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To Pau, less china

April 24, 2014

Pamplona was a much nicer city than I had expected. I said yesterday that I had experienced enough concrete in the last week to last me a lifetime but it seems I am being stalked by it. We walked rather than ran (!) around the oldest reinforced concrete bull ring in the world in the old part of town, That Nice Lady Decorator allowing her Hemmingway fetish to make us search for a bar he apparently used to frequent, but in vain, so we then went in search of the holy grail, wine from Rioja.

Rather than bothering with all that crap about tasting the wine and spitting it out, we went straight to a supermarket, loaded up a trolley with 25 bottles of Rioja and set off for France. Several times we saw police cars and made Banjo lie down so that the renegade could not be apprehended by the authorities for his trespassing and defecation on the beach at O Grove earlier in the week. I know the The Nice Lady Decorator ” picked up” after him, but that is not the point . A crime had been committed and the mitigation that someone had repaired the damage does not disguise his guilt. So as we sped across north-eastern Spain and then across the Pyrenees in a dash for the French border, it felt a bit like Bonnie and Clyde, renegades from the law, running from the authorities. A lesser writer than myself may even be tempted to suggest that had his owner been born in Scotland, it might have been a case of Banjo and Clyde.

bridge in Pamplona

An interesting footbridge across the river in Pamplona

We had decided that a final watering hole could be either Orthez or Pau, depending on what delights the former had to offer. Realising quickly that Orthez had no delights whatsoever to encourage us to stay, we continued on to Pau. When you think of that expression “to Pau ” do you think , like I do, of a single called “China On Your Hand”? Thought not . Anyway , we eventually found a hotel and booked in .

It was over an early evening beer that we discussed the possibility of pressing on to Valbonne today. It is a 7 hour drive, but the lure of dinner with Suzanne and Peachy Butterfield was sufficient, despite the certainty that his house “Card Bordeaux” would be served, and, as he is now a house husband or, as he refers to himself, an “homme de foyer”, he will be doing the cooking, which in turn means it will be spaghetti bolognaise or egg and chips, or maybe both, we decided on balance it was worth it.

After a drink we saw a Thai restaurant across the street in the centre of Pau offering a Thai buffet, and decided that we should eat early and go to bed early. I also fancied a bit of spice. Bad mistake. I had forgotten that the French don’t really do spicy, and this particular Thai restaurant was doing its best to avoid using any strong flavours anywhere. There must have been two dozen dishes from which to choose and I tried every one in an effort to find something decent. I failed. Furthermore, mono sodium glutamate must have been at the heart of the chef’s being because it always keeps me awake, hence the writing of its missive with its message that Currencies Direct is the way forward for all your foreign currency needs, is being created at around 3am.

So, back in the embrace of Valbonne for the next two months, I shall expect lunch and tennis to loom large on my agenda in the coming week , once I have grappled with intricacies of the international music business which is at the heart of my business empire.

Chris France


One Comment leave one →
  1. Rev. Jeff permalink
    April 24, 2014 1:10 pm

    “…and go to bed early. I also fancied a bit of spice.

    Well I trust that Nice Lady Spice Provider lived up to expectations !!!

    We French do do spicy…mais oui !
    Ze proof she is plain as can be !
    Ze young Bridget Bardot,
    Ooh la la don’t you know
    Always seemed very spicy to me !!


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