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Market uplifting?

July 12, 2013

What have I done to have to put up with the sentence of visiting open air markets three times, and Ikea twice in the same week? The Reverend Jeff, who has a direct dial to god (with a small g) will probably know but will he tell me? I doubt it.

So we left the commercially redundant campsite (up to two hundred campers with nowhere to eat except in their restaurant that was closed) and headed back towards France. On the way is a town called Vingtimiglia which, quelle surprise, is renowned for its Friday market, from where I took this picture of a chap into levitation, and those of you who are paying attention will know that yesterday was Friday. This was clearly pre planned by that Decorating operative.

So, having woman handled Bluebell the camper (manhandled would have upset her and anyway, I have made enough references to camp behaviour recently) through the mountainous region of the hinterland of the Italian Riviera, my reward was yet another chance for that Nice Lady Decorator to squander money on things that we ” need”. Some of those items were clearly really needed, such as some purple magnetic reading glasses for me and some fine shorts in my size ( real man) but pashminas and silly hats? Of course It is my job to compliment her on her choice of hat, which I did to gain some brownie points, and very fine hats, yes plural, they were and indeed are.

vingtimilia market

Uplifting experience in Vingtimilia

Arriving back too late to make my meeting with the French tax office was a blow but then we found that Sprog 1 had passed his Advanced Engineering Course at Blue Water and was in need of a late celebratory lunch. Thus my plan to sit and watch the Ashes Test Match between England and Australia was supplanted by a requirement for lunch. Fancying the Auberge De La Source, an attempt to book lunch after 2pm was met with Gallic shrugs and a salad only option so want somewhere more commercially awake, the Auberge Provençal in Valbonne Square.

We were joined by both Sprogs, Roly and Poly Bufton, man mountain Peachy Butterfield and the Naked Politician. I think you can imagine that it was not a quiet and reserved lunch, Peachy does not do reserved. Thus the afternoon was already a write off and, getting home eventually, as I settled down to watch the cricket, Slash and Burn Thornton Allan arrived with that steely eyed beauty Lisa, his child bride. Only 5 bottles of the 36 bottles of prosecco that had been purchased in the morning (at 3.50 euros per bottle, less than £3 at today’s Currencies Direct exchange rates) were sacrificed at the altar of life amongst the idle rich in the south of France. I suppose this was a result given the apparent thirst that was on display. Me? I found that I needed to sample a cheeky Chianti I picked up in Tuscany as my palate is far to sophisticated for cheap bubbles. It is fair to say that I did not see as much of the cricket as I would have liked, but it was a splendid afternoon.

Today I am doing nothing. Rien, zero, nowt. A short walk in the morning and then some gardening and then I AM going to watch the cricket. The world can march on without me until close of play, I don’t care. Six days of camper wrestling has taken its toll and I am seriously in need to some rest and recuperation, except for the writing and posting of this column, because my public expects… As The Steely eyed beauty sagely remarked on the web yesterday afternoon; if I stopped working then the whole economy would implode. It is so nice to be recognised as a worker, especially as I have successfully managed to spend 40 years avoiding getting a proper job.

Chris France

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