Well, that was a very enjoyable and relaxing holiday. As usual, some time off the treadmill really does give you a bit of perspective on things, and add in fantastic weather, a pool five metres away and a fantastic view, and you cannot really find a better way to spend a couple of weeks.
The biggest surprise to me was how much I enjoyed Provence. I expected hot, and I guess some good scenery, but the locale was fantastic. We were in the Var region, the hilly region to the north of Cannes, which, in contrast to the wealth and decadence of the coast, a tough and uncompromising environment. I did not particularly see it, but the guide books tell us that life is pretty hard in the hills. Certainly the up and down, twisty turny roads test ones driving, and the nerve of a chap's passengers, makes for a rugged landscape, however the up side is that there villages, mostly built on the top of hills, mostly centering round a church, look fantastic from a distance, and provided delicious "proper" French villages that were delightful without being chocolate box, if you know what I mean.
Normally, after mid-August, the temperatures would expect to drop to a reasonable 27 degrees centigrade, but our stay coincided with an extended heatwave where the temperatures stayed between 35 and 40 degrees, and boy did we feel it. While the outside temperatures did drop overnight, a combination of us wanting security so keeping the windows locked, and also the fact that the bricks of the building act as a radiator of the heat absorbed during the days, meant that the inside was very hot, to the point that we slept naked with fans on us all night.
If you need to try and remove that image from your mind, then consider Cannes, or St Tropez, or even Nice, and some of the amazing ships berthed along the ports of each city. We have decided we would like one of them, at some stage of our lives, and of course that will require a lottery win, or two, but that is mere detail.
So, I am back, and feeling much sadder than usual to not be on holiday, and I guess that time will slowly change that feeling. We do have some things to look forward to between now and Christmas, and they will keep us going in what is my least favourite phase, the after-the-summer-running-in-to-Christmas phase, when there is usually little time off, the days shorten and the weather worsens. Oh joy.