Sunday, August 30, 2009

Where did summer go?

Summer is almost over, the girls go back to school this week and we have had the best time. The last two months has been busy with lots of UK friends and family visiting, and although it has been amazing fun, we are all completely shattered and secretly looking forward to a normal back-to-school back-to-work September.

Spent a week at Lake Maggiore in Italy, see pictures above, Mac and Laura took a camper van and a speedboat so we spent our days wakeboarding, waterskiing and exploring villages like Arona and Stresa, shopping, eating and drinking. We were outnumbered by kids (7) aged between 15 and ten but they all hung out together and had the most brilliant time (especially Livvy, who had three teen boys to keep her company!)

We had a pitch right by the lake so every morning started with a swim and breakfast outside under the trees. I know that of all the holidays the girls have had at amazing places around the world, camping is their absolute favourite. I remember once packing up our stuff early after a wet weekend in Dorset and they refused to speak to me all the way home because they were so mad that I had cut short their best ever holiday. And even for a creature comfort freak like me, leaving after five days under canvas felt a bit premature, but it's a different deal altogether when you don't have to wade through mud in flip flops to reach the shower block.

The last ten days have been spent catching up with London friends, which means putting your tourist hat on and doing all the things you don't have time to do when live here. Shopping with the girls in St Tropez and lunch at Byblos, Baoli with Lydia and Livvy on their first grown up night out at a club, lazy suppers with friends, cocktails at a couple of new beach bars and tennis with Sarah have been my highlights. We have all agreed that this has been the best summer in the seven summers we have spent on the Cote d'Azur.

The month was rounded off in fabulous style last night at Tony and Shan's summer party. Eighty people sat at long candlelit trestle tables under the trees on their terrace and Shan produced a fantastic array of dishes, many of which were made from veggies grown in her garden. Gazpacho, garlic soup, tomato salsa, chicken kebabs, Thai chicken, pork and aubergine curries were followed by liqueur panna cottas and frozen grapefruit in bowls made of ice. It was a magical night.

Work hat is firmly on now, and am off to New York this week to watch Phill Jupitus take the stand-up circuit by storm and get his views on the differences between American and British comedy. Cannot wait.