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A different view

April 17, 2013

In a slough of despond, it was back to wearing three layers of clothing and dodging the mud whilst walking those hounds and was not my idea of fun. A nagging hangover, sideways drizzle and the reimposition of the 600 calories a day diet seemed to accentuate the misery. But I have the photographs, one of which I publish today, to enable me to be sure it was just as I reported in the south of France at the weekend.

This one was taken at the lovely Lucy Bird’s party on the Saturday evening and shows the astonishing views at their house in Chateauneuf that her and Wayne must enjoy whenever they look out of the window.


Diet done, breakfast in the frying pan, it is time to contemplate this evening. Talented as a musician and similarly talented at under utilising this talent for commercial success, Wild Willy Barrett is doing his first series of dates in his own name in the UK for some time. This evening he is due to play at the Inn at Chichester and as his some time publisher I must support him in this endeavour. A fine blue grass fiddle and banjo player, and once described as one of the top 10 blues guitarists in the country. He is also renowned of course for his work with another old pal, John Otway where, whilst having some tracks produced by Pete Townshend, the legendary Who man was allegedly sufficiently inspired by Wild’s playing to use the same instrument on The Who’s “Squeezebox”. Cynics may think that I am going to see him because he lives for part of the year in France and may thus at some stage require the services of Currencies Direct, but that is not true, although I would be foolish not to alert him to the benefits. He is an old pal and a great talent and I love to see him play.

It also gives me the opportunity to stay at one of my favourite hotels, The Ship in Chichester and to have a look at the night life of the town and of course one will need sustenance in liquid form and even some solids at some stage. I shall report back tomorrow on events,

The Reverend Jeff has a very beautiful daughter who has become a weather girl for the BBC in the Midlands. I must not comment on her name, Holly Green, except to say that she does not have his surname. How that fact fits into the world of piety and the church to which he aspires is a question I have often asked him, but so far without a satisfactory reply. I have been asking since about 1990 when she was conceived. But I digress; he tells me that she has developed something of a fan club to the extent that a record has been made together with a video paying tribute to her occupation. A man of poorer literary taste than you will find in this column might suggest that you keep “a weather eye” out for her, but there will be no such crass joke in this missive. Now I know the Reverend has a sense of humour, but Holly Green? My mother, before she married my father and the coincidentally acquired the same surname, was determined that her first son would be called Justin. She at least saw sense and decided on balance not to call me Justin France in order to spare me a serious ribbing at school and indeed through life, but that courtesy and sensitivity seems to have escaped the Reverend, as indeed it had for the Dick family. I like the name Ophelia, and Everard but….no, just no.

Chris France

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Rev. Jeff permalink
    April 17, 2013 10:30 am

    I stand accused M’lud.

    On to safer ground It’s nice to see the ‘Wild’ back performing under his own name. I played the ‘Otway/ Barrat greatest hits for the first time in ages the other day and was surprised at how good the songs sounded and how well they’ve stood the test of time.


    • April 17, 2013 10:35 am

      He was always massively talented, but usually did his best not to exploit that. I wonder if it will be the same tonight…


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