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Going round in circles

November 10, 2012

My favorite comment for the back of the jacket of The Valbonne Monologues, when describing my first book, is “as intellectually challenging as reading the Dandy with a hangover”. I cannot reveal the name of the person who coined this phrase as it has been kept from me.

There are a number of other wonderful quotes, even a couple that are complimentary, but they are from people who have not suffered the character assassination for which this column is justly renowned. It was a masterstroke to offer those most abused in this daily missive, and in the new book, the chance to make a quote for inclusion. I was very gratified when almost all approached were happy to contribute. As you can imagine, there was quite an acerbic tone to many of them, but reading the dozen or so offerings all together seems to portray the contents of the book in a balanced and entertaining way, something of which I am regularly accused of failing so to do myself.

My picture today was taken in London, when we were there earlier in the week, and shows an interesting steering system for a bike which I had not seen before. Circular handlebars? Does that mean one would continually go around in circles? It looks like something to open a hatch on a boat. Talking of bikes and cycling, we have found a fantastic cycling venue on the beach at Elmer Sands, just past Middleton towards Bognor Regis (who would name a holiday resort “Bognor”?). That Nice Lady Decorator has some pictures of the golden sand which I shall dig out for tomorrow. I cycled much further than normal as it was so pleasant in some much-appreciated autumnal sunshine. In fact is was so nice that we stopped at the Elmer, a Fuller’s pub in Middleton, with a view to sitting on their sunny terrace to have a Friday lunchtime pint of London Pride, but true to form, as soon as the pint was in my hand, the clouds rolled in and we huddled in the swirly-carpeted, old-fashioned hell that was the inside, escaping as quickly as possible for another pint at the Oyster Catcher, a pub outside Clymping, the Black Horse unaccountably being closed.

Bizarre steering gear on a bike

Bizarre steering gear on a bike

We have resolved on Friday evenings to try out some of the restaurants Arundel has to offer and had dinner at Pappardelle, a charming restaurant on the first floor overlooking the High Street and small pretty market square. The king prawns were tough, the roasted vegetables were poor, and a nice piece of sea bream for that Nice Lady Decorator and Italian confit of duck was insufficient to rescue opinion. Atmospheric and delightful inside, disappointing and dull food-wise. Although not a formal restaurant, more a tapas menu, Boca Neuvo at the White Hart, where we ate the Friday before, is infinitely superior.

Currencies Direct have agreed to sponsor the book launch, along with French Mortgage Xpress, in Valbonne on 14th December. All we need to do now is confirm the venue. That is two sponsors in two days. Opportunities still exist and I shall be hoping to hear from Peter Bennett from Blue Water and Greg Harris from Cote d’Azur Villas shortly.

I have realised that we will be jet lagged to hell for the big day as we fly back from Sydney on the Wednesday, the fly down to France on the Thursday staying with our house guardians, Peachy and Suzanne Butterfield, which is a health hazard in itself, before the launch on the Friday, market day. But at least I have those shoes…

Chris France


One Comment leave one →
  1. Rev. Jeff permalink
    November 10, 2012 1:59 pm

    On his deathbed it was suggested to King George the fifth that a visit to Bognor might benefit his health. His final words are alleged to have been ‘BUGGER BOGNOR’. A wise man by the sound of it.


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