November 7th 2008
Half term ....Livvy’s friends over from the UK, all our friends with homes here out for the holidays so a big social whirl for a week. I always look forward to these times, catching up with gossip from home and friends I don’t see from one month to the next. The only fly in the ointment has been our hideous neighbour at the apartment. She is Parisien and frankly gives Paris a bad name. She looks like an older, more surgically enhanced version of Donatella Versace (don’tella!) and has a face like a slapped arse. All she has done since she started renting is moan at us for non-existent noise, moving the furniture at the dead of night (as if) and is always sticking rude notes on our door mat.
Last week was the final straw. We left Tallulah for less than two hours to pop out for a bite and when we got back was a rude note in very bad English telling us that the dog had been barking ‘during hours’ and we are breaking the rules and next time, ‘Take it with you’ underlined. I tossed it back on her mat and went to bed, only to find back on our mat in the morning. I put it in the bin, but one of Liv’s friends retrieved it and screwed it up and left it on her mat again. When we got home we saw she had rammed it into our door frame with such force it was almost impossible to pull out. As she is such a stickler for the rules, I complained to her about all the stuff she leaves on her terrace, banked against the glass divider. It looks like Steptoe’s yard. A small victory, she moved the stuff but before I could celebrate she stuck a dead plant up there so I bought a huge eucalyptus bush which blocks it out. Cow! Am trying to train it over the glass so it throttles her!
We have had rain non-stop for a week, although we aren’t as badly affected here as the Loire and Rhone Alps which have been completely flooded. It’s made usually pleasurable activities like shopping in Cannes and go-karting with Liv’s friends very wet and miserable (for me) although they seem to have enjoyed themselves. Think the summer is well and truly over.
Apart from problems with the Prima Donna, staying here has been a welcome relief from the dust and dirt at home. Went back at the weekend and was amazed to see how much more light we get in the house and on the terraces now that three of the most overgrown tress have been cut down. The treehugger in me wasn’t sure it was the right move but there’s no doubt it has made a huge difference and finally the house we bought for the view actually has a view.
One of our friends asked what we were struggling to get out here – she always brings me the weekend supplements that are never available – but this time I requested stock cubes (the French ones are full of herbs and salt and really mask the flavours of any sauce) while Iain asked for Cadburys. Two family bars of fruit and nut and milk chocolate duly arrived with Sarah and Iain requisitioned both to take back to the house with him and him alone.
When I got up and saw them positioned on his bedside table ready to take home first thing (he’d rather forget his keys, wallet and the dog than chocolate) I quickly chucked them both in the fridge under the smoked salmon and jumped back into bed. He got up and growled, ‘where’s my chocolate?’ before turning my wardrobe and drawers upside down. I held out for about 10 minutes, pointing out that he would be sharing the stock cubes via risotto, gravy and casseroles until he compromised on leaving the milk choc here. So next time I do roast chicken, I will make sure his portion is gravy free!