Jammy Taylor

what’s so good about hopscotch anyway

Written – finely matured until the time was right!

With July nearly Upon us once more, normally I would be counting down the seconds until I’m once again packed off and chained to my decks in the south of France for another summer. But as Luck would have it though, this year I don’t, I’m having a year off.  HOOORAY!!!

But I’ve just come across a chapter, I wrote; wow 2 years ago now, about settling into the life of an international DJ on a summer season.  

what’s so good about hopscotch anyway??


I just cannot decide what to do with myself tonight as I finally have another night off due to some firework display going on outside. Do I “A”, sit in my room alone, eat take out sushi and maybe a spot of room service and try and write a new chapter? “B”, Go and watch the fireworks and sit at another table for 1 and have another steak and hope I get accosted by some cute French girl? Or “C”, use the entirety of my daily food allowance on stella and some ice cream, play on facebook and watch porn?

Anyway it turns out that the James Taylor disco road show has been gathering pace of late and after someone told someone, who told someone else, I’ve only been invited out to be resident dj for the whole summer, at one of “The Leading Hotels of the World” and no! I don’t mean the Campanile Inn at Basildon off the A127. 

 So about a month ago now, I packed up my baby wipes, my toothbrush and my favourite, “Orlebar Brown” Swim shorts; in red, white, blue, yellow and black and hopefully, after that plug, maybe the gold, pink and the orange as well. J “ just kidding, well kinda” and made my way down by aeroplane to the French Rivera.

The hotel itself is beautiful, right on the seafront on some funny French road that sounds like a vegetable and all the staff are lovely too and I’m not just saying that because I have to as they might read this but they really are and I guess I’ve settled in rather well thinking about it, I’m actually the youngest person here who’s not accompanied by an adult which isn’t necessarily a bad thing as I’m a little bit odd myself and think I’m really 45 in my head and love Abba, and so do they, so everybody’s happy, although if I’m honest I’ve never had to work so hard in my life.

Tonight is only my second day off since I’ve been here and I work every night from 6pm till about 1am everyday, 2am on weekends. I mean don’t get me wrong, it’s not like digging a whole or putting the ship inside those small little bottles, I mean how do they do that?  But it is tough never the less. It’s baking hot till about 9pm, and unlike usual I can’t just play the same old party gold dust every night like you can with one off parties, as it’s the same audience for days at a time, so now I’m having to play obscure tracks like, “Does your mother know” and even last night, “Happy New Year”, although that didn’t go down to well, so maybe won’t play that again.

I have to say I do have a bit of a phobia of playing modern music. I don’t know why, it just scares me.  I’m fine up till a bit of, “Pump up the Jam” or even “Show me love” but after that it’s all a little out of my comfort zone for me.

So anyway as I said I’m settling in rather well, I have steak for lunch and steak for dinner and I’m allowed to have as much sparking water as I can handle and to be honest if I was actually paying for it myself that’s about I could afford.

But you see I can actually be a bit shy at times, and maybe even a little lazy, in the sense that I finish work, then play on my laptop for a few hours, sleep, get up late, play on my laptop a bit more go down to the restaurant have my steak and my water maybe sit on the beach for an hour and then I’m back in to my Abba mega mix again, and so on and so on rather than pushing myself and going out to do things and meet new people.

I mean I have met some lovely people out here but it’s a bit like being friends with the year above at school, they are there for a while and they leave and your all alone again and as I said there aren’t all that many girls here my age to look at either at least not without some hairy fat Russian in tow.

Anyway I heard that apparently all the young cool hip trendy people go to St Tropez. So with that the other day, on my first day off after two weeks straight work, I decided to shake myself up push myself out of my comfort zone and drag myself out of bed without checking who had poked me overnight or how many times Jim Jam Elder had posted on my wall and hired myself a little convertible smart car and with that was off to St Tropez.

I drove and I drove and I drove and eventually I arrived, I actually had a lot of fun, they are great little cars and mine made this really good noise so I just left it in third pretty much the whole way there.

I pulled up at some place called “Stacy Beach”. So there I am, and there are these two big burley French guys on the door to the gated compound and here’s me, in my bright yellow OB shorts hanging out of the roof of my little smart and they didn’t really want to let me in, but eventually after I gave them some of my hard earned euros they did.

So in I drive and everyone in there has gold plated rollers and lambo’s and Ferrari’s. So I park up and walk up to the girl on the reception and sheepishly was like, “Bonjour”, “excuse me, I’d like to come in please” and with that she looked me up and down and with that noise that all French people make, that kinda; “heeey”, sound, she clicked her fingers and this man then whisked me away with through the pool area past all the gaggle of pretty topless girls to a sun bed right the way at the back on it’s own by the fence, you could see how important I was.

I have to say I’ve never felt more intimidated in my life; everyone was brown and good-looking in big groups and jumping up and down on the tables, spraying champagne over each other. “I hate that”. More money than sense and there is nothing worse than when your walking past in your Sunday best and some little flash shit sprays you and your standing there soaked and stinking of the stuff.

Anyway, I was starting to wish maybe I would of stayed at the hotel and now that I was here, that I had not of had that cornetto on the way down and maybe had of gone to the gym first but decided it was time to stop being like a complete billy no mates party pooper and to try to get myself involved but it is kind of hard being the only person there who is by themselves.

I mean how do you just go up to a big group of people and be like, hey, I’m James can I play.  I mean it’s not as if I could even go in goal to tempt them.

So I order my €20 bottle of sparkling and off I head back up the long path to the pool back past the gaggle of topless girls (who were all French by the way and didn’t speak a word of English) and to where the main action was at.

There I am in my yellow shorts and holding (treasuring) my bottle of sparkling, you know making it last, and I dangle my legs in the pool and sit on the edge trying to look cool swaying to the music; you know as you do.  (No Abba though, sadly)

Now I guess I’m pretty used to doing things on my own, I can even just about stomach eating at a restaurant at a table for one, with everyone looking on like, where are all his friends? Weirdo! However I can proudly say still never to the cinema on my own, that’s just too weird even for me. I mean who would you cuddle up to when the scary bit came on or more relevant to me, who would I ask what the hell was going on in the film??

Although in this place, I just felt sooo out of place and by this point even the topless frenchies were nowhere to be seen. So I didn’t even have anything to look at. I felt abit like being back at school at lunchtime eating my ham sandwiches and jaffa cakes, in the corner of the playground, all alone by myself, looking on at everybody else playing hopscotch.

Eventually I didn’t managed to get talking to this group of guys by the pool, I think they were Swedish or something and they invited me over to their table. So we are all there and I’m trying my hardest to get involved although it’s pretty hard when everyone’s off their faces and I’m still on the fizzy; all be it by this time warm water.

But I really was trying extra hard to muck in and be one of the boys and to make myself have a good time, although still no girls or ABBA and then they too decided to start spraying champagne and that’s when I decided to call it a day, slipping off out the side gate, hopped in the smart, back past those grizzly bouncers and returning to the safe confines of my hotel.

In fact my favourite thing about the whole day was driving that smart car. Is that bad?

You see maybe I’m not as hip and trendy and cool as I make out, I mean yes everyone here may be 20 years older than me and I may moan about being on my own and not knowing very many people, but I feel safe here; I can eat my steak, wear my bright colours shorts and play my ABBA to who ever will listen and do you know what, I quite like being inside my little bubble.

I mean what’s so good about hopscotch anyway? And at least I get to eat my Jaffa cakes all to myself!

au revoir


 “ oh bonjour love”, “if you could just put the stellas and the ice cream on the table, ill be right there”