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No kidding?

July 6, 2013

Lunch at the lovely Auberge de la Source between Valbonne and Antibes, was enlivened not only by the presence of The majestic Helen Blackburn, the widow of a giant of the English songwriting and comedy scene, Bryan Blackburn, and her beautiful niece Kathi Soni, but also by the restaurants pet goat who was clearly enjoying the rather splendid meals being prepared, as my photograph today may show.

D’Artagnan, for that was his name, at least in my mind, was adept at roaming this outdoor restaurant, when the owner was diverted, to collect bread from those tables that has been vacated. Where it went wrong was that he ate it rather than returning it to the kitchen as most waiters would do. Now I liked the idea and found the whole thing very charming, but I would like to know how this fits with the English obsession with health and safety, which is supposed to be a Europe-wide set of regulations. If a goat was roaming the garden of any restaurant in England, I think it would be in danger of being closed down on the spot? Me? I hate the whole health and safety community with a passion, interfering, as they do with the basic principles of life. I was entranced, as were a plethora of “kids” who were enjoying his antics. Go to it I say.

Talking of animals, I have to report a sad case of road kill in my drive. An old giant toad had managed to get himself run over at some stage in the last few days and had been flattened and squashed into the chippings. The driver must have known as it would have felt like mounting a kerb when he met his end.

goat waiter

This would get the goat of the Healh and Safety brigade

However, every cloud of a squashed toad has a silver lining; My first thought was that had Peachy Butterfield been in residence he would have been delighted, as it would have saved him craving real meat for the barbecue, and so I resolved to pick it up and put in the freezer ready for his return to his duties as my guardian in September. However, there really is no accounting for women as that Nice Lady Decorator was, to say the least, not keen on long-term frozen storage of toad meat. Women can be so contrary. This is surely a very sensible use of resources for those chaps from up north who can seldom afford meat unless it has been run over or has the breasts of a pigeon.

Anyway, back to lunch, where there was no toad, but a smidgen of goat in view. It was a working lunch as I have now extended my grip on the international music industry to cover the likes of Nana Mouskouri and Peters and Lee, charged as I now am with tracking down unpaid royalties for the deceased writer of many of their tunes. I may shortly even have a new Currencies Direct client as well, so the bill for lunch will be submitted to my long-suffering accountant for the usual argument about whether it constitutes a genuine business expense. For the record, my sirloin steak was very good and they produce some of best chips known to man, as I am sure a certain future salad du chèvre can testify.

Scouring my phone, I came across a note made at the post tennis lunch on Friday with that horrendous Harrovian, Largy. I had completely forgotten his long, loud and detailed description of having had a testicle removed in his younger days. I particularly liked his story about returning to his cricket team at Wimbledon and being greeted by the entire team raising their arms and tapping their shoulders in the way that a cricket umpire would when a batsman has not properly grounded his bat when running two or more runs. The expression, as many cricketers will know is “one short”.

Chris France

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Helen permalink
    July 7, 2013 8:22 am

    Thanks for lunch Chris. It was a fun day . Am looking forward to working with you. Many Kind Regards . the Regal & Majestic Helen :):):)


  2. Helen permalink
    July 7, 2013 9:54 am

    By the way , its Bryan Blackburn, my husband .Allan Blackburn is his brother , who Kathy & I are staying with…:)


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