As time passes, the geographical ties of friendship may loosen, but the real bonds of camaraderie, mutually depreciative humour, and hours lost in a drunken haze stay strong, so long as time affords moments together.
For one such group of friends, that bond is in peril. One of their member, a fine, upstanding gentleman named Chris Brown, has set up a hermit's life in France. Living like an ostracised monk, he bought a dilapidated old house and proceeded to spend the best part of his savings and youth fixing it up. Working in removals and odd-jobbing where opportunity allowed, he continued to pursue his French life whilst pickling his liver and failing to learn French regularly. Occasionally he would rejoin his old group of friends for a special occasion; and though those times were fun, they were too short and too few.
So the group continued to wish Chris well on his Gallic affair, sending him off with both sadness and fondness each time he departed. Each time it felt more like the episode of Blue Peter were they prepared George the Turtle for hibernation-packing him away in his drafty French box, hoping he'd make it through the tough Midi-Central winter. Each time he has emerged, but each time the group's thoughts turn morbid, wondering if this is the year 'George' doesn't make it. We all know how tough it is for such a man through the French Winter-work is thin, fuel is expensive, and ragoût is watery. Our prayers are with him this winter.
Should our hero make it through this testing time, then we plan on celebrating his achievement with a group get together in the UK. That is where your kind donations can help. Money is thin on the ground following a workless winter, so we are forced to explore other options. Are there enough kind people out there who want to help spread some joy in this world?
Your donations would contribute to a most unworthy cause, but for each penny the whole group would be eternally grateful. A small donation can help transport him home, and contribute to the inevitable substantial costs incurred to achieve a state of inebriation. Just to clarify, you are contributing to paying for a man in his mid thirties to fly to the UK and get drunk with his mates. No, he is not a member of the BNP, despite the photo. The trip will take place in early March, and any pledged rewards will be reimbursed by April 2017.