A dark challenging winter meant that for me this holiday has been the most welcome ever.
As the plane landed in
Well, we got here. Nous arrivons. My dear sister was worried that we might be caught up in the ‘football riots.’ No worries. Wrong place.
Of course - three of four of us being football fans - we settled down to watch some matches on TV – no talking heads, just football, a accompanied by the soothing sub-murmur of the French commentary. Even I enjoyed it.
This apartment overlooks the Etang de Thau, the huge lagoon that sits alongside the
drift by on the road below our balcony – sun-tanned sailing types, couples hand in hand, smooth haired teenagers, mature cyclists, a small boy on skates and a little girl on a tiny
At the next table in the market café yesterday was a cluster of brown whipcord-fit middle aged cyclists, laughing and preparing for their ride. Couples pass by – the men middle-aged, solid and fit, the women smart in pedal pushers and leather sandals.
Our favourite companion here is Barney, silent in the flush of conversation, wise in his silence. His French is improving, although he hasn't managed to lose his aversion to French bulldogs. He can sense them round the corner, one floor down, before they bustle into sight.
The apartment is elegant, pale walls, pale furniture, natural wood, with vast windows looking out in the étang, overcast now with streaming clouds. Yachts of all sizes turn to make their way into the harbour.
The company is first class - as well as Barney we have the witty gourmet lickedspoon, the problem- solving techno wizard and the English gentleman. And me. All Francophiles.
I never felt more European. And I voted to stay in, to live on in history alongside the engaging, down-to-earth French
PS And then there are the books we're reading, But that will take another postcard...