LA FRANCE EN ETE

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We’ve been in France, always a pleasure at any time, but especially in June.       We flew to Nice, and stayed with Belgian friends in their lovely ‘mas’ in the small wooded hills inland from St Raphael.     It was good to spend time with them again talking of earlier times we had met, in Scotland, Sussex, London, Antwerp and on the Belgian coast.   John enjoyed swimming in their large pool and just resting and reading in their garden was very relaxing.

We ventured out with them on various outings of course.   Even the local supermarket in France is always fascinating.   We went to an interesting market in the nearby town of Fayence which was hilly and picturesque.      The market contained clothes (I bought a white dress decorated with poppies);  linen (I bought some of that too);  leather goods;  jewellery;  spices;  food.   We drove to St Raphael, where I had never been before, an attractive coastal town with a pleasant promenade where we met up with friends from Scotland and had lunch sitting outside in the sun.    We also had lunch another  day in the garden of a lovely old mill in Montauroux.      We went to Grasse, and visited the perfume house Fragonard where I bought some small presents, and a pair of white china birds (I seem to be amassing a collection, though I don’t ‘collect’, I just acquire things and yes, there is a difference!)  and we walked its narrow streets (some of them have steps ) and entered a 12th century cathedral built on a massive scale with columns of enormous girth, and looked at their war memorial.    Mort pour la France, they say.   I said to our hosts, we don’t say. ‘Died for Britain.’   What do you say, they asked?  I thought, there is no equivalent,   After some thought, I said, we say, ‘Their name liveth forever more’.   They thought that was a good enough alternative.

France did not seem entirely in good order.   There was a faint air of sullen resentment about the population, and you got the impression they were uncertain of their future.    People were not generally as kind and helpful over the wheelchair as they are in the UK (though there were notable exceptions to this of course.)      John practically had to fight to preserve our chairs in a cafe when Hedwig and I had gone briefly to examine a nearby stall.    He had to go so far as to ‘stand up’ ( as he described childhood encounters with the bullies.)   But all was in order when we got back to our chairs except that we could see that the men were still coming down from their adrenalin rush!

As for the driving…   Even John, fearless explorer and adventurer that he us, decided that should we return to this area, it would be inadvisable to attempt the twisting, narrow roads and apparently suicidal drivers with a British car, and he would feel more comfortable flying and hiring one.

But these were minor irritations and we had a lovely time.   The company was fun, the food DSC01725delicious, the weather glorious.

La France en ete.   What more could you want?

(The first photo shows me beside the market, the one of John and me is beside the cathedral in Grasse.)   Both courtesy of John Armstrong.

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About adhocannie
I am a good natured woman with a long memory and a swift tongue. I like loooking at things and thinking about them. Also food, clothes, travel, reading, sewing. I try to see the ridiculous in things, but sobriety of reflection keeps edgting in. I have husband, children, grandchildren, friends... I feel rich in things that matter. I am a happy exile. I like writing. I do not like talking about me (though I do.). You willl be much more interesting.

2 Responses to LA FRANCE EN ETE

  1. Hily says:

    this is impressive Anne .We enjoyed your company and we are pleased that you also enjoyed the south of France. Realy you have noted down all details .Hope to see you soon .Hedwig and Hily

  2. nan says:

    It was lovely, sitting in the sun, in France, with friends. Hope to see you later this year. Nan and Steve.

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