Friday, September 2, 2011

Home at last

So we left Florence and after a traffic-laden seven hour journey, we finally arrived home in Bar sur Loup after five weeks away. No matter how good a time you have had, getting home to your own bed and four adoring pets is always a highlight. The view above is one I never tire of although Issy, 12 going on 22, begs to differ.

The tourists have gone home, the sun is still shining and finally the Cote d'Azur is back to being less busy, with space to park, eat out and sit on the beach without feeling like a sardine tightly packed in a tin. It's my favourite time of the year.

We celebrated our return with a little soiree as so many friends have been over visiting from the UK. The food was a little bit of Puglia...mozzarella, salads, parma ham, grilled chicken, griddled aubergines and courgettes...and the wine flowed.

By chance, my first boss JR was staying at his house near St Tropez so he came over too. We laughed at the story of how as a young, green, enthusiastic trainee reporter I had begged and pleaded with him for my first job at Fleet Street News Agency in Exmouth Market. He let me state my case in his office about how hard I would work, for the princely trainee sum of £65 a week, and what an asset I would be before fixing me with a look and asking: 'Give me one good reason why I should train you up only for you to settle down, get married and have babies?' He'd never get away with that now!

So although the hols were strictly speaking over, I had a cheeky extension of about a week while Sarah, Norma and Karen were still around, telling myself that August is a write off month for working really. Lunch at Vegaluna, supper at L'Ecole des Filles, where Stephane's flair for making something amazing from locally sourced ingredients is earning him rave reviews from all over the Riviera, a lazy Sunday lunch at the Rose's, dinner at Pat and Tony's in Plascassier along with Issy and Chris France,fellow blogger and teller of extraordinary and amusing tales, and many swims at the beach have perfectly rounded off the month.

Now that September has arrived, so too has the new school term, signalling the end of an almost three month break for two girls who have to swap midday lie-ins for the 7am school bus. The mood in the house is becoming greyer by the day, especially since Livvy's lovely boyfriend Rob left to go home last night after four days with us.

Just as my heart was sinking at the thought of a proper routine again, I had a call from lovely Juliet at Hello asking me to cover a glitzy bash in Monaco next week. And with plans for a working holiday to Coachella in Palm Springs next Easter already well underway, along with some light shopping in West Hollywood and surfing at Venice Beach to lighten the load, the future is looking quite rosy.