Sunday, 27 September 2009
Rain the first four days that fell and fell and drowned the pavements and made the palm trees droop. Staying indoors with plenty of good books, cheap wine and bars of chocolate. Museums and galleries where bright splashes of colour in local paintings promised more than this persistent grey. Venturing out when the rain occasionally let up for a damp stroll along the Promenade Anglais. A bunch of tiny red roses from the Marche aux Fleurs that cheered up the room and my spirits.
Then the rain stopped, and with the blue skies came the Mediterranean heat we had been longing for. Days on the beach with its smooth, grey pebbles, lazing in the sun as our limbs got hotter and hotter, then entering the water for cool refreshment. Swimming in a sea that turned from turquoise in the shallows to inky blue at the horizon. Early morning shopping for fruit, vegetables and olives at the market, and once three goats cheeses ranging from one day old to a week, frais, demi sec, and sec, with tastes that varied accordingly. Patisserie goodies, buttery croissants, flaky sweet tarte aux pommes. Bread, bought fresh for lunch, still warm from the oven, the smell so tempting that by the time it finally reached the table almost half had gone, broken off by eager hands on the walk back from the boulangerie. Hiring rollerblades late one afternoon and skating the whole length of the promenade past grand hotels on one side and the sea itself on the other. Wandering round Vieux Nice, the oldest part of the town, with narrow, winding streets and buildings painted in beautiful colours that brought to mind a muted spice rack, faded paprika, dusty tumeric. Evenings eating in tiny squares whilst an accordianist played in the background, cooking with produce from the market on our tiny hob, or, once, eating pizza on the beach to the sound of the waves as the sky turned dusky pink and the moon rose.