I previously discussed the joys of waiting for GCSE results, but on the 26th our
apprehension finally ended. However, it has to be said that among the very
creditable array of grades was a less than stellar mark in a certain language.
Yes, with comedy timing that would have been the envy of Tati and de Funès
the young gentleman concerned did not score highly in French. This, let us
remind the reader, is a subject he has been studying since the age of four, and
the son of parents with a chateau in the Loire Valley – so naturally, he gained a
‘2’ in the subject.

Personally, this writer blames the rising generation for such a GCSE. When he
was a teenager, livening in a shoebox on the fast lane of the M27, he had to
endure the joys of textbooks as interesting as Emmerdale. Worse, there was the
school ‘Language Lab’, which was about as reliable as a 1975 Citroën Ami 8
and sounded like bit-actors from a really bad 1960s science fiction film.
Incredibly, he did manage to gain a qualification in French but this was
probably due to his viewing Les Quatre Cent Coups on Channel 4.

However, our GCSE graduate has worked hard and therefore merits a bowl of
the finest Soupe à l’Oignon Gratinée before facing the rigours of college life. It
is a dish that is apparently easy to create in the Chateau kitchen – I say
“apparently” as others tend to cook there. Some might say this is due to bone-
idleness on the part of this writer, but I prefer the words “concentrating on his
artistic vision”.

And top anyone who dares to suggest my vision consists of watching  Le
Gendarme de Saint-Tropez in the games room – I could not possibly