Scott had a couple of memorable celebrations throughout the course of the month, the first of the double fistpumps occured after dinner in Ville franche. George missed a rather nondescript "blackball, corner pocket" shot which Rupert had a tidy wager riding upon, however, I'm sure he could appreciate the pleasure Mongy derived from this as he jubilantly waved his cue about, Rupert was later heard to say the joy on Scott's face was worth more to him than the money. After one sherbert too many, George was concerned that missing the black could be a metaphor for the rest of his life, the poor lad was worried about "bottling" the high pressure situations!
After a few days of settling in, a fellow Devonian came out to join us in the form of my schoolmate David. Despite now living in Geneva, David has retained a reassuring solid condascending stance on Europeans. We undertook some day trips whilst he was staying with us, including checking out the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild. Strolling around the grounds was great, there were nine different themed gardens, all with their different nuances, the Provencal garden was particularly impressive. The afternoon was rounded off with a Kir Royale, which incidentally is the favourite drink of Torquay Casino's Bob.
After a few days David had picked up the lingo, (he's pretty sick like that) and was at ease with Ducharme wearing pyjamas in public, so was ready to hit Jimmy*z with us. Jimmy*z didn't disappoint, this institution has been "setting fire to the Riviera" for 30 years, I was distinctly aware that there seemed to be a lot more "brass" there this year, perhaps they were more concentrated with it being more off-season. Unperturbed, we soldiered on, making our way through the vodka and fresh apple whilst Rupert and David did their bit to promote Anglo-Russian relations. We made 3 Jimmy*z trips in total, they all seem to have blurred into one haze of cigarette smoke, vodka, and:
I do however, have distinct memories of everyone shining individually, the most incandescent example was Sweir. Upon leaving, Callum was trying to coax a rather dazed Ducharme into his car, Sam was quick to make the most of this opportunity and quickly donned the high visibility jacket that French law dictates should be in the back of every car. Whilst in Hong kong he sadly never made it into the Dragon Guard's van, he was able to sneak into Callum's Corsa and pretend to drive. The "bouncers", inverted commas because really I have no idea what you have to do to be asked to leave, perhaps ordering an alcopop or something, looked on this with great mirth, this was not, however, shared by Callum, who after he'd removed Steve's socks, raced around to retrieve his car keys.
I enjoyed a few evening at Nice casino, accompanied by Steve and Sam on different occassions. The 5/5 game there was really fun, and full of Russians, one blonde, who wore really low cut tops and translated to her husband who spoke no French or English, this made things difficult, as when the inevitable argument about who has to show hand first broke out he had to resort to shouting at the top of his voice in Russian. He was a good lad though, I saw him in Jimmy*z and he recommended we check out Nikki Beach, which hopefully we will in future. The floorman was a thoroughly nice guy, the whole experience of playing live there was thoroughly enjoyable. The game was soft, the atmosphere congenial, the rake exorbitant and the G&T's free.
I've left it a bit too long to feel like writing a more thorough report, but suffice to say the month flew by and thanks to Rupert for his organisational endeavours.