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Medieval technology

September 15, 2013

I have received loads of complaints yesterday from my reader about the late posting of this column, your daily dose of drivel usually from the south of France, but currently coming to you from Germany.   I am afraid that I am not to blame for the Germans, of all people, failing to keep up with technology. Their “on the move” internet is such crap that if I were German I would elect to live somewhere less undeveloped. For 90% of the time there is no data roaming, which makes it technologically on a par with Havana, except there, Raul Castro chooses it to be that way. I cannot believe that I am saying the Germans are backward, but time to face the facts. I can easily check me emails on the ski slopes at Limone in Italy between runs, I can be on a yacht several miles out to sea near St Tropez in France and I can thus keep abreast of Currencies Direct business developments, but in the centre of Germany a 3G network is about as rare as a dose of clap in a nunnery.

So if today’s offering is a little late, blame the Germans, I know I do. Talking of Germans, our night in Hamelyn (which the Germans insist in spelling Hameln, wrongly as I am sure you agree) was interesting mainly because our host, who was a catastrophically ugly German woman, was so clearly unimpressed with having an English couple in her hotel.

statue in Germany

The guy in charge of internet development in Germany?

No it was worse than that. Each time she looked vaguely in our direction she looked as if she suffering from a very bad case of flatulence. This woman was physically so ugly and was seemingly trying to be adopt a character to match, anyway, after sniggering our way through breakfast, That Nice Lady Decorator managed to wipe that smile off my face as she decided that she needed some retail therapy. It appears that 178 handbags were not enough so she needed to buy another. Let me explain; some years ago, after a particularly intensive bout of shopping, I said I reckoned that she had bought around 100 handbags in the (considerable) time I had known her. She dismissed my contention, and so since that date I have counted them up from 100, and yesterday she reached 178. Can 200 be far away? Actually, that is quite a depressing statistic as it is 38 more than the number of copies I have sold of The Valbonne Monologues so far. Will I catch up before I die? Watch this space.

So after a heavyweight tour of the shops, whilst I sat in several cafes and drank an endless stream of coffee, we set off to drive over to Hanover. The reason we are here is for the 50th birthday of the lovely German Marita, partner of old pal and Australian, Larry Smith, which takes place today. We were invited to a small pre birthday gathering yesterday afternoon at Marita’s sisters house in the suburbs. I was anxious to talk to Larry about cricket and rugby, or, more especially about the fearful drubbing Australia has suffered at the hands of the English and the British Lions in the past few months. He was equally understandably reluctant to dwell on these setbacks, in the same way I was a few years back when the opposite was happening. Anyway, a great deal of wine was drunk, and arriving back at our hotel, That Nice Lady Guinness Drinker spotted that the was an Irish bar next door, so I was dragged unwillingly to sample a German version of draught Guinness.

The rest of the evening is a little hazy, but I do recall that she crashed and burned in the early evening and I found myself with a kebab at around 10 pm. Kebabs are utterly disgusting meals, only ever consumed when one has drunk too much, and last night was a perfect example. Today is unlikely to see much respite as the birthday lunch is due to commence with Champagne at 11.30 this morning. Enough now, I need to prepare.

Chris France

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