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South Downs syndome

February 7, 2013

Three days in the desert will come to an end this evening. This award-winning period of temperance has had a terrible effect. I don’t sleep very well, I doze off in the evening and I have done a great deal of selfless work, some of it in respect of Currencies Direct and none of this is good for me.

Indeed I shall be working again this evening, but in a much more efficient way, this time with a glass of beer and then wine in my hand. Enigmatic pop star, top songwriter (according to a rigged poll by the BBC) and now film star, albeit in his own film about himself, John Otway is being transported to Arundel this evening courtesy of National Rail.

There are two reasons why he would let the train take the strain; firstly the boy does like a beer which would preclude him from driving, and secondly he does not drive. Anyone who has ever witnessed his chaotic live shows will know why it was a wise decision for him at an early age to decide not to learn. Falling off a motorbike 9 times on the way from Aylesbury to Luton in his teens was sufficient, even for him, to heed the advice he has received from  his friends, never to venture onto the road under his own steam ever again.

As if more compulsive evidence of his unsuitability to take charge of a motorised vehicle was required, there was one episode in my youth that underlined the wisdom if this decision. The Reverend Jeff, another contemporary of the time, had spent some months restoring a lambretta  scooter and had painted it pink. Otway decided to show the good Reverend how to do a wheelie. I need hardly mention that this episode did not end well. The scooter never went again.

It is true that John’s first taste of fame went to his head sufficiently for him to purchase a Bentley. I encouraged him of course, in fact it was I who went to complete the purchase, mainly due to the fact that I would get a chance to drive it.  Anyway, Mr Otway and I have serious business to discuss. That is the delusion under which we labour. We shall in fact be enjoying ourselves hugely planning yet another Otway scam, this time involving a guerrilla promotional attack on the Cannes Film Festival should they be unwise enough not to allow Otway The Movie to be screened during the film Festival market.

South Downs in the sun

South Downs south of Arundel

Yesterday in preparation, I took once again to the West Sussex Downs in some rather splendid sunshine in search of exercise. Cold, certainly, but bracingly pleasant with wonderful views down to Arundel as my picture today depicts. The training is for the forthcoming skiing in the Alps.

Thereafter the weekend will be on the horizon and I have cause to believe that we are invited to a sushi evening. I discovered this by chance when popping to The White Hart to borrow some ice for my Virgin Mary. Note the will power that would have been required to go into a pub and not order a drink . Anyway, whilst there I was told that I was invited to, and had accepted, an invitation on Friday evening. It is often the case that I am the last to know about a social occasion.  Clearly I am not on that Nice Lady Decorator’s “need to know” list.  She believes that too much information is bad for me although exactly why has never been duly explained. Perhaps she is always keeping her options (of going without me) open.

Chris France

4 Comments leave one →
  1. howzaaat permalink
    February 7, 2013 8:25 am

    “Perhaps she is always keeping her options (of going without me) open.”

    Ah, how COULD she ?!


  2. Rev. Jeff permalink
    February 7, 2013 11:42 am

    The old scooter story brought back happy (?) recollections although it was in fact a Vespa and my brother, not Otway, who smashed it into the back of his mates van in the school playground. It was just before it was due for an M.O.T. after being off the road for about ten years and as you say being lovingly restored by me. Well actually all I did was get a mate to get it running and then I painted it with pink emulsion which would start dripping off whenever it rained !! The smash tore a great tear down the front panel and although I had it welded up Otway’s dad, the redoubtable Jack , was convinced that no garage in the country would now pass it. Like Frasers famous ‘We’re all doomed’ catchphrase, every time Jack spotted the Vespa he would shake his head and repeat in his broad Lancashire accent ‘it’ll be blacked for sure, blacked for sure’. I did eventually get it passed by a very dodgy country garage and had loads of fun on it almost killing myself on one occasion by wearing a hat with a huge floppy brim under my crash helmet on a windy day. But that’s another story as they say !


    • February 7, 2013 11:49 am

      aha, a great story, but I thought it was Otway who did the wheelie,never mind. I remember that hat…..


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