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Bad behaviour at Paloma Beach

September 2, 2013

Dubbed the “loser cruiser” by his children, Mr Clipboard proudly drove his Renault Kangoo up our drive to pick us up for yesterday’s birthday celebration for the serenely beautiful Maryse, aka Mrs Wingco. We were on our way to Paloma Beach at St Jean Cap Ferrat, probably one of the most exclusive and expensive peninsulas in the world, let alone the south of France. I would have been slightly embarrassed to have arrived in my old Bentley, when I had one, but it is the true mark of the man that he was unmoved, or probably unaware, of the squirming potential of being seen arriving in such a vehicle. I had previously advised him that I thought using the valet parking was not a good idea.

His excuse, which I do not accept, is that he is seldom down at his house here and, so needs a cheap run about to get him from a to b, and if the cars doors get dinked, which is part and parcel of driving and parking in France, it does not matter. I do not accept that, mainly because it will give me a chance to harp on about it regularly.

So setting off in late afternoon, in a cloud of smoke and righteous hope that we would arrive at this delightful beach restaurant unscathed, we eventually reached our destination in time for an early evening snifter. A gin and tonic each and 46 euros later (that is around £40 at today’s very generous Currencies Direct exchange rates) we were ready for the evening to commence, but our fellow diners seemed to be stuck aboard L’Exocet, the sailing boat skippered by the Master Mariner Mundell, who had transported the birthday girl, the Wingco, the lovely and talented painter Marina Kulik, Blind Lemon Milsted, Dangerous Jackie Lawless and the rest of the party around the coast.

That we had declined the invitation to arrive by sea , and chose delivery by Kangoo, tells its own story, and an extremely loud and raucous evening, even by our standards, eventually got under way. When discussing the relative merits of owning either good cars, yachts and the like, Mr Clipboard expressed the opinion that “If it flies, fu*ks or floats, rent it”.

st jean cap ferrat

Paloma beach for dinner. before the trouble started.

It is sometimes an interesting ice breaker – not that it was really required by the by type of party that, I think it is fair to say, was somewhat less reserved than their normal evening clientele – to imagine what ones porn star name might be. This is done by taking the name of your first pet and adding it to the name of the street you grew up in. Mine for instance would have been Scoobie Hendrick. The one I did not believe was Long John Cockermouth.

On Friday at Cinquante Cinq we had met a charming American couple Chad and The lovely Shelby, when they kindly asked us to join their table whilst we were waiting for ours. There were 10 of us but they were unphased. It appears that he is a well qualified lawyer, a partner in a renowned law firm representing high-profile clients in New York. They also joined us last night and were involved in some or all of the following antics which failed to endear us to the other, rather quieter diners; arm wrestling, throwing the waiter off the end of the jetty, an ad libbed rap throw down, but the most serious crime of all, which he witnessed, was seeing a copy of my book being thrown into the ocean by Mr Clipboard, twice. I am considering hiring him to lead the case for the prosecution. I have made the down payment, he took the water logged copy in liue of a retainer.

Chris France

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