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Le tour de Valbonne

July 3, 2013

A walk along the Brague river this morning brought back to me just how beautiful is the area around Valbonne. This river which runs through Biot on the way to the Mediterranean has to be one of the most beautiful anywhere and I was there with a beautiful Nice Lady Decorator. I was also there with a couple of dogs, one of whom, Max, I was glad to see enjoying a long swim, the other, Banjo, blighting the water with his presence. I noted a slight scum on the water, or rather in it.

picture of Brague

The Brague near Valbonne

There is however little peace to be had with a house full of Sprogs and their friends. They are intent in eating and drinking their way through a mountain of food and a lake of drink. Even at night, nothing is safe, except with Sprog 1 who thankfully has a touch of sunstroke, not an affliction seen often in England. You may accuse me of a lack of sympathy, but anything that helps to eke out our meagre supplies is welcome in my book. They know the location now of all three fridges, including the secret fall back unit, so a disaster could still occur.

Staying in last night, we settled in the pav for a nightcap and me also with a cigar and to watch the last rays of the day disappear and I was overcome with an immense contentment. Then came the news for which we had been waiting: we have tickets to see a writer with powers even slightly superior to my good self. Leonard Cohen, the man with the dark brown voice is playing at a festival in Italy and we are going to pop over and see him. I say pop over but it is 3 or more hours driving in a car, but we, in true hippy fashion, will be going over in our old VW camper van, Bluebell and it will take 7 hours. Mr Cohen has long been a hero and I saw him for the first time about 4 years ago at the Nice Jazz Festival where, despite his age, he had lost none of his powers and has the backing of a truly excellent band.

So camping makes a return to my vocabulary. I have not been talking about camping since my discussion about The Sussex village of Warningcamp. Bluebell will only travel comfortably at about 50 miles per hour maximum and has not been used for a year. Tony “I invented the Internet” Coombs, a comparatively new Currencies Direct client, was looking after her in the winter and has made some minor improvements, which we shall be testing today.

Today is also an auspicious day for chaps with bikes. I have a bike and am thinking of joining in. The Tour de France comes through the centre of Valbonne today. There is enormous razzmatazz and roads closed for 8 hours at a stretch, hundreds of press and TV camera vehicles accompany the race, which is an utterly boring spectacle on its own. I saw some of it locally a couple of years ago; 8 hours of hype followed eventually by a bunch of cyclists all looking like blue bottles and dressed in silly bright clothing who all whizz past in about 20 seconds. That’s it, over. I have always been anti cyclists on the road in the UK as they pay no road tax and seem to think they have some rights. Thus the Tour De France is a ghastly Extension of this principle, a truly mind boggling assault on the right of car drivers. If there was car tax in France, I would be making a complaint.

Chris France

One Comment leave one →
  1. Jane Crossley permalink
    July 3, 2013 12:18 pm

    I love Leonard Cohen, have been a fan for nearly thirty years as Peachy and Suzanne will vouch for! I have seen him a few times, although my very first concert to see him on 10 may 1993 at the Albert Hall was thwarted by the slightly early birth of my son on the morning of the 10th!! Enjoy x


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