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Valbonne Square and Dangerous

July 17, 2013

It was one of those days. Firstly, after a meeting with my tax advisor, it became apparent that I did owe the French tax authorities more than my entire holiday spending money, requiring the writing of a big Jeff Beck (Cockney rhyming slang for a cheque). Then, upon returning home almost destitute, I went to print out our boarding passes for the flight back to London today and realised that I did not in fact have a printer in France. 50 euros, a battle of comprehension in the computer store, and more than a few Gallic shrugs later, finally resulted in my becoming the proud owner of a new printer. However, dragging the nasty plastic contraption out of its packaging, and struggling to set it up (the diagrams were in French) it quickly became apparent that a new printer does not automatically come with a lead to connect it to a computer, so I trekked yet again into the darkest recesses of Grasse to buy one, and was just cutting the devilishly inaccessible packaging surrounding it when I noticed that there was in fact the very lead required sitting on my desk. You know where all this is leading; Not a good start to the day.

I suppose that there must be some light and shade in my life. Yesterday started positively dark. That was until early evening when the sensual and beautiful renowned interior decorator Dangerous Jackie Lawless phoned to say she was in Valbonne Square for an early evening drink, and would we care to join her? We cared. I took this picture from our table at the Cafe Des Arcades, showing the deep recession in France has yet to make a real impact in Valbonne.

Valbonne, France

Valbonne Square in a recession

Dangerous Jackie, apart from being fabulously attractive, is also especially dangerous. I have given her that epithet because of the little I know of her background. Married for a time to Barry Moat, the current or previous owner (I am not sure which) of Premiership football club, Newcastle United, until a gulf developed between them (think about it) she was involved with a number of high-profile building businesses and people before fleeing to the south of France with her son, whose father had passed away. Dangerous indeed.

She regaled us with stories which were so outlandish you could not have made them up, but I have been forbidden to go into details. Suffice to say that Dangerous has excellent networking connections, indeed she has just given me a lead for someone who is in dire need of the foreign exchange services of Currencies Direct. I suggested that she should consider writing a book about her experiences, or, better still, engaging a successful author to write it for her, but she did not appear to get the hint.

Today, in a state of mounting expectation I shall, courtesy of those fine chaps at Easyjet, be literally winging my way to London in readiness for one of the highlights of the year, the first day of the Second Test match between England and Australia. We are staying at the Thistle Hotel in Marble Arch, where I have already been stung for the bill.

I am in a quandary as to what to wear. Normally one would prepare a typical English summer outfit comprising umbrella, sweater and long trousers, but as those of you basking in the English heat wave will know, this will all be inappropriate. I have never before worn shorts to Lords, the spiritual home of cricket, but Thursday may be a first.

Also coming up to London to meet us is the redoubtable Auntie Pam, who aged 85, revealed earlier this year that she was a cricket fan and had never been to Lords, so I am about to change that for her. The last time she went to a cricket match it was to see Don Bradman play, but when she got to The Oval (in the 1950’s) she discovered that he had been rested for the day.

Chris France

One Comment leave one →
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