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Sheepish golfer

July 29, 2013

I have missed him. I played golf yesterday with Steve Weston who achieved undesired fame in my first book after he revealed that he liked sheep and then compounded that by sending me a picture of his favourite fluffy lamb. Mercilessly pilloried in this column and in my first novel, Summer In The Côte d’Azur for his ill judged revelations in front of witnesses of his love of this farm animal, mainly because I deliberately misinterpreted his words, he was understandably not best pleased to see me on the sheet to play with the Landlubbers golf group for the first time in a year. His first reaction was to talk of finding some Sellotape so he could keep his mouth shut.

On the contrary, I was delighted to see him because I was carrying some copies of my newest book all 4 of which were sold on the day), and he took the hint that perhaps it might be a good idea to buy a copy as a kind of ransom, although I would prefer the description of an insurance policy. We came to a tacit agreement; if he bought a copy then I would not be rude about him, well, not that rude anyway, if he did not then the gloves would have been off. To his eternal credit he purchased a hardback copy at a mere 15 euros (some £13.50 at today’s Currencies Direct Exchange rates) in an attempt to head me off at the pass (he might make to his favourite sheep). Thus he is in the clear but I am not sure he will be so willing to buy another copy when I next see him, it being clear to me that, although he has acquitted himself in an exemplary fashion today, he will need to do the same whenever we meet in the future to ensure that I am not tempted further to investigate his peculiar love of sheep. I can see the current sales total of 120 rising continually over the summer.

Golf Opio Valbonne

The new last hole at Chateau Begude

Now to the golf. 4 litres of water was my intake over the 18 holes, so hot was the weather on the way around. Although the was heat was in part to to blame (at 34 degrees, even too much for me) for a very considerable deterioration in the second half after a bright first nine, most of the blame must lie with Peter Bennett from Blue Water Yachting, who was complicit in the ordering of at least three post dinner large cognacs the night before at Terra Rossa. He seemed very alert to the fact that I was paying (as a small recompense for his kind offer of accommodation at his fabulous mill in Cornwall in June). Perhaps he was ensuring he received his pound of flesh but I would question the timing. He knew we were due on the golf course at 9 am yesterday morning and yet he actually allowed me to order cognac. His motives need to closer examination.

The course at Chateau Begude has not been improved by the recent changes. The first 9 are still so much better by far and a decent challenge, the back 9 are drudgery and I shall not be rushing to play there again.

The result was that the golf was well controlled for the first half, and I was heading to victory, but as the heat and the cognac took their toll, the quality of the golf reversed somewhat and a chap with a bandits sombrero cleaned up.

Tennis and fireworks today, although hopefully he same time. There is another firework display in Cannes this evening so lets hope there are no more fireworks aboard the Master Mariner Mundell’s boat this evening. With Dangerous Jacqui Lawless away, there is a chance it will be quieter than is sometimes the case.

Chris France

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