Wednesday, September 3, 2008

En Vacances

Well, I had planned to write a lovely long post detailing some of the highlights of our sojourn in Southern France so far (the pool, the beach, the pool again....) - but this French keyboard has everything in a different place and it could take a few hours to type something coherant....

Just a taster then for now, and a little note to say that your comments warmed my heart and bought a smile to my face when I logged on this morning.

Mostly we've been taking it very easy - slipping into that lovely rhythm of lazing about reading and splashing in the pool with Fin, a long lunch of salads and charcuterie and then back out for the afternoon, maybe watching the sun set on the beach or wandering gently through deeply fragrant pine forest drenched in the last golden rays of the day.

We hired bikes for one day as this area is covered with long, smooth piste cyclables (cycle paths), but I found it too frustrating to be pootling along at Finley speed and kept my bike so I could swoop and glide through the shady trees as fast as possible - ting, ting on my little bell when someone came into view ahead and then on as fast as my wheels would take me. Nick calls me the bike equivalent of a petrol head (someone who loves fast cars) - we tried to think of a similar name and the best we could do was peddle head. in a car, I'm sensible and moderate - on a bike, look out I'm coming through!

During the first week of our stay the French were all en vacances and the pool was surrounded with slender neat families, the children played quietly in the water and the parents watched as they perfected their already perfect tans.

We were conspicuously pale - all being of Irish decent and plastered in mineral suncream that makes you look ill untill you wash it off in the evening and are pleasantly surprised to see you do have a tan after all.

Finley decided to get into the pool as fast as possible - his excitement was palpable as he's recently learnt to swim properly. Letting out a high pitched squeal of joy - the peak of which was surely only audible to dogs - he launched himself into the water with an almighty splash. As he surfaced, all goggles and gap toothed grin, I noticed that his trunks had slipped down to reveal a healthy portion of bum - which he proceeded to wiggle suggestively in my direction. 'Oh Finley' I sighed inwardly, 'why cant' you be a little more......French?'

Afterwards, I observed French parents a little more closely and saw that they acheived their children's restrained behaviour by being extremely strict with them. Suddenly Finley's enthusiasm felt more like a little show of character and personality and less an indictment of the English on holiday.

Yesterday we made the trip down to Spain - passports at the ready in case the gruff looking border guards should flag us down, but we sailed through unhindered and the light came into Nick's eyes as the sign posts turned Spanish.

We drove on to San Sebastian, to eat lunch under the watchful gaze of an enormous statue of Jesus on the wooded hills surrounding the port. But I'll tell you about that next week when I'm back home again.

Until then mes chou fleures, bon chance et bon appetit. Je vais à la plage......

x x x