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From the Grand Prix to camping

May 28, 2014

When one spends part of ones life in the Côte D’Azur, one has to come to terms with the inevitability that you will be invited to certain festivals and events, and one must involve oneself in them whatever the cost. It is the law. Last week, we had dutifully to endure lunches on the beach during The Cannes Film Festival, and last weekend it was the Monaco Grand Prix. These are the kind of irksome duties that befall an ex pat living in the area.

Personally I am not enamoured with the boy racers and their nasty loud little cars, but no one can deny that it is an event, and so, when the invitation came to go to Monte Carlo aboard a private yacht, I felt compelled to accept, If only out of that sense of duty.

Roly and Poly Bufton had invited the upper echelons of Valbonnaise society (plus Old Harrovian, Loudmouth Largy) to join them on a trip around to Monte Carlo to witness the Monaco Grand Prix. By “witness” I mean get within a few hundred yards of the port, listen to the cars whilst anchored in the bay, catch a fleeting glimpse of them as they turned into the tunnel and watch the event aboard the boat on Sky TV. Initially I had thought that, with the race due to commence in mid afternoon, that an eleven o clock start would be quite acceptable. Put in the earplugs, ignore all the Formula one nonsense, consume vast quantities of rosé and then back in time for tea. However, it was not quite like that. Having accepted the invitation, it became obvious that an early start was required in order to secure a good position, and with nowhere to turn, one had to accept that leaving Valbonne at 6.30 am was a good thing, however, awaking at 6 am with the infernal alarm shrieking at me, had me thinking of throwing a “sickie”.

camper van

Bluebell the camper

Yes, it is a fact, I was awake about an hour after I had gone to sleep, ready to board a yacht, ready to be seasick and ready to “enjoy” what is arguably the most famous Formula One event in the world. After the event people were asking me about the result, and I could only say that the result was getting home without being sick or deaf. Of course I am being a little disingenuous. It was a treat to be asked aboard a sumptuous yacht, and to be offered the chance of a unique view of one of the worlds most prestigious sporting events, courtesy of some pals who happen to have a nice yacht.

Between races was by far the most convivial experience. During the races which were staged before the Grand Prix, which were even louder than the big event, speaking was not an option, but it did have the beneficial effect of drowning out Loudmouth Largy. Actually drowning and Largy seem to fit together so well, but I digress. The atmosphere of the cars, the scores of other fabulous yachts moored nearby and the sense of occasion plus the great company aboard the boat, not to mention great food and an abundance of wine was living life as a millionaire.

So after the high life of Sunday, we decided to see how the other half live by taking Bluebell the camper out for a trip to Agay, and then on to Port Grimaud near St Tropez. I needed a few days of going back to nature after the rigours of the promotion of the fine foreign exchange services of FC Exchange.

Chris France

4 Comments leave one →
  1. David Baumann permalink
    May 30, 2014 9:24 am

    Good to hear from you! Glad to hear that you are managing to suffer the monotonous life on the Riviera with fortitude and Rose.
    Wish you would go back to the daily missive – I miss it!


  2. Michael permalink
    July 2, 2014 12:46 pm

    Is the blog dead? Would be a very sad day if it is :=(


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