The last lunch

With the last day rapidly approaching (at least for me and Agnes) we enjoyed a final lunch in our local village Michelin-rated restaurant.

It lived up to expectations with a delicious salad of greens with chilled barrata, a piece of tender pink politically-incorrect veal and a berry selection with a pain perdu (French toast in France). With an aperitif of a cold coupe de Champagne, it was the perfect summer lunch and an ideal end to the season.

It’s hard to believe it’s been two and a half months since we arrived, shell shocked in Calais and ate delicious cold prawns with aioli and moules frites for the first time in many months. It felt like we’d escaped from Alcatraz.

In a day or so we’ll board the train and start the journey north as we head back to the UK.

It seems too early as we’d love to be here for September but with the house rented for the last two weeks of August and then the winter rental, it’s not an option to stay.

At least in January we’ll have a memory of a lovely lunch and yet another dip in the pool!

The entire Riviera by boat in a day

Last weekend we joined a couple of friends in Antibes and set off on a small motor yacht to spend the day on the water.

The weather was a little overcast and as we sped off towards Nice, it seemed like the ideal temperature.

We were going at quite a clip and were bouncing over the waves or occasionally bashing into them.

The scenery was stunning and we soon arrived at Cap Ferrat where landscaped gardens complete with funicular railways dropped down to the water from the multi million euro estates they sheltered. What a lifestyle to take your private rail to the beach below!

On the far side of Cap Ferrat we discovered a bay of enormous super yachts complete with helicopters and sailing boats stowed on deck. We gaped in awe at the sheer magnitude of these vessels when the tender or support boat would have been bigger than anything we needed!

Heading along the coast we discovered that apparently the fuel gauge wasn’t working. Not a problem if you’re sailing but with a large outboard engine, somewhat essential. We decided to pull into the port just before Monaco and refuel, just in case.

The friendly pump attendant laughed at our captain’s lack of experience in boat handling having only just qualified but we were soon tied up alongside and happily refuelling before we headed back to Cap d’Ail where we anchored for lunch.

Cap d’Ail was quite rolly and one thing you don’t want is to eat lunch with a sideward swell rolling you around. One of the party was decidedly green and so we felt it was better to weigh anchor and keep moving forward rather than rolling from side to side. Off we went!

And so we moved forward at breakneck speed, from Cap d’Ail back to Antibes in a hour. We bounced and bashed our way down the entire riviera and it wasn’t the least bit relaxing!

By the time we got back to Antibes, our friend had made a miraculous recovery (how, I’ll never know!) and was happy to continue on and so we went around Cap d’Antibes and down to the islands off Cannes for another blast of the Riviera before eventually heading back in to Antibes where we jumped ship.

We were sun burned, wind burned, salt sprayed and whip lashed. It had been a fun day out and we’d covered the length of almost the entire Riviera.

Certainly not for the faint hearted, next time it might be nice to go a little slower!

Rosé on tap

This year we have discovered the joy of Rosé in a box and it’s been quite a celebration!

We have a number of Roséline bottles with glass stoppers which were working perfectly for refilling with water. Oh how naive!

When we spotted the Roséline brand of Rosé in a box at the supermarket (five litres for €24.99) it seemed like the ideal solution. We can’t get rid of glass without driving it to the village so now with the box in the garage, we have the joy of Rosé on tap which is a little disastrous and all for a very affordable price!

The good news is that as we’re actually reaching saturation point for the summer, the end is in sight!

Summer continues

It’s been a while as July turned to August and the summer continued. I have been working well, breaking my day up with multiple zoom calls and swimming sessions. Pool maintenance continues and I’m proud of how good the pool has been this summer. No panicking this year.

My swimming has improved from watching YouTube videos in between zoom calls and I’m even thinking of looking for a gym with a pool when I go back. It’s never crossed my mind before as I’ve used the local pool in Swiss Cottage (verrucas and pubes) but perhaps a private gym would encourage me to swim through the winter. One can hope!

The inevitable return is looming in about ten days as Agnes and I will lead the troops home to London. Apparently it’s been very wet and chilly so it sounds like we’ll be putting the fire on upon our return.

Until then, I’ll be swimming several times a day, while I still can!