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Valbonne Book Wars

December 14, 2016

Valbonne not only has its own fish and chip shop and Indian restaurant (Le Kashmir), it also has an English Book Shop at which on Friday 16th December 2016 a significant event will take place. Mr Neil “I’m Free” Humphries, (also reputedly known as Mr Somebody) who bears no resemblance (honest) at all to his camp namesake in the popular TV sitcom “Are You Being Served”(OK so his surname is Humphrey, but the joke works better that way) will be signing copies of his new book “Mr Somebody Or Other”.  It is his second book which means he has now caught up with me in one way, although curiously, unlike my good self,  he does not yet seem to have made it to the book shops’ “Local Authors” page. The Valbonne Monologues, my second opus, was self published, I think it is fair to say, to mixed reaction but with sales of well over 200 it has more than broken even leaving me able to describe myself as a successful author. Admittedly, the printing press going bust before paying the final balance did help the bottom line, but facts are facts, however unpalatable that may be to the phalanx of local public schoolboys, malcontents and the idle rich in Valbonne and its surrounds who comprise my friends, and whom seem to dislike a guttersnipe like me claiming to be an author. I did allow them to make comments about the book on the back cover and to be fair some of them are very funny.

Some examples of these comments on The Valbonne Monologues are; “50 Shades of Shite” – Peachy Butterfield, “If you want a gripping tale delivered with fine turns of phrase and evocative prose, read another book” – Anthony “Dock Of The” Bay, “As appealing as sucking warm diarrhoea through a tramps sock” – Mr Clipboard, “As intellectually challenging as reading Heat Magazine with a hangover” – That Nice Lady Decorator and “This book makes those who suggest you should never stop trying look really stupid” – Blind Lemon Milsted. I think in the main these judgments are harsh but fair.


Whereas Mr Humphries is free, his book is not and, as I have been alerted to the fact that I may be seriously libelled therein, I shall be at the signing at 9.30a.m. sharp on Friday clutching my 10 euros and with my lawyers in tow. The services of Mssrs Sue, Grabbit and Runne have been engaged and will no doubt be set to work once I have read this new tome and I have reason to believe that a certain local estate agent (if he exists) and who if he does is a valued Currencies Direct affiliate, might also have need of their services. Dicky Fox indeed!

On this very busy day, the penultimate Friday before Christmas, I shall also be hosting a very selective Christmas lunch for around 16 people later the same day at the magnificently ethnic Auberge St Donat for some of my faithful Currencies Direct customers and affiliates.  Both Mr Humphries and Dicky Fox were invited to lunch but for varying reasons neither seem inclined to attend. I think our real estate friend is on his way to London and then Australia, which seems an odd coincidence on launch day.  Perhaps it is the requirement to wear a Christmas jumper, it being officially Christmas Jumper Day in aid of Save The Children that has sent him on his way, but Mr Somebody? of what can he be afraid?  I shall no doubt be reporting at some stage in the future how the bemused french plumbers, gardeners and labourers who frequent this restaurant reacted to a plethora of English revellers resplendent in their Xmas attire and to any unexpected events at the launch…


Chris France


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