28 June 2013

A Tale of Two Parties

It’s been a social marathon over the last few weeks. After several months of total social isolation (because of the weather I should add, not because I’ve suddenly become unpopular), the parties are now coming thick and fast, and from all directions.

Last weekend was a case in point. After the party renowned for it’s coffee (see previous blog), there were a few days grace before it started again – with a vengeance.

First was a ‘going away do’ for Vence’s local Anglican Rector. Father Ken Letts has been doing the business in St Hugh’s for the last 23 years and is now heading back to his native Australia. Unfortunately, just as he announced his departure, his wife became seriously ill and we’re all keeping our fingers crossed for her recovery nevertheless, Father Ken was in attendance at a lunch held in his honour in Les Templiers, a rather up-market restaurant in Vence. 
Les Templiers Terrace 

Rather hung over from a party the previous evening, with the location and hosts unrecollectable, I turned up at Les Templiers looking well brushed up. It always amazes me that when I look at myself in the mirror on the morning after a party, I would immediately, and without argument, condemn myself to a morgue, but after 30 minutes under a razor and a hot shower, boy, do I look good – which is a relative term, obviously.

As soon as I’d entered the restaurant, a glass of champers was thrust into my hand and the booze never stopped from that moment on. For a church ‘do’, it was amazing.  A couple I know (Nigel and Helen, who run a wine business in the area), had obviously supplied the drinks and given the price I’d paid, they’d probably supplied it at cost. It never stopped and they had to literally drag me away from the rosé champagne to sit down for lunch.

Now, this might be a godly congregation with an average age of well over 70, but it seems that all religious thoughts go out of the window when the booze flows and a youngster like me is in attendance! I hadn’t even made it to the table before a pair of hands were clasping my buttocks. I didn’t look round in order to spare the miscreant embarrassment (I know who she was) but thoughts of inappropriate rampant sexist behaviour briefly crossed my mind before I thought ’what the hell’ and let her get on with it.

Extricating my bum from this lady’s grasp, I sat down, and as widely rumoured on the terrace, I was to be seated next to a churchy lady, whose name shall not be mentioned to spare her any embarrassment.

Now Andrea is a lovely lady and it appears that my faux pas with her had obviously spread throughout the congregation and the jokers had decided to seat us together to try and ‘get things moving’. For those not in the know, a few weeks previously  I had sent my wife a rather risqué e-mail, actually it was downright horny, but I had actually sent it to the wrong person on my contact list and it arrived at Andrea’s inbox!

To say I was horrified is a complete understatement but Andrea was very understanding and was very gracious in asking if I had any more e-mails of a similar nature!

And so lunch continued, the booze flowed relentlessly and eulogies galore were rightly addressed to Father Ken. Finally, after a delicious lunch we went back outside to finish the champers which was still available and it was there that I was ‘accosted’ again. ‘If only I was 40 years younger’ was whispered into my ear by a lady who then gave me 200 cigarettes – a bribe? An inducement?    

Now, at this juncture, I would like to point out that my wife is very understanding in these matters, recognising that ‘the blue rinse brigade’ need a sort of outlet for their sexual frustrations and she seems to regard it as a service to the church to offer me up as some sort of ritual sacrifice. Anyway, I got my bum felt, complete attention from Andrea, a nice compliment and 200 cigarettes, so I’m not complaining.  
The Blue Rinse Brigade

The lunch finished about 5.30pm, we went home and whilst J had a nap (she calls them ‘power’ naps !!) I went straight next door to a party being held by our Swedish neighbours.

Matz was 40 and had invited 30+ guests from Sweden and had invited me and J on the basis that it would be better to invite us than have us complain about the noise!

Now I don’t wish to sound sexist, but if ever any of my male readers get invited to a Swedish party – GO! The women, all of them, young and old alike were utterly stunning. Some were so stunningly beautiful that it was difficult to look at them when they were talking to you. Guys will know what I’m talking about.

Anyway, the food was amazing, champers flowed (again) and the host had flown in an apparently popular Swedish rock band to play for his guests.

As I sat down to dinner and a archetypal Swedish blonde insisted on talking to me with her face inches from mine (quite disconcerting actually) and I was telling her about the fact that living in France would be much better without the French and as she was questioning my ‘neighbourliness’, the police arrived having been called by an irate French neighbour, promptly told the band to pack up, fined the host Matz for making too much noise and that was that!  

I think I’ll stick to church parties in the future!

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