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France returns to France

April 13, 2013

I had forgotten that the night before last, when we had planned to eat at the Red Lion Thai night, but become distracted by an impromptu luncheon, and then been hijacked by some Aruldites to La Campagnia, that we met the land lady of the Red Lion in the restaurant. She is a beautiful and bubbly Thai girl who was vastly amused by my asking her if she disliked Thai food. It seems that she plans and organises the while thing, but was eating Italian next door.

So, to Gatwick for a seafood platter and a glass of champagne at the Caviar House. Well, that was not the main attraction of the airport of course, but it helps to pass the time during the interminable wait for one’s plane. Leaving England in breezy and cloudy conditions, we arrived at Nice in the early evening in bright sunshine and temperatures in the seventies. I would have worn shorts but could not have faced the guffaws at Gatwick.

With sales now of 90 books, I was expecting my Valbonne sales manager, Peachy Butterfield to be asking me to replenish his stock given the huge pent-up demand that I believe is there, waiting to tap, but clearly he has been a bit slack. His contention that no one wants to buy it is obviously incorrect. When I threatened him with a P45 he looked confused and asked how giving him a gun was relevant, and I realised that he has never before received one as he has probably never had a job.

He and the beautifully willowy and hard-working wife Suzanne are looking after the pool and garden at the house in Valbonne and it is looking magnificent. However, this is clearly mostly down to Suzanne who told us that she had pruned the trees, she had weeded, and she had dug in some new plants. When I asked Peachy why he did not help he said Suzanne loved gardening and he only ever dug holes at dinner parties.

pool in Valbonne

Back in the land where the sun shines

This evening is that party, the lovely Lucy Bird’s 40th. She says it is her 50th but she is far too youthful and beautiful for that to be true, but she is blonde and counting is not always their strong suit. That Nice Lady Decorator is a mere 37, and she is blonde, at the moment. This of course makes me, a man fast approaching 60, look like a child stealer. I am sure than when we married over 20 years ago the age gap was not so pronounced. Talking of 60, I had the first reward for approaching that age today. It seems that one can pay a quarterly fee to cover one’s prescription costs and it is even cheaper if one pays an annual fee, but, and here’s the rub, once one commences their seventh decade one’s prescriptions are free, so had I decided on the annual option, I would have been out-of-pocket.

This morning has dawned blissfully bright and clear and 25 degrees is forecast with a slight breeze, perfect for sunbathing, which is exactly what I intend to do. Of course whilst I am laying out on a sun lounger my mind will remain active and being back in France for the weekend I shall spend much of the day considering how best to further the interests if Currencies Direct locally, whilst simultaneously tanning my new lithe body, honed with exercise and recent dietary depletion.

No plans for Sunday have yet been revealed to me, but I have insisted on lunch in Monday at Auberge St Donat, preferably preceded by tennis, successful tennis that is. Must go now, the sun is out and calling me.

Chris France

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