Skip to content

Swampy lives!

October 5, 2013

After my piece yesterday about famed eco-warrior Swampy, I was sent a link to the Daily Mail by the lovely Leslie (Poly) Bufton, confirming that he is alive, and has a job as a tree surgeon. Now call me old-fashioned, but he spent most of his formative years hugging trees and doing his level best not to allow anyone to touch the them, but now he is out there like Currencies Direct customer Slash And Burn Thornton Allan, dismembering them for all he is worth. Is he trying to make up for lost time? Does he resent the time he misspent in his youth?  However, there is a far more worrying aspect to all this. It seems that some of my readers actually read the Daily Mail. This is far more serious and has made me realise that as a writer, I have a long way to go.

I branched (oh yes) out and did a bit of tree abuse myself yesterday, having been designated Head Lumberjack (acting) with responsibility to prune two fruit trees. Orders had been barked (sic) at me from That Nice Lady Decorator, so I took a leaf (did you see what I did there?) out of Swampy’s book and gave them both a fearful haircut, on the basis that if I gave them the full shaving (oh, I get better and better), they may not need to be done again next year. At one stage I did break into the old Monty Python Lumberjack song, but stopped short at the line “dress up in women’s clothing and hand around in bars”, although I did get a little schism when I saw some ladies underwear on the line (that’s no lady, that’s my wife…). That should get the (many excellent) members of the coven of limericists, who seem to have taken over the comments section of this column, something to get them to log (!) on. Given the theme, today’s picture is of an old cork oak tree that I took when walking in the Valmasque yesterday.


Cork Oak

Last night was marked by a ferocious electrical storm, but earlier in the evening, I had created a storm of my very own. That Nice Lady Decorator was gagging for a pint of Guinness, but of course, I am on the wagon. Thus, when the landlord of the Queens Legs had recovered from my jaw-dropping request for a non alcoholic beer, which incidentally and entirely reasonably they don’t stock, I ordered a tomato juice (with loads of tabasco). Given how widely read this daily missive seems to be read, it was inevitable that I should hear a number of sarcastic remarks about my temperance, a theme that continued as we passed the Master Mariner Mundell in his village house, popping in for a glass of wine or a cup of tea in my case, then at La Kavanou, the much improved wine bar in Valbonne village where, even before I had ordered, one adoring and very beautiful reader (Bev, you know who I mean) had said “You are not supposed to be drinking”. Perhaps I should not have brandished my pineapple juice in such a triumphal manner, but my feeling of self-righteousness overcame me. The Reverend Jeff will know that feeling of being certain you are right when all the evidence is against you.

Last stop was the ultimate challenge. Le Kashmir is the Valbonne Indian restaurant in Valbonne and a curry on a Friday night after a pub crawl always ends up injudicious ordering of drinks, and so it was with that Nice Lady Drinking Person, but I sipped water, which went very well with an excellent lamb Madras and some of the best spinach I have ever tasted. 10 more days and I will be back in the real world.

Chris France

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Patrick permalink
    October 5, 2013 1:03 pm

    ” I saw some ladies underwear on the line (that’s no lady, that’s my wife…). That should get the (many excellent) members of the coven of limericists, who seem to have taken over the comments section of this column, something to get them to log (!) on.”

    Best I can do for the mo :-

    A very Nice Lady from Chichester
    Made all the Saints in their niches stir.
    Her washing-line of knickers
    Enthralled all the vicars
    And made my Lord Bishop’s britches stir.


  2. Winnie permalink
    October 6, 2013 8:00 am

    C’est un peu risqué, n’est-ce pas ?


  3. October 6, 2013 6:00 pm

    Dear Pugwash

    As per previous request, we have been searching Arundel high and low for a suitable overnight housing for your beloved white Mini Metro. Not be it for us to question why you would be be so supportive of this particularr Marke …. ours is just to do and dye (presumably a reference to some ancient craft of putting circles on T-shirts).
    I began my Quest by…(actually I began it by feeling incredibly superior because I had already acquired a garage myself)…Googling the famous website…’WONGA’ (Want – found one that was 10quid on Day 1 but rose to £3trillion by day 5. Obviously affordable, but given your promise of assistance to Obama, thought it might not be appropriate.
    Is that all the characters I get – lot’s more words potentially forthcoming??


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 )

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: