Rightio, we got back late last night after some horrible boring EasyJet shenanigans. It was painful and tortuous and I was completely mean to the children by the time the Gatwick Express decided to meander home. Mark and I found copies of the day’s papers in the first class carriage (a tip: go there with your kids and your bags and loll about all over the (not) vastly superior seats and they will check your tickets, see you are in the wrong carriage, but they will be TOO SCARED to move you. It totally works.) We needed to see who won Britain’s Got Talent – and were alarmed by the Boyle drama. Poor woman, clearly not all that well-equipped to deal with the fuss. Clearly a little bit bonkers. Bad English media.
Anyway, FRANCE! What a lovely and strange part of the world is the Cote D’Azur. What lovely supermarkets! What funny wolf-men who run campsites extremely badly! And what deep shades of brown the French ladies boobs come in! Alarmingly, from milky coffee to PURPLE. Ouch. In NZ you would be scared of dying to get that kind of hue, but apparently not on the French Riviera.
Time for a little song. It has no music to go with it, only the words as my skills as a song-writer do not extend to anything actually musical.
The French Riviera
Oh, the Cote D’Azur
You are so warm
And your ladies wear lots of white
No one on the beach is even a tiny bit fat
Which makes me wonder
Who eats all that BREAD?
Oh, the Cote D-Azur,
Your crepes are great
And your glaces even better
We went to your markets and bought your soap
And some flea market stuff that looks wrong in my house
It is all about context
We stayed in a campsite, which was cheap (350 euro for the week) in a wooden cabin just outside of a hilltop town called Tourettes-sur-Loup. For the record, it was not full of cursing French. Apparently it means something along the lines of Lookout Town With Wolves In The Valley. The town was beautiful, and notable for the violet ice cream.
The campsite was a bit wooded and leafy and overgrown, thanks to Tardy Wolf-Man. He was rarely in reception, and had marvellous excuses as to why the WiFi wasn’t set up, the pool not yet filled in, the toilet was blocking, the extra cabin for the Marseilles contingent was not available (that was because of the Mysterious Dutch Family who were always on the brink of turning up, but never quite did). He also made strange remark about eating the children, and took a golf buggy from pitch site to pitch site, where walking with giant Wolf-Man legs would have done rather better.
The food was baguettes and olives and saucisson and bbq dinners and tarte tartin. We ate out once (only ONCE! a little part of me died, at that, but there are budget constraints to consider, the euro being the tricky little thing that it is, recession, yadda, yadda YAWN) and it was in Biot. I did order a bit oddly, and ended up with a violet artichoke omelette with chips. It was greyish, but nice. And the waiter did write the dessert order down on the tablecloth in most elegant fashion – see below.
The children ate bread and chocolate ice cream and sorbet and strawberries. Nothing else.
As for Antibes, and the beach, it was lovely and warm and clean and sunny but, as my song did attempt to address, the women were thin and bronzed and had their boobs out and were quite fabulous – which was a little bit intimidating. My solace was to be found in violet ice cream. Wise? No. But necessary. The white trousers and gold trinklety sandals and tiny bikinis were all a bit Vogue Supplement: What to pack for St Tropez – and the mothers were as sexy as their tiny denim-shorted teenage girls. It was as far from Woolleys Bay you can get. (http://travel.webshots.com/photo/1252042366041599308GqqKAX).
We got culture fix from the Foundation Maeght. Here is Noah appreciating Miro’s egg.
So that was France. Holiday loveliness indeed.