoking

I suggest that whoever created this monstrosity was or is a serious user of mind bending drugs. There seems to be a Salvador Dali influence here. I have great respect for Dali for two reasons; his ability to have fooled so many people with so many bizarre works for so long into believing that he was an artist to be taken seriously, and his moustache. Any suggestion that my moustache is in any way inspired by his would be hard to refute, and likewise, any suggestion that I am to the literary world what I think Dali is to the art world would be as unwelcome as it is probably true.

We were on our way to the wonderfully atmospheric and fun Valbonnaise, the eaterie at the top of the village when we happened across these ghastly apparitions, but even they were insufficient to disturb my appetite. Normally at this time of the year, this sweaty, gaudy, crowded place would be one to be avoided but with the weather taking a leaf out of English book and long trousers again pressed into unwelcome service, it was packed. Talking of English books, amongst those dining were the lovely Lin Wolff the owner of the English Book Centre in Valbonne and I was able to start the planning for the launch of my second book (to be sponsored by Currencies Direct) under her careful guidance.

My two preferred dates for this are Halloween or Bonfire Night which will mean I must have it finished by the end of September, a tall order, but with my public waiting expectantly, my quill will be scratching away as soon as we get back to the UK in weeks time.

Just two more days in Valbonne before our road trip back to the cold and damp that is England, so lunches are planned for today and tomorrow. Tony” I invented the internet” Coombs  has agreed to leave his work inventing “internet 2” and venture to the Cafe Des Arcades today with his delicious wife Pat. The Irish will be represented by spectacularly endowed (sorry Lin) Jude “where’s the Baileys” O Sullivan along with cigar smoking husband John “800 years of repression” O Sullivan (same surname, strange that) so doubtless my meagre supply of Havana’s will be further depleted.

Others have promised to pop in including Marc Wolff from Flying Pictures who was also at the Valbonnaise last night. He revealed more fascinating details of the planning and 7 months of rehearsals that went into the stunt of dropping the “queen” into the Olympic Stadium for Danny Boyle’s opening ceremony. Marc was flying the helicopter which had to be over the stadium at the exact second due to pre-recorded film sequences cutting to the chopper at the precise moment the queen jumped. It seems that a change in the wind a little earlier had thrown the entire team into a panic. I cannot imagine the pressure that he was under to deliver a live stunt televised and beamed to untold millions around the world. I expect he felt the same panic as did I when I had to speak in front of 80 friends gathered for my first book launch last year. I mentioned this to him and he was quite sympathetic.

The last lunch then will be at old favourite Auberge St Donat on Monday. Amongst those who have agreed to attend are Dancing Greg Harris from Cote d’Azur Villa Rentals, the Wingco, man mountain Peachy Butterfield and salty sea dog the Master Mariner Mundell. Should be a quiet one then.

Chris France

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