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A Peach of a party

April 14, 2013

A glorious day of warm sunshine had me stripped and on the sun lounger with a glass of Bucks Fizz by 11am. A couple of hours of sunshine, bronzing up beautifully was just the tonic required after the rigours of wintering in England. I drank my first glass of rosé since last September because it cannot be drunk unless there is warm sunshine. Anyone drinking it at any other time is just deluding them self that it is sunny.

Earlier we had walked into Valbonne which is downhill most if the way but uphill on the way back. Once we had arrived back up the hill, things began to go down hill again. I blame man mountain Peachy Butterfield for this, spiking my brunch orange juice with champagne which I did not notice until after the third flute. That is my excuse and I am sticking to it. Emboldened by his own intake he decided that it was time for a swim in his ridiculous Villebrequin shorts. The salesman must have seen him coming a mile off. Actually, given his size, anyone could see him from that distance, as you can see from today’s photograph.

Valbonne swimming pool

Peachy Butterfield tip toes around the pool

So after a long refreshingly warm afternoon it was time to prepare for the delectable Lucy Bird’s birthday bash at the fabulous villa owned by her and loveable East End rogue Wayne Brown, who had pushed the boat out and employed their own catering firm Red Radish to cater for and run the whole event. They really are the best at doing this kind of thing. A brilliant mixture of food, drink (even professional cocktail shakers) and rock and roll supplied by the best pub band in the world, the excellent Blah Blah. It was supposed to be a surprise when they started playing in the upstairs room, but I had spotted Al, the mesmeric singer at the bar early on, so I had an inkling, but with the ointment I hope it will clear up shortly. Talking of clearing up, I am glad the party was not at mine!

As I look out of the window at 8am there is not a cloud in the sky and the forecast is to remain the same with temperatures of 25 degrees so I am officially in heaven which is quite apt as it is a Sunday, so I think I am entitled to having a day off, even from my vital commitment to the foreign exchange services of Currencies Direct.

Dinner is arranged in der old Valbonne Square this evening with one of my book sponsors, cuddly Peter Bennett from Blue Water Yachting and his gorgeous wife Julie, at which Pete wants to help me take The Valbonne Monologues to new heights. That must mean he has a plan to the me from 94 sales (3 more at the party last night) to a 100, which is my next goal. I shall suggest that he has a copy placed on all the yachts for which his company is the chartering agent. I know he reads this column so Pete, be prepared.

My tennis compatriots have all gone quiet on me so I must surmise that they don’t wish to receive their customary whipping on the courts, which puts lunch tomorrow at Auberge St Donat in some danger, but I guess if the weather remains so good it would be madness not do be sitting outside in the sun, so I may allow myself to be talked out if the traditional venue.

Then later on Monday the flight back to purgatory. Doubtless I shall leave The heat and sunshine of Nice in my shirts and sunglasses and be welcomed back to England with scouring clouds, wind and rain.

Chris France

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