While waiting for our refreshments someone had spotted a PMU betting kiosk in
the bar. As was the norm throughout the holiday this aroused a large degree
of curiosity. Most notably from the minors who delighted in removing most of
the information cards and betting slips from the desk. For a man who does not
gamble, Nige was took a keen interest, like a compulsive gambler anxious to
"get on" as the parlance goes. This exhibition of interest aroused a response
from some of the patrons sitting at a nearby table in the bar. I thought they
were French as they tried to explain to Nige the rudiments of pari-mutuel,
but it was soon apparent that they were British resident here. The old bloke
in the group whom Nige was listening to was so pickled by drink it was
difficult to tell what language he was speaking. All I could make out was a
dubious-sounding recollection of backing a 33-1 winner on Derby day. Must
have been a long time ago. Nothing in the last ten years has been above 10-1
When the impatient barmaid reappeared with the drinks, Nige interrogated her
about the betting bureau and left me talking to this imaginative lunchtime
brandy drinker. By the time I escaped his grips, metaphorically speaking,
Gavin had re-joined us and was settled down reading about the private life of
Paul Daniels in my very overpriced old-news paper.
When the bill arrived I dug deep into my pocket for the correct money while
praying that the stock market wouldn't crash before I got home to sell.
In the afternoon we made our final trip to Palus beach. The swimming was warm
and we stayed on till early evening. A brief and last-ditched attempt was
made to break my skimming record before we beat a hasty retreat to Chez Cez'
for a barbecue.
After dinner the mandatory card games ensued. The children did not play for
long because there would be much to do the next day packing up to go home. In
a mood of gay abandon however, the adults proceeded to finish the remains of
the Grants 100. This seemed like a good idea initially but the difficulty of
meeting the challenge soon became apparent as Nige and myself got lower and
lower in our seats and Gavin clearly getting tired and emotional started
wearing the plastic Pere Benoit bottle tops as spectacles. When Nige poured
out the last glass of Grants 100 he felt compelled to reach for the camera
and squandered the few remaining exposures to photograph the last tumbler
before it went down the hatch. Angie was not impressed by this having saved
the film for a farewell group photo. "Put it in the family ... album!".