Skip to content

The ultimate provocation

October 3, 2013

I managed it, the ultimate provocation, but I did not waver. I always knew that it would be a tall order for me, the man who would go to the opening of an envelope, to be able to resist a social occasion. Moreover, I was acutely aware that anyone turning up at the snacking hour, and entering the web, our outside bar at aperitif time, would be a particularly weak moment with which to deal. Furthermore, when that person is the redoubtable and determined Peachy Butterfield, I knew I was in for a fierce test of resolve.

As we are leaving our house in the tender embrace of the lovely and lithe Currencies Direct client Debs Frost for the winter,  we need to move things out and generally start the preparation. Firstly though, our previous guardian, the above mentioned man mountain, had to move his stuff out of the house and garage. This required a visit, and he has a well entrenched habit of ensuring he arrives at a socially acceptable time at which to have a drink. On the odd occasion when the timing is not socially acceptable, he rides rough shod over acceptability and has a drink anyway, even when it is not offered. You see, he knows where all the fridges are, having been in residence last winter. Anyway, with his Volvo stuffed to the gunwales with the sort of detritus that only a man from up north might have as his home comforts (animal pelts, left over peat, petrified tundra, pigeon coups, bits of salted road kill, the odd stags head, whippet training manuals – in pictures – etc,) , he demanded a drink in time-honoured manner. I told him that I was on the wagon but, as he quite rightly remarked, he was not and what the hell did it matter what I was doing?

tortoises just hatched

Day old tortoises. that is a 2 euro piece for context

At least it was only a drink and some crisps, I hate to think what might have happened if he had seen these little fellows that have hatched in the wild in our garden in the last day or so. He might have asked for some Branston pickle to go with the miniature pork pies.

Thus the provocation began. Whilst he noisily and thirstily tucked into an open double magnum of rose, I poured myself a large virgin Mary, blathered with as much Tabasco, celery salt, pepper and Worcester sauce as is humanely possible to stand, in order to make it seem like a real drink. It was after the third one of these when I was feeling a trifle bloated, that the saintly and gorgeous Mrs Peachy arrived. I must now refer to her in this way because of the power of this column in the Google rankings and her new career as an estate agent seem to have become mutually incompatible.  Anyway, I managed to get through without my temperance diluted (good word, every drink will be diluted for the next fortnight. even water, with one notable exception).  This coming Sunday however,  I allowing myself a day off from my alcoholic fast as I shall be joining Simon Howes and the lovely Sarah for lunch with Peachy and Mrs Peachy.

When one lunches with Mr Howes, there is a very decent chance that one might be treated to several bottles of one of the great wines, Chateau Gloria, and to the finest Havana cigars, and I am afraid that will be a provocation too far. My planned 14 day period of alcohol denial will last instead 15 days, with a day off for good behaviour, not a concept with which I am readily identified I admit.   Sunday?  I hear the more attentive of you say. Yes, indeed, Sunday was the day that I had expected to play cricket, but in fact it was moved from Saturday to Sunday due to the promise of bad weather, but I thought it was to be on Saturday, but Peter Bennett from Blue Water Yachting, who organised it can’t make Sunday, so I am having lunch instead. I hope that is all clear.

Chris France

9 Comments leave one →
  1. Patrick permalink
    October 3, 2013 11:35 am

    “As we are leaving our house in the tender embrace of the lovely and lithe Currencies Direct client Debs Frost for the winter, we need to move things out …”

    When a dry, bitter cold smites Valbonne,
    You’d best have the heating turned on.
    A house sitter’s Okay
    To keep winter at bay,
    Else Frost could wreak havoc while you’re gone !


  2. Rev. Jeff permalink
    October 3, 2013 12:17 pm

    ‘petrified tundra, pigeon coups, bits of old tundra……’

    The pigeons were planning a coup
    IN the coop, when the wisest said “coo,
    let’s hijack the blog
    and teach that old dog
    to spell…now I’m off for a poo”……!!

    Only joking but couldn’t resist. And yes I do like to keep the Billy Brown Tail theme going because I know how much you appreciate it….!!


  3. October 3, 2013 4:56 pm

    This ‘ere limerick student shuns
    All gastrointestinal puns.
    Acute diarrhœa
    Is NOT my idea
    Of witty, when Chris has the runs !


  4. Rev. Jeff permalink
    October 3, 2013 6:10 pm

    Excellent ! You have made me feel a bit guilty about being so insensitive to Chris’s sad plight though.. so……

    I promise that never no more
    Will I be such a poo obsessed bore ! I
    Will now promise to try
    To desist….as your bottom’s still sore…!!


    • October 3, 2013 6:19 pm

      Ughh — well REALLY !


      • howzaaat permalink
        October 3, 2013 6:22 pm

        Aw, come on now — don’t be such a prude !


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: