This week I spent a few days visiting a friend on the Cote d’Azur. And boy is it!


Blue skies, deep blue sea, the first view of the seaside from the bus on the way from Nice Airport was breathtaking. I was even treated to a spectacular rainbow amidst all the blue as I landed, which had the effect of putting me in happy holiday mood before I even stepped off the plane.

It was as relaxing a few days as I could possibly have hoped for. 22 degrees, beautiful sunshine every day, and my friend’s place is absolutely perfect for relaxing, up in the hills over Cannes with lovely views from the terraces down over the sea, and an azure, warm pool to while away the time.


I couldn’t find my goggles whilst packing, and I can’t swim properly without them because I never got the hang of the water-in-the-eyes thing, so instead I donned my sunglasses and pootled up and down at a pace which can politely be described as leisurely! It was exactly what I needed, and I found my mind emptying of all but how lovely it was to be there basking in the sunshine. In November. In France!


We spent an afternoon in the old harbour at Mandelieu-La-Napoule, marvelling at the super-yachts and the pretty little sailboats, and deciding which ones to buy, should the old lottery win ever happen. I wouldn’t want a gin palace, just a nice little thing I could comfortably sail myself with a friend to spend a few weeks a year touring the picturesque ports and islands of the Med.


We wandered around Cannes and did the obligatory tourist stop at the handprints, and then whiled away a good amount of time window-shopping along the sea front at Louis Vuitton, Gucci and all their friends, before heading up the winding streets of the Old Port for some decadent French cuisine. Which was rather a theme of the holiday. I ate a lot of pate. I drank a lot of wine. Anyone who says happiness does not come in a bottle has clearly not drunk a perfectly chilled rose on a sun-drenched terrace whilst catching up on some reading in the middle of the afternoon on a week-day.


I had intended to spend some of these blissfully empty days writing a blog or two, but I knew if I turned on the laptop, the work emails would beckon, and inevitably ruin my state of calm. So I didn’t. Four whole days without sitting behind a computer screen were a tonic for the soul, and my only worries were what to pick up from the village market for lunch, whether it is a bit wrong to spend almost two hours breakfasting, and whether my factor 30 La Roche-Posay was sufficient!

An impromptu getaway turned out to be exactly what I needed.

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