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Sun goes down over lunch

November 6, 2012

Lunch at The Crown at Chiddingfold with Mr Clipboard was more of the same; me taking the mickey out of his obsessive time-keeping and public schoolboy attitude to everything, looking down his nose at chaps like me, those that have made a decent living by hard graft. As usual it was great fun and I learned another of his many homophobic expressions; “bowling from both ends”.

Obviously Wellington School did not have many people like me amongst their ranks, people for whom having a private school education was not an expected right of passage, but being born with a silver spoon in one’s mouth, as Mr. Clipboard has, clearly had its drawbacks. To paraphrase Hugh Bonneville in Downton Abbey; “if I had to recall every boy that tried to kiss me at Eton…” Hence, I suppose, the colourful expressions.

Lunch was good, with all parties expressing satisfaction, Mr Clipboard was in top form despite his advancing years, which, let’s face it, have not been kind to him. He is still, however, very good at laughing uproariously at his own jokes, so no change there then, but I do not begrudge him his moment in the sun, as long as he made that transfer via Currencies Direct as discussed.

After lunch on the way back to Arundel (actually that is not quite fair, we detoured),we drifted past The Bridge, a pub on the Arun close to Amberley for a slightly disappointing pint of Timothy Taylor’s Landlord (the second best beer in the world in normal circumstances) due to the sudden arrival of some very unexpected sunshine, which although forecast, was still a surprise. From there we were able to gaze out upon the acres of flooded farmland, arriving back in Arundel just as the last rays of the unaccustomed sunshine were leaving the castle as my picture today captures. Moody, huh?

The sun sets over Arundel Castle

The sun sets over Arundel Castle

The very final read through of the much awaited (by me) new book (by me) The Valbonne Monolouges will be taking place today and tomorrow and I hope to have it delivered to the printers before the end of the week. As we speak I am collecting in quotes from famous people to add to the back cover like real authors. So far, having given the news that there will be another book out shortly to some of the celebrities I pretend to know, I have several quotes from which to choose: “not another one”, “Are you sure? I need to sit down” and “I told him nothing good would come of him thinking he’s a writer”. Stirring stuff but I will not reveal who said what at this stage.

Then Wednesday, it is Parents evening for Sprog 2, so a trip to London and an overnight is required. You know it is going to be a disaster when the excuses begin a week before the event. “She doesn’t like me” is one of the regular refrains used to prepare doting parents when referring to teachers, in an attempt to justify poor marks, grades and attendance. The omens are not good and after the usual shouting match we will no doubt go out for an Indian to commiserate with her. Of course she will choose the most expensive meal on the menu and we will pay. No change there then either.

Also on Wednesday I need to acquire some new cricket footwear and “protector” in readiness for the Australian cricket odyssey, for which we depart in a little over 10 days time. I do have to express concern at the name of the team whom I shall be representing; the Nidderdale Taverners, which sounds like a reference to a far distant northern outpost, and I suspect will reveal the ethnic roots of many of the players. Perhaps the team is mostly comprised of staff from Ripley Castle, the captain of the team being Sir Thomas Ingilby?

Chris France


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