I phoned the Admiral back.'It's no use, Admiral, the French speak nothing but French.'There was a short pause on the end of the line then his voice rattled into life like a sabre.'They're lying, Tim!''What?''The French Navy must by law speak English, as English is the international maritime language of the sea.''Has anyone told the French that?'The line went dead for a moment before he thundered, 'Yes Nelson. At the battle of Trafalgar.'I tried to stifle an irresistibly British giggle not knowing if the Admiral was making a joke or not. I got it right. He was serious.