Day two dawned bright and early as I had another conversation scheduled with Philippe. I was feeling a little delicate having drunk perhaps a glass too much of wine but managed to soldier on through an hour and a half of conversation, this time about work. Not the easiest thing to do with a headache!
By a strange coincidence, I know someone who lives in the area and so Helen and I arranged to meet for lunch in the main square in Valbonne. It was market day and the place was packed with people, locals and tourists alike. We grabbed a table and chatted for a couple of hours exchanging surprisingly similar life stories (she lived in LA for eighteen years before moving to France) and generally getting to know each other.
|In the square, Valbonne|
After lunch it was time for me to face my next challenge and brave the roads as I was yet to drive in the south of France. Letad trustingly lent me his car and I was off. Brrrmmm!
It’s important to drive in order to get one’s bearings and as Letad had driven me around so far, I was determined to find my own way.
I headed back to Juan Les Pins, put 20 euros of petrol in the car without a mishap and drove around the coast to Antibes. It was surprisingly easy as I recognized a lot of the route and the signs were incredibly easy to follow. It appears I haven’t forgotten how to drive in the last five months and so mission accomplished!
I headed back to Valbonne, by some miracle managed to find a parking spot which are like hen’s teeth and headed down to watch the boules.
|Watching the boules|
For a Friday afternoon there was a lot of activity and it seems to be the hub of the village. Dozens of people stood watching and with very little talking, it’s a serious sport and quite tactical. It’s a bit like croquet without the hoops or mallets and with completely different rules… so in fact, nothing like it at all!
I can certainly see the appeal of the game and am tempted to have a crack at it. Perhaps my lack of French will be an advantage as I won’t be able to argue!
At 6 o’clock I strolled back to the little house above the boulangerie to meet Letad after work. We’d arranged to meet Helen and her husband for a drink as it seemed we just had too much in common not to!
The evening was spent having a drink and a bite to eat in the square and then hurray, it was the weekend and we were off on another adventure in Provence!