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Ups and downs of living in England

September 21, 2012

That nice lady decorator wonders why I hate England? Let me tell you. Having paid £56 for a day return on the train, let me clear about this, that is about 70 euros at today’s Currencies Direct exchange rates, to go to London and back from Arundel, some 50 miles, I was faced with such a ridiculously overcrowded carriage on the way back that I had no choice but to overflow into 1st class, deciding I would pay the difference, but oh non that is too simple, I was forced to pay a £20 penalty excess fair to get to the next station, after which it was my duty to find the conductor and upgrade to first class if I wished to stay. This daylight robbery illustrates perfectly why in an ideal world I would have nothing to do with this country. £76 to get to and from London and no seat? I think I am going to sign on as unemployed or become a refugee.  Jesus , I am so glad I do not have to commute any more, what an outrage.  If I had a job I would give it up in protest.

I tried the “don’t you know who I am” to the ticket collector, but do you know what? He didn’t. A further outrage, I cannot stand ignorance, it is as bad as expecting people to know who you are… err…

So a day communing with the great and the good in the works of modern technology and the digital music world, in London and guess who had to pay for lunch? Another healthy English meal of sausage and mash which although unhealthy and stodgy was a hundred times better than the meal provided for lunch by Mr Panto on Wednesday. The Reverend Jeff made for him a shrewd comment yesterday that he hoped it would not turn out to be Cinders, but mostly it was (chorus led by Mr Clive Panto; On no it wasn’t).

My picture today was taken earlier in the week when we were walking near Amberley on the banks of the River Arun, and just before we found The George and Dragon pub with its fab terrace pictured the day before yesterday.

A short walk from a pub

Today, being Friday, I shall begin the gentle unwind from the business peak of yesterday. I have set the alarm for 11am sharp in order to make the most of the morning and shall be looking at that nice lady decorator expectantly at lunch time to see if she will waver from her determination to avoid strong drink this week (with the obvious exception of Wednesday of course). A party on Saturday evening at the pub next door will set us up nicely for the trip to Valbonne on Sunday, as there will be no discussion as to who is going to drive.

We shall be staying in our house in Valbonne as guests of our guardians, Peachy and Suzanne Butterfield and I have seen a picture today of the pool boy hard at work readying the house and garden for our return. That boy is Peachy himself and represents the first real work he has done since 1987.

The visit is of course mainly because of the Bistro Rally on Monday from Port de la Rague when I shall be impersonating Roger the Cabin Boy aboard l’Exocet with a bunch of public schoolboy chaps, captained masterfully by the Master Mariner Mundell. I do hope he has sufficient stocks of rose on board. I believe the Wingco will be bringing his guitar and amplifier and I fully expect once again to be singing “We Are The Champions” again at massive volume after the race.

Chris France

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