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At last, The Monologues have arrived

March 16, 2013

An utterly surreal day began with a snowstorm as I looked out of the window of my house at 8am. One does not expect it to snow in the South of France ever, and even less so when one has flown in from dreary England to launch ones new book, The Valbonne Monologues, and in the hope of seeing some sun, so my first thought was that I had for some inexplicable reason, offended the gods. Maybe they had not looked favourably upon my reporting that the new head of the Catholic Church, one Pope Freddy the first, was a miserable Argentinian of doubtful parentage. On balance I decided that this had not been a wise intervention.

I would not say that I was repentant but when the phone calls, texts and emails detailing the difficulties people were encountering when trying to get to the launch at Cafe Latin built up, and the garden got whiter and whiter I admit that I my faith in being an agnostic was shaken.

Help was at hand however, and as the sun burst through the clouds as we set up in Cafe Latin, all was well in my little world. It was over in a trice. An hour and a half selling books and signing autographs was all about me and I enjoyed every second. Oysters and prosecco supplied by my sponsors, notably Jeroen from ABK Properties and the lovely Marina Kulik who were both in attendance, helped the occasion to flow. There were several milestones, but my favourite moment came when Blind Lemon Milsted was told by his wife, the lovely Ingeborg, to buy two copies, one for his mother in law with whom, it is fair to say, he enjoys a distant relationship. It had been so difficult to persuade him to part with his money for the first copy that it was very gratifying that he was forced into a double purchase. His face said it all. I interpreted that look as delight but in truth that forced smile looked like a victim of unevacuated flatulence.

It was inevitable that the excitement of the morning produced an appetite and with the sun now out, I got my wish to have lunch outside in Valbonne Square at the Cafe Des Arcades. 12 of us sat down for an impromptu meal in the sunshine including Peachy Butterfield , resplendent in his bright red trousers, Roly and Poly Bufton , Anthony “dock of the” Bay and Blind Lemon Milsted and my snazzy marketing sign was pressed into service. One should never turn down a free marketing opportunity as my picture today depicts.

Valbonne square

It seemed the most natural thing in the world to return to the web, my outside bar area and continue the assault on the local wine lake with most of the luncheon revellers, but by 5pm it was getting chilly so lunch continued inside until well into the evening. It may have gone on longer but I confess I retired hurt at around 8pm. Clearly I am not used to all this excitement. I have been away too long.

Today, will almost certainly be a repeat exercise. Launch part two commences at 10.30 this morning at Cafe Latin and an even better turnout is expected now that the snow, that prevented a number of people attending yesterday, has melted. Some are flying in from foreign climes to get their copies, notably The Cornish Tsunami himself, Matt Frost, whose gargantuan presence will in no way be diminished by his apparent adherence to the same diet as I (mercifully on hold for this weekend).

Such has been the excitement that I have forgotten to mention the wonderful foreign exchange service provided by another of my sponsors, Currencies Direct, but hope to have more space tomorrow to do so.

Chris France

9 Comments leave one →
  1. Rev. Jeff permalink
    March 16, 2013 11:03 am

    ‘my faith in being an agnostic was shaken’….

    Nice one -and at least that’s a step up from your usual claim to be a dyed in the wool atheist . Perhaps the first inklings of the eternal truths are beginning to filter through. Better late than never.

    Congrats on the launch-glad it went well. Weather here wall to wall grey with heavy rain so you’re not missing much.


    • March 16, 2013 2:56 pm

      In our younger days You always used to know when I was taking the piss…

      Weather here better than U K…


  2. howzaaat permalink
    March 16, 2013 2:35 pm

    “The Valbonne Monologues”

    You’ve told us all about your book just out,
    But really Chris, you know, I fail to see
    Why you chose that title – for retail clout ?
    When you’d have better called it simply “ME”.


  3. Patrick permalink
    March 16, 2013 2:54 pm


    “Which ten books are the best, d’you think ?” I asked,
    Addressing an author whom I vaguely knew.
    He pondered – then in his own glow he basked:
    “I hardly know, I’ve only written two.”


  4. Rev. Jeff permalink
    March 16, 2013 6:59 pm

    Yes Chris that’s why I said ‘nice one’- I was acknowledging a good gag . I was simply pulling your leg regarding our ongoing debate about your lack of religious belief. Thought you would have got that as it was hardly subtle !!! Good luck for tomorrow’s second book launch.


    • March 17, 2013 9:50 am

      well that’s all right then! Hope you will soon be purchasing a copy of the book?


  5. Rev. Jeff permalink
    March 17, 2013 10:54 am

    Well you never know as I’m obviously not going to receive a freebie !!


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