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A quiet day by the pool?

August 29, 2013

Coffee and croissants were demanded by our house guests yesterday morning, so where better to get that quintessential dose of French life than Cafe Latin in Valbonne, where Nigel “Medina Palms” Rowley consumed “the best raisin croissant I have ever tasted”. Then, with a large female contingent, as usual with shopping upper most in their minds, we ventured to the market at Mouans Sartoux. Well, I drove there and back but was unable to indulge in my least favourite hobby as I had invented some work that needed to be done there and then. Smart phones have so many uses. The world of foreign exchange, as beautifully exemplified by those wonderful chaps at Currencies Direct, waits for no man (or woman if she wants to go shopping with me). Thus emails answered, work complete, I was ready for lunch, this time at home.

Now here is my lesson for today. Duck rillets; avoid. What a nasty concoction I had bought, thinking it would be a little like pate. Instead it was like greasy and sour shredded meat with the consistency of snot. Of course our friend from up north loved it. Probably akin to road kill surprise, the surprise being if you survive the meal without being forced to find a bathroom quickly or vomiting in the flowers, then that constitutes enjoyment. Having been unfortunate enough to taste it, and after an agreeable couple of glasses of Pimms and a small glass of wine, I retired to my pit for the customary siesta and to try to eradicate the taste from my mouth. What a wonderful invention that is, if you do not have to work in the afternoons, I mean the siesta not the pit.

pool inflatable

Ben “Adidas” Dobson with swimming aid being watched by Banjo the lifguard

Stirring in early evening for a sundowner, I was moved to open a magnum of a 2007 Medoc, barely old enough to be out on its own, but very agreeable nonetheless. The house guests decided to visit that tourist trap, old Mougins village, whilst we prepared for a barbecue. Let me say this; I do not do barbecues myself because that is cooking and therefore women’s work. Nigel decided to be the honorary women for the evening and, after cursing the fact that our Weber barbecue had a missing bit, which he found lurking in the garden, managed to create enough smoke to relive his famous smoke signals antics in Yorkshire of 20 years ago, although this time without the benefit of a new Armani jacket.

He did however amaze me, cooking splendid steak on the barbecue, which, with the garnish of a béarnaise sauce straight out of a jar from local supermarket, Super U, was a triumph. I was so impressed that I was persuaded to open several bottles of my secret stock of St Emilion Grand Cru, so secret that everybody in the house knew exactly where to find it.

Today will be big. The Master Mariner Mundell has suggested we take his boat over to St Tropez and lunch at the famous Cinquante Cinq on Pamplona beach, and, weather permitting, that is what we shall do. One does like to accommodate one’s friends wishes, despite the hardships that this may entail. Before that, business needs to be done and myself and Nigel will be hard at it at the break of dawn with a 9.30 meeting at Cafe Latin with Dutch harp playing estate agent Jeroen Zaat. Crazy name, crazy guy.

Then just a dinner on Saturday evening and a big birthday bash on the boat in Sunday, for the gorgeous Maryse, aka Mrs Wingco, again with Master Mariner Mundell at the helm and then a week of doing nothing. I do hope he steers us into some calmer waters but, as is so often the case, I live in hope, often when there is no hope.

Chris France

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Patrick permalink
    August 30, 2013 3:05 pm

    “… greasy and sour shredded meat with the consistency of snot.”

    So elegantly put !


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