11 October 2008

The Restaurant

I woke up this morning and knew it was going to be a gorgeous day. The warm, orange, early morning light filtered through the gaps in the shutters and this was the sun starting to arrive. It slowly climbed over the hills behind Monaco before it arrived in its full glory in Tourrettes . This pleasure was curtailed however, as when J kicked me out of bed to make her her first morning cuppa, I couldn’t move. It was the bad back syndrome. This started 30 years ago when I lifted an IBM router weighing some 50 lbs and ‘did my back in’. I should have sued them, but as it was the first week of the ‘job of my life’, I thought better of it and soldiered on. I did go to my doctor who sent me to a specialist (after checking I had Bupa cover) and she said, ‘you can have an operation but I wouldn’t advise it – you may have to live with this for the rest of your life’. And so I’ve been living with it for the rest of my life. Some days it’s ok but I suspect that today’s pain was caused by my gardening efforts next door (they’ve gone to Italy for the weekend) and so the cure is cigarettes and drink. I keep thinking I should try cannabis but as I’ve never touched a drug in my life (recreational that is apart from Viagra – possibly the subject of a later blog) I don’t think I should start now despite its reputed healing benefits. I’m also pissed off that today you could put a router in a lady’s handbag but hey, that’s progress. If only medicine moved at the same rate as technology I’d be able to do cartwheels and somersaults. 

So to the restaurant. Not the TV programme where a bunch of total culinary incompetents battle to see who will open a restaurant in partnership with Raymond Blanc but where I had lunch today. But first the programme. There’s a Chinese guy who can’t cook rice which is the equivalent of me not being able to fry an egg. There’s the couple who used to (incredibly) run a chain of 9 restaurants where the wife (the cook) specialises in Burger, Chips and Beans, and the two gay guys who specialise in cocktails (forgive the pun) and sandwiches! But I digress again. 

Today, Kitty, our newly turned 12 year old daughter, finished school early and asked if she could go into Vence (our nearest town) for lunch with her friends. I was a bit wary of this because although Vence is a very safe place to be, even for a 12 year old, I just thought that she was a bit young but after a phone call to her father we agreed that it would be ok if I was in the vicinity. Cue lunch!  So whilst Kitty was in deepest Vence (about the size of a London market), I tried to find a restaurant with an outside eating area where I could take my medicinal cigarettes. I found one and sat down and as I was on my own (aaaah) I did two things which I love – mainly people watching and reading my newspaper without the ‘benefit’ of extraneous conversation. 

On my left there were 6 guys, average age about 25, who obviously were out to tease the waitress (a good looking 45 I would say) and whilst they engaged in some good natured banter with her when she was serving them at the table, the conversation turned totally horny as soon as she left. I could not understand what they were saying but the gestures said it all as did the fact that their tongues were hanging out! 

On my right I was sure it was an office boss taking his librarianesque secretart, sorry secretary, out to lunch. It was all going swimmingly with knowing looks and glasses of champagne to start with (it wasn’t a posh place  – a glass of champers in a cheap restaurant is only about £2) but then he knocked a glass of water all over her…. well what other word is there apart from…. crotch. She looked like a Newcastle girl on a good night out who has missed going to the loo before setting off for home! She threw a tantrum and after that she texted whilst he read his paper. Maybe it was father and daughter after all? 

Then there was the couple across from me. He, about 45 ish and she, well into her eighties. Mother and son was my conclusion but who knows in France?  After waiting for about 20 minutes to be given a menu, he disappeared inside only for the woman to take out her vanity mirror and start applying more Pollyfilla. When he returned with a couple of menus, he couldn’t recognise her and sat at another table thinking she’d gone to the loo! 

So – a nice lunch. Good food and great people watching.

The picture at the top is Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, Raymond Blanc's Hotel and Restaurant where I was lucky enough to go for a week-end once. Mel Gibson was dining at the same time and the rude git did not even come and say helo to me!

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