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Banjo gets the finger

January 23, 2013

It started well. A walk across the beautiful snow fields of Sussex was cold, fresh but uplifting (except for the presence of Banjo, the cocked up cocker) but by lunchtime it was raining, a very depressing scenario on almost any occasion, but doubly so as it means the walks on the downs in the crisp snow have finished for the time being. I have an aversion to mud, so the bike will be probably be back out today. This picture will probably be the last from the winter wonderland.


Even the snowman puts a finger up to Banjo

A meeting later in the evening with a member of local band Hakuna Pesa, literally “no money” in Swahili, took place with the idea of my trying to make them some money. It seems that the band donate most of their income to a charity supporting kids in Kenya. I see my potential role of helping them to increase their income and thus the income to the charity, and perhaps as a side effect a little income to cover my swingeing expenses. How they send the money to Kenya was also discussed and regular readers will know that the services of Currencies Direct and how they can help would have been a recurring theme.

That Nice Lady Decorator declined to join me in the White Hart as “all I was going to talk about was music business crap” and to be fair she had a point, although we did briefly talk about foreign exchange crap as well.

There will be a great deal more talking music business crap in the coming week as MIDEM, the annual music industry convention, takes place in Cannes. It is perhaps apt that the best known band appearing this year is reputed to be Madness, perhaps a fitting narrative to illustrate loads of veteran music industry moguls sitting down eating and drinking and complaining that the business is not what it was. I shall be there to commiserate with my fellow old gits. It is perhaps ironic that the first formal meeting in my diary is with a company specialising in vinyl releases. Very modern.

The fast approaching  prospect of a visit back to my spiritual homeland, the south of France, for a few days on Friday is very welcome. I have not been in Valbonne for months and am hoping to see most of the usual suspects and to have a drink in the web, our outside bar, which I can see from regular photographs on Peachy Butterfield’s Facebook page  has been in constant use. I am prepared to forego proper beer for a few days and take on whatever viticultural bargain that Peachy has discovered. Last time it was a particularly abrasive Cote du Rhone which he gleefully told me he had picked up for 1.39 euros a bottle. Yes, that means be bought considerably more than one. However on a short-term basis I will grin and bear it.

So what better way to celebrate a home-coming to the gastronomic centre of the earth than to sit down on the  first evening and eat haggis. Burns Night is nearly upon us, and secreted about our luggage will be several of them (haggae? Is that the plural of haggis? Surely it is not haggisses?) ready for a celebration chez Roly and Poly Bufton on Friday night.

I have been asked in the past why I have a kilt and the reason is because I can. For some reason never fully explained to me, the France family name has the right to wear the Stewart tartan and, given the peculiar uninhibited underwear conventions that (may) exist when wearing this traditional garb, there can be certain advantages. In my younger days those advantages tended to manifest themselves in a curious need by ladies present to know if it were true. Nowadays the benefits tend to be limited to having one less garment to deal with when having a pee.

Chris France

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