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Sunshine shock

March 6, 2013

Sunshine! It has been such a rare commodity in Arundel this winter, my first in England for about 8 years, that the opportunity to set aside diets, work, appointments and more work, even that which involves the spreading of the word about the benefits of having an account with Currencies Direct, and walking across the Duke of Norfolk’s estate to have lunch at The George and Dragon at Houghton was too tempting.

I found some not fully complete trousers, which I believe from dim and distant memory may be known in some warmer and sunnier parts of the world as “shorts”, some trainers, as opposed to galoshes, and we walked up and down the South Downs hills in that sunshine.

However, it was not without hardship. There was the small matter of a 4 mile walk across the estate from Arundel to the pub. The walk was so much more pleasant than normal because dogs are not allowed on the estate, and thus the presence of my least favourite dog in the universe, Banjo, the catastrophic cocker Spaniel, whose continuing charmed existence is entirely due to the utterly misguided patronage (or should I say matron age?) of That Nice Lady Decorator, was not present. So one was able fully to enjoy the visual delights of a quintessential piece of England without worrying whether the appallingly badly behaved animal, so loved by the decorating person, would not savage other dogs, shit in the middle of pathways, chase birds (although I admit that I may have had a similar failing in my younger days) and generally harass and make himself unpleasant to passers-by. On the other hand, I missed not having Max, the properly behaved and obedient dog with us as he would have enjoyed it.

Upon arrival after a tough walk over the hills, a reward was due and we were able to partake of a couple of pints of real ale and, wait for it, sit outside in the sunshine, like people do most of the year around in my beloved Valbonne, to where I shall be heading next week for the launch of The Valbonne Monologues. I have a picture capturing this momentous event. For the avoidance of doubt this is outside in March in England.

outside pint

A well deserved pint on the terrace of the George and Dragon at Houghton

But after the Lord Mayors show, the dust cart. Einstein’s theory of relativity, that every action will have a reaction, will be born out today. Yesterday was a day of plenty; beers, wine and another great lunch, today will be utterly different; no alcohol, starvation rations and just 600 calories, of which 40 or so have already been consumed on a morning cup of tea. By this evening I shall be invoking the memory of Oliver Twist as I plead for more.

Astonishingly though, the whole charade seems to be working. Either that or my rather too tight jeans have stretched. This is surprisingly rewarding. Normal diets in the past have had no discernible results after weeks of drudgery, but this time I can feel the difference. The idea is that you do a day of pain and then eat and drink normally the next . Two days a week and weight loss has to follow. By the time I get to France next week you will be able to turn me sideways and mark me absent.

Of course, it could not last, the normal grey blanket that is England in winter has returned today and it was if the sun had never been out. Without today’s picture I could have believed it was all a dream.

Chris France

6 Comments leave one →
  1. howzaaat permalink
    March 6, 2013 8:37 am

    “Einstein’s theory of relativity, that every action will have a reaction… ”

    No, Chris, that’s Newton’s 3rd Law of Motion. What a silly-billy — no, not Newton — YOU !!


  2. Rev. Jeff permalink
    March 6, 2013 3:31 pm

    Ah so are you and Patrick one and the same Howzaat ? ‘Reconciliation’ was delightful but I hadn’t realised its significance. Don’t worry I love Chris like a brother even when he is being insufferably smug and pompous. I just enjoy winding him up and seeing how long it takes him to react. He’s a lovely bloke really despite all the bluster.


  3. March 12, 2013 7:12 pm

    Brilliant, thank you, I will subscribe to you RSS now!


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