…before they’ve hatched.
So there was me, last time, waxing lyrical about this amazing apartment we were going to move into in Vence but, little did I know then, I was counting my chickens before they had hatched.
We got a call from the agent who said that we couldn’t have the apartment after all. We were gutted. I mean, I’d already done a spreadsheet of all the furniture we needed and costed it up and everything!
So it was back to the drawing board and back to Nice to pound the streets again. Well, in actual fact, I swallowed my nerves and decided to call them all first. By now my vocabulary for all things estate agent is tip top so I dutifully telephoned around a dozen agents asking if they had anything. We got two leads. Firstly, a modern apartment in a university neighbourhood of Nice and, secondly, an apartment in an old Niçoise house in the port area. We organised a last minute Airbnb in Vence and off we went.
The modern apartment had an underground garage and a balcony for outside dining but the old port apartment had charm and was in a gated community (plus it was furnished so my aforementioned spreadsheet would no longer be required). We were weighing up the options when the Head of the school at ISN (who is leaving this year) contacted me to say that we’d be welcome to come over to see her place and meet her landlady to talk terms. This sounded promising. Although the landlady has actually put the house on the market, it will take at least 3 months to do all the paperwork so she said she’d be willing to rent to us in the interim. This house has parking and terraces for outdoor dining and charm (plus 2 en suite bedrooms) and it’s in a little group of similar houses and it’s walking distance to our favourite town, Vence. Wow.
Now I’m trying not to count my chickens before they’ve hatched but my, what cute little chicks they are going to be…!
While we were over in Alpes-Maritimes, we visited the nearby towns of Biot and La Colle sur Loup (The Glue on the Wolf!) and marvelled at their beauty:
Of course I had to get a shot of the mairies:
And while I’m on the subject of mairies, here is the mairie of a tiny abandoned village by the side of Lake Salagou (back in Hérault), which we visited a couple of weeks ago, I also tried to capture the wonderful red poppies but the photo doesn’t do them justice:
I was also lucky enough to be invited to an event in Limoux (near Carcassonne) to listen to a local author, Pat Young, talk about her books. Richard very kindly drove me there and then went off for a hike in the hills while I did my “book thing”. I was greeted at the cute tea shop by the author herself who offered each guest a glass of the famous local bubbles, Blanquette de Limoux – yum. After that, we sipped tea as she told us tales of getting published, the writing process and some personal experiences along the way. We asked questions, raised points, laughed and, amazingly, the two hours whizzed by. I asked her to sign my books and she graciously agreed, writing a personal message in each. The first book “till the dust settles” starts on the day the Twin Towers in New York were attacked and weaves a clever mistaken identity plot which is a psychological thriller page turner. I couldn’t put it down. The second book “i know where you live” can be read independently (but does follow the first) however now the action moves to Carcassonne. Again the plot takes you on an emotional roller coaster which I can vividly picture as a movie so who knows… I would recommend both books wholeheartedly.
I really enjoyed the whole book event and can’t wait for her next book to come out…
My latest adventure was a cruise along the Canal du Midi including a delicious lunch. The sun came out and I met several new people while gently cruising down the canal in a very sedate fashion passing other barges, ducks and even going through the famous Malpas Tunnel hewn from the rock by hand in the 1600s to become Europe’s first navigable canal tunnel. What a lovely way to spend a Wednesday afternoon!
Meanwhile Rich was on another of his hikes and took a couple of lovely shots of the landscape:
I’ll leave you with a photo I took in The Glue on the Wolf:
I’ll let you know if the chicks hatch…
À bientôt, bisous.