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Mr Clipboard red faced?

October 28, 2013

St Jude is the patron saint of depression and lost causes, so it was perhaps apt that St Jude’s day, which is today, should coincide with a particularly nasty bout of autumnal weather. Many of you reading this from Valbonne, may be surprised that St Jude is not the patron saint of Baileys, that nasty Irish liqueur so loved by our own wonderfully endowed Jude “where’s me Baileys” O Sullivan, but I digress.

It was billed as something close to a hurricane, which would have at least been interesting but in the end it was just another bad day at the office. Wind and rain are no strangers to me in the last week. Had the conditions been as extreme as we had been led to expect then it would at least have provided a bit of a spectacle.

Lunch yesterday at the very nice Old Swan at Chiddingfold, began with discussion about this incoming storm. We were there to meet Mr Clipboard and the lovely Ashley and had chosen a venue that is about half way between our tiny cottage in Arundel and their sweeping estate covering much of Surrey. Running his property empire has clearly caused him much anxiety and stress as can be seen from this photograph today. I think the red sunglasses set off his beetroot complexion perfectly. He could find some solace in using his existing Currencies Direct account more often, to ease the strain of his foreign exchange transactions.

giant beetroot

Mr Clipboard looking a bit red faced

Quite how the bill reached £200 is a little beyond me, although a 2009 Crozes Hermitage may have contributed somewhat. My rib of beef was superb and I even ate the Yorkshire pudding, something that I don’t always take to, but that may be because of the starvation diet to which I have been subjected twice during the week and again today. In these circumstances, please do not expect a funny and uplifting column tomorrow, although I know many of my readers expectations never reach those heights.

But back to yesterday. One of the things that attracted us to the house in Arundel was its proximity to the White Hart pub next door. So what is the point of being in this delicious situation and then not using it? There is another factor her as well. To get into out house from the back, one has to go through the pub garden, which gives an immediate insight into whether the pub is busy it not. It was busy. We went in. James “Desperate Dan” the landlord was ensconced at one of the tables with an open bottle of his house St Emilion in front of him, and so it seemed perfectly natural to purchase another and join him. Quite how soon we had another is a source of pleasure and shame in equal measure. Suffice to say that a splendid lost afternoon in the pub brought to an end a Sunday that had its fair share of highs and lows.

The first low of the day was as I sat in the car park of the Arundel Tennis Club, marooned in a shower of monstrous proportions, driven by a gale force wind. This is not the type of tennis weather to which I have become accustomed. However it cleared and the sun emerged and so I was able to pay some tennis and I can honestly say that I have not been beaten this year in England. I will not accept that the opposition, in the form is two sprightly girls well under 70, was in any way a push over, no, the Zimmer frames would have stopped that, and victory, however it comes, is sweet. Tennis was followed not be the customary beer, as it usually is in the south of France, but by coffee in the clubhouse, sheltering from the next shower. I must get used to it or I shall play no tennis,

Chris France
@Valbonne_News

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Kathryn Soni permalink
    October 28, 2013 10:50 am

    Ha ha.. Jude of Baileys – I lurve the new chocolate one…..

    Like

  2. Rev. Jeff permalink
    October 28, 2013 12:04 pm

    At tennis Chris sucks, yes it’s true
    But beer ? Well he gets through a few.
    But alas yesterday,
    Only grannies would play
    So he had to make do with a brew.

    Like

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