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Run of the mill

October 23, 2012

When in France, the verb “to drizzle” is usually used in the context of a cranberry or other exotic “jus” or the like being drizzled over a lovely piece of lamb or fish. In England you are more likely to be drizzled upon by rain. 6 solid days of crap weather and I am so missing the delights of Valbonne. Until the last week the weather in the UK has been generally quite amiable, not good but not as bad as I had expected. This week has been as bad as I expected. I was moved to write on Peachy Butterfield’s Facebook page yesterday after I saw him dithering over whether to go for lunch in San Remo or San Tropez. I could not resist using some of my best French; “Sans drizzle” would do me.

Talking of Facebook, I have set up (well obviously I haven’t actually set it up, it has been set up for me) a page for The Valbonne Chronicles where you can keep abreast by the moment of the progress the book is making towards publication. I know you are all going to love it, so if you can press “like” on the page, I will forgive God for the drizzle. Reverend Jeff are you there? Three more copies of the first book sold on Kindle this month takes sales to a massive and heartening 208 which coincidentally was the 208th word on this page if a number can be a word?

It was sad to see the obituary of one of the great English eccentrics Sir Roy Sealand in the Daily Telegraph. He bought a fort in the north sea to live on and declared independence.  He also offered an outlet for the early days of pirate radio and once held a German citizen hostage until the German Govt sent an envoy to get their countryman released. He was 91 when he died recently. Obviously I did not find it myself as it was in The Daily Telegraph, a newspaper for whom I have been known to write, but it was forwarded by Currencies Direct client Anthony “Dock Of The” Bay who is one of my favourite Valbonnaise eccentrics. I  once found him at the Vignale Tennis Club in Plascassier trying out an Indian silk coat that he had found in a wardrobe he had not opened since 1968. Why he was wearing it, and why in the car park of the tennis club on a hot afternoon accompanied by his “niece”? were questions to which I never received a satisfactory answer. There are events that clearly occur on a plane to which I am not privy.

Today’s picture I took on yesterdays gruelling carb-free cycle around Arundel (in the drizzle). It is of an old mill which comprises part of the Duke Of Norfolk’s estate. It seemed to me that a wet theme was apt for today, and I don’t just mean the writing style.

The old mill which comprises part of the Duke Of Norfolk's estate

Today looks like being dominated by more drizzle and less carbohydrates. The bathroom scales are being stubborn and will not register the progress I have undoubtedly made back to the usual Adonis-like stature for which I am renowned in my own mind. I suspect the bike is going to get a bit of a battering which is an expression I may have enjoyed in my teenage years but nowadays hold nowhere near the romance. Excercise is so much less interesting when the elements are against you. The best chance may be to go down to the sea again, the sea, the sand, the sky. I left my shoes and socks here, I wonder if they’re dry?

Chris France


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