We tried a new way to the sun, unfortunately the times seem to have changed since I first investigated this route and we have to start off at 2 am.! Well at least it was fun driving on empty roads for 90% of the way. The airport at Edinburgh was a hive of activity at 4 am, the first people we met were the couple who run the gallery where I have been exhibiting. They had been sleeping in the airport with uncountable others. Our cheap airline has the last gate, it took an eternity to get there before joining the pantomime of disorganization which seems to be the trademark of cheap Irishair.
No idea which way we flew, cloud all the way then we climb down into the heat of mid morning in Carcasonne. Y had just arrived at the moment we collected our luggage which took 2 seconds after arriving at the carrousel! Parking was all of 30 feet from the terminal and free! We think we are going to love this airport, how wrong can you be?
I had hoped that we would visit the old town again and have a cassoulet for lunch but Y just wanted to head home for an early lunch just one hour away. Arms ached waving to people we know on the way through the village. We have arrived near the equinox and they expect a little mixed weather so Y suggests that we go straight to the naturist beach after lunch! I am starting to enjoy this holiday already! What joy to be in the water again and to be able to dry in the warm sunshine. About 140 flamingoes in the lagoon on the way home. After our early start we headed to bed earlier than usual There was an almighty crash of thunder like I have never heard before followed by torrential rain but after a few seconds I just fell asleep again. We woke to find a sodden world and sediments dumped by the torrents which had flowed everywhere. As soon as the sun came out the place started to dry out at an impressive rate but it would be a few days before we had the comfort of cushions! With the sun came Babette, always a keen hugger and kisser! Our tidy up was rewarded by a lunch of wild mushroom soup with quenelle de volaile and a fish mousse wrapped in a fine fillet of salmon Julie had a tresse de poisson, several long fillets of different fish plaited together, then a hard pressed espresso. This could be dangerous for the waistline!
I cleaned their car till it was only dirty! Then we headed off for supplies to be self sufficient, I need my fix of artichokes especially. Figs and Muscat grapes I get from the garden.
Sleepless night followed by a 48 hour flu like cold took care of the rest of the weekend, I ached everywhere but started walking in the hills around the village to help clear my head. Even longer walk the next day because the kids ( in 20’s but…) took the cars, then lazy time reading and cooking.
Julie had her hair cut just outside the supermarket last time we were in France, It was OK but… I started to ask around about hairdressers, Sophia and Babette were unanimous that the place to go was Le Jardin Du Coiffeur in Leucate so I got Julie to call and she got an appointment for that afternoon. I enjoy watching this process though I have not been to a hairdressers myself since I was at school 40 years ago. This guy was a magician with the scissors and as with most skilled workers was a joy to watch. Determined to get the old hippy Y to get her unruly mop done too.
Now that the basic week here is four days we had tuesdays to thursdays to go out as family of tourists and we did. A day at Collioure swimming off the beach in the heart of the old town and visited the ancient Abbey at Fontfoide passing the largest graveyard for 2CVs that I have ever seen. Between times the seamless suntan was worked on by frequent beach visits. Eventually on Friday Y went and had herself transformed, at last the two sisters were stylish together!
The family beach visits tend to be wet costume affairs, C has never been to our Aphrodite beach even though he has by far the best figure for it! Being mid to late 20’s the kids are just not ready for the naturist way so continue to pose in their beachwear! The naturist beach is a much more relaxed place, everyone has plenty of space and naturally give each other an instinctive balanced space which never gets invaded. Well until now! In over 20 years I have been generally happily ignored, so I was more than a little surprised to find a well tanned and oiled body with more than his fair share of equipment come and pose just eight feet away on an almost deserted stretch of sand, there was as tangible sense of disappointment as he was ignored by me. Thinking perhaps I had not got the message the performance was repeated the next day. All I could think about was what would you do with something like that? Does it live down your trouser leg or what? Must have thought it was an offer not to be refused. You bonjour everyone you meet here so I gave the blandest bonjour of my life as I passed on my way off the beach an hour later to show that there was absolutely no interest. Never been tried to be picked up while naked before! Only gay guys ever seem to find me attractive!
I like France and the relaxed and naturally stylish way many of them have, and all the life on the street. I suppose there is something of a template of an ideal stylish sensual woman I would be searching for if I was in the market, imagine my surprise when I found myself getting a bit tingly when Alain comes up to me and says things about my eyes then brushes away the curtain of hair to see them better! A shortish hippy type about as scruffy as me but charming as hell. Lives are busy but Y helps make a date to meet again for the end of work the next Friday when we return from a short trip. My French is hopeless but I am sure we shall manage somehow. I leave them to chat for a few moments then hear her surprise when Alain describes me as elle! This is the second time we have met for half an hour each time and he thinks of me as she! Said it was the soft small breasts showing under my tee shirt that clinched it, they are almost nothing! Obviously I am putting out the right signs. Y is not completely on message about the changes even though she was the first one I told about the facial hair removal all those years ago.
She is told by him that it makes no difference anyway!!
I have a week to anticipate this rendezvous.