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Any port in a storm

November 12, 2012

Meg, the beautiful dark-haired, blue-eyed, willowy beau of Desperate Dan, the Landlord, Boycie the Bookie, Desperate’s father, and his partner the lovely Sheena, duly arrived at ours for lunch yesterday after a short warm up in the White Hart.

Meg; short for Megan? I asked innocently, as she had that Catherine Zeta-Jones look of the Welsh valleys about her. She fixed me with those startling blue eyes, at that moment frozen ice blue and said; “No, short for Omega”. The intensity of the look for one fleeting moment, reminded me of my own mortality, it being Remembrance Sunday to pay tribute to those fallen in battle, “And I have a twin brother called Alpha”, she continued as the eyes softened to their normal calm serenity. It was not, it seemed a subject for discussion but undaunted I pressed on. “I prefer a woman who comes first” I said, obviously, I thought, referring to Omega being the last letter of the greek alphabet, but she gave a measured look that implied she was not at all sure that was what I meant. I think I got away with it.

After trying to get a little warmer with some Ridgeview, an English sparkling wine, and failing as it was pronounced so poor by those who tried it, the warming accelerated nicely with a nice 2006 St Emilion Grand Cru and then a very acceptable magnum of 2009 Lussac St Emilion.

By this time, I was ready to taste the Dow’s 1985 vintage port. There was the small matter of eating some of that Nice Lady Decorator’s cooking to overcome, but it was a revelation (perhaps we had caterers? was one unworthy thought that sprang to mind). That done, the port was opened. The bad news was that almost everybody present wanted some, so my hopes of retaining some for a rainy day (any port in a storm?) were dashed.

Warre's 1985


By this time dear reader, you will understand that clarity of thought and deed failed somewhat, but with my faithful BlackBerry by my side, I made some notes. However, reading them this morning gave me no enlightenment as to what was discussed. How, for instance, should I interpret the following entry; “black magic woman seeks milky bar kid, ansaphone was chocca”?. I have racked my brains but cannot recall writing it, or indeed the context.

Lunch broke up about 8pm and I have a vague recollection of smoking a cigar, a recollection that brought a dustpan and brush with my morning tea. It seems that ciga ash is spread far and wide through the house and it has been suggested rather forcefully that it is my job to clear it up. I briefly considered the jocular “I’m married, why have a dog and bark yourself” routine before wisely and meekly agreeing that I would hoover thoroughly this morning.

I shall not complain as yesterday was a wonderful day. We had earlier built up an appetite with a trip to the beach at Clymping in sparkling sunshine, a brief look to pay respects at the Remembrance Sunday parade in sparkling sunshine, and a pint in the pub next door with sparkling sunshine flooding in, followed by a lovely lunch with new friends.

Today is miserable and dank as usual, but yesterday was special. However, I am uplifted as the first email of the day is confirmation that my book launch has attracted a third sponsor in the shape of the perfectly formed Peter Bennett from Blue Water Yachting who joins French Mortgage Xpress and Currencies Direct as major brands vying for visibility and credibility by being identified with the Valbonne Monologues, although I accept that they may not quite see it in those terms.

Chris France

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Rev. Jeff permalink
    November 12, 2012 12:47 pm

    I’m not sure that Meg,beautiful, dark haired, blue eyed and willowy as I’m sure she is, will appreciate being called anybody’s ‘beau’ ! Unless of course desperate Dan is really Desperate Daniella ! Often tricky to tell nowadays !


  2. Rev. Jeff permalink
    November 12, 2012 4:11 pm


    Your reply sounds like Manuel speaking to Basil…!!


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