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Fire warning imminent

May 11, 2014

An invitation to dine with The Wingco and his adorable wife Maryse has been as rare as a golfing defeat for me. It has been well over two years since the last one, and his excuse, that I had been out of France for much of the time, is just not accepted. Regular readers will know that The Wingco takes a dim view of this column. The nicest thing he has ever said about it is that it is “ghastly”, but projected in that public school manner which I cannot imitate, where the word has far too many h’s than I could type. It could be better described as more exhalation of a whole lung full of breath during the second letter. I love him dearly but am able to be as rude as I like here because he will never, ever read it. He even covers his ears should his wife, (who wisely regularly enjoys a secret look at this missive, much to his disgust), dares to read sections of it out loud. He is a wonderful musician, excellent host, very amusing, well-educated, has a enormous capacity for wine and would be such a good tennis player if he had any kind of backhand.

Last night, after a little liquid preparation in the Web, our outside bar, the lovely “Banana Lady” (as she was described during a chance meeting with Jude “Mine’s A Baileys” O Sullivan – un unwelcome reminder of her constant watering of my plastic banana palm a few years ago) and her husband and my golfing rabbit, Peter Savin, to fulfill our dinner obligation. Talk turned to the lunch last Friday at the Auberge St Donat when the post tennis crowd had excelled in minesweeping the other tables for any left over wine. I had at one stage mistakenly picked up a bottle rather than my glass, had been spotted in this faux pas, and had found myself being administered wine by way of a jug. I am sure the stains will come out of the shirt in due course.

barbecue in Valbonne

I have hidden the gar barbecue so that we can have some sport

There will be one last bash today, before our house guests leave on Monday morning, and it involved Peachy Butterfield and our barbecue. He has volunteered to come around this afternoon and cook. Now dear old Peachy is from up north and cooking is obviously a fairly unfamiliar process up there, however he has managed to adapt quite well in his time over here and has even become an “Homme au foyer” (house husband)  staying at home and cooking for his lovely wife Suzanne, who is now an estate agent for Blue Square in Valbonne, who are also sensibly, Currencies Direct affiliates.

However, I am a little afraid that he will return to type. First of all, I expect any road kill within a ten-mile radius to arrive with him in a bag of “meat”. I do not think there will be any attempt at finesse when it comes to incineration of the rations, it just spends how hot he can get the barbecue. Normally of course he would need a day or two to dry out the peat and get it going but with this new fangled charcoal he has learned that he can make a funeral pyre like fire and burn everything to cinders in just a few hours. The real problem is the weather forecast seems to indicate that there will be a Mistral later, the strong local wind that often arrives at the most inconvenient moment. The issue is, that should he get his furnace up to somewhere near full danger, the possibility of sparks flying off into the forest will present a serious forest fire hazard, so I caution any of you living in Valbonne to keep a close ear out for the fire sirens this afternoon.

Chris France

One Comment leave one →
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