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New boules please

August 6, 2013

When the phone call came from Roly, Poly and to invite us to lunch at Auberge St Donat, I made an unparalleled, unilateral decision to reject it. The reasons were manifold; we had just staged an epic all day lunch which has been so successful that the police were called, we had enjoyed a fabulously long lunch the day before, a night of rock and roll the night before that, and each day for the previous month, I had found myself with a glass in my hand. Auberge St Donat is not the favourite luncheon venue of That Nice Lady Decorator, and I was scheduled to play tennis in the evening, followed by dinner and finally, the cricket test match between Australia and England was nicely poised. I knew, despite the obvious risk, that it is pre-ordained that I have no executive responsibility for social occasions, and that it was the right decision which would be ratified in due course by the ruling dictator.

It was something of a shock therefore when, in passing, I mentioned what I had done to That Nice Lady Entertainments Officer, and discovered to my cost, in more ways that one, that the decision I had made was in fact wrong. Hence, after a laconic morning, and the prospect of doing nothing before 7pm, I was brought down to earth, showered, shaved and dressed by 12.30 so that we could accept the invitation that I had rejected.

Talking of down to earth, I remembered, to my ever increasing cost, that Loudmouth Largy had also been similarly invited, he being incapable of returning to his hovel in Cannes due to a surfeit of my rosé the evening before. I have written before of his unfortunate testicular loss in his early days, now being “one short” in cricketing parlance but permitted myself a wry grin when, for desert, he ordered “deux boules de glacé” , ie two balls of ice cream. Whilst I was chortling, I nearly felt guilty, once I had had enjoyed the joke and revelled in the laughter that followed. I have quietly resolved that in future I shall do the same whenever the opportunity arises. Guilt is such a transient emotion don’t you think?

le vin de merde

Note the name of this shit wine that was a gift for lunch. I like the bluebottle on the top.

Anyway a splendid lunch followed, and then it was time for an intensive siesta before preparations for tennis last evening. I had grudging allowed Dancing Greg Harris from Côte d’Azur villa Rentals to be promoted from ball boy to 4th player, but he was a little miffed by that, considering, laughably, that he deserved that position on merit, but he was disavowed by that concept on the tennis court.

Once the MOGS (Moustachioed Old Gits) comprising myself and The Wingco had summarily dealt with the uninspiring challenge of he and Blind Lemon Milsted on the tennis court, we adjourned, rather sweatily, to the Auberge St Donat for a spot of dinner. As all present were Currencies Direct clients, Blind Lemon having a recent epiphany, it ill behoved me to make a big fuss about my (our) victory, so instead I settled for a small fuss.

Over dinner, we discussed the merits of a concert to be staged by Elvis Costello this week in Monaco, for which Blind Lemon has (very expensive) tickets and the Wingco mentioned that he once just missed meeting Mr Costello in the recording studio. Apparently, by the time he arrived (doubtless late as usual) Elvis had left the building. I was moved to mention the arrival of the local gendarmerie at our house on Sunday evening and made mention of an Elvis Costello song. It seems that Watching The Detectives was not a good call.

Chris France


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