I have discovered after considerable research, and you can take it from me when I say ‘considerable’, that when the French have a dinner party or some sort of social gathering (unless it’s a proper party), then they simply do not play music at all. It’s a curious and worrying thing. We had a few friends over the other evening for dinner, and one of them, an Italian composer, was of the same opinion as me on the matter. Before the guests arrived, I grabbed a beer to usher in the weekend, and turned the music up. Every time I headed out of the lounge to do something, Lady d’Arbanville would sneak in and turn it down. This went on for about an hour, until our guests arrived, at which time without me realising it she had turned it off altogether – how very rude! It’s not as though I was playing Johnny Hallyday and though the airwaves of France are filled with radio stations called ‘Nostalgia FM’ and ‘Shite You Once Listened To 24/7’, I had desisted from these offerings and put some real quality on. All the same it was dismissed with Gallic insouciant.