Now I know what you’re thinking – he’s been partaking of the alcohol again and we’ve no sympathy whatsoever. And that’s fine. But most of you don’t live here and have no idea the social pressures I’m under to sip a glass, or six, of rosé and at this time of year with visitors galore, I’ve just got to help them enjoy their holiday. What sort of host would I be if the 10 litre box of nicely chilled Grenache wasn’t brought out of the fridge?
But, even by my standards, the last few days have been a bit manic. Tim and Keren’s on Friday. Cindy, J’s sister, arriving late on Saturday night and wanting to spend her first night sipping wine and having a few cigarettes on the terrace as one does. And then the coup de grace – Tan’s seemingly weekly 12 hour BBQ on Sunday.
Now I was particularly keen not to be the first to leave on Sunday (as I usually am) so I started the day on wine and lemonade and that seemed to work. By my usual departing hour (about 9.30pm), I was still going strong and I think I was even able to talk but then things got a bit hazy and the next thing I knew it was 11.30pm and I was aiming for my usual spot – under the table on Tan’s terrace. But to my credit, I’d told everybody who was prepared to listen that I was wearing my best white shorts and my favourite Brooks Brothers polo shirt (light lilac and white horizontal strips in case you’re wondering) and that on no account were they to let me sleep on the floor.
And then it was 8am and my head hurt! Like hell!
In order to work out what state I was in the previous evening, I only need to look at my clothes. If they’re folded up on the chair, I was ok. If they’re near the chair but on the floor, I was quite inebriated but if they’re all over the place like they were on Monday morning, I start to get my apologies ready – I’m bound to have upset somebody! It seems that I was placed on the bed fully clothed by a couple of Samaritans and I stayed like that until some time during the night, whereupon I probably felt my belt digging in to me and so stripped off, throwing garments in every direction.
We had arranged lunch out for Monday so I managed to drag my senses together and off to La Source we went where I reckoned one of their extra big steaks would sort me out, but no. By late afternoon, I was still very quiet and then J decided to inform me that we had a couple coming round for ‘aperitifs’ early evening. It’s strange how no matter hung over you are you can still think rationally about murder!
John and Linda arrived full of life as usual and all I could do was support my head with both hands. Then it came to me – a hair of the dog. I forced down a couple of glasses of Prosecco and a couple of cigarettes but I felt even worse. Maybe a ‘hair of the dog’ only works in the mornings?
John and Linda left, with me saying no more than a few words and then J and Cindy demanded some rosé and cigarettes and I felt that I should keep them company. And that was it – I was back to normal. Magic!
With Tuesday being dedicated to getting J and her sister onto a train which would take them to Cannes, and with nobody in the house, I was heading for a nice quiet, booze-free evening, bliss (believe it or not), and then the door opened and there was Tan. ‘C’mon over and help us celebrate Angie’s birthday’, he said. ‘But her birthday is tomorrow’, I replied. ‘Yeah – but we’re going out for dinner tomorrow, so we’re having it tonight.’ Here we go again!
And finally, a quote from George Burns: “It takes only one drink to get me drunk. The trouble is, I can't remember if it's the thirteenth or the fourteenth.”