Nuts

The hazelnut season has started in our part of of the world.

How nice to see fresh hazelnuts for sale at the market this morning. Of course I had to purchase a kilo.

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Your room is ready…

Just checked in hospital as planned for a follow-up and supposedly a day of transfusions.

I left home at 8:02 precisely, walked into the hospital at 8:07, was greeted by Ludivine who is my extremely nice nurse for the day and who informed me my room was ready.

At 8:15, time of my appointment, I am hooked up for my first transfusion, blood sample is being analysed and will determine how many bags of blood and iron I am going to get.

It is all extremely efficient and friendly despite the reported and on-going staff shortages made worse by the current holidays. Nevertheless the staff is very nice and very attentive.

Now, how to get a coffee…

I am all hooked up and cannot go walk about.

Maybe Ludivine „Lulu“ can help.

As it turns out, my hemoglobine levels have gone up, still under the minimum level but above the crtical level so no blood transfusions today, only iron.

Ludivine booked me a room for next week and the week after for the same treatment as today.

I am going to reach Platinum Hospital Miles level very soon at this rate

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Keep on pumping

If you grew up in France, you would be very familiar with the Shadoks‘ world. This cartoon was on TV about 50 years ago on a daily basis and delighted children and adults alike. The Shadoks‘ philosophy was to keep pumping to solve any problem which might arise.

It is somehow quite appropriate in our home as today we have had the 5th swimming pool water pump installed in almost the same number of months. Mind you this is only a temporary pump to repace the other temporary pump which was installed yesterday. The brand new pump we had to purchase and was installed 10 days ago was defective and is being sent back to the factory under guarantee.

I say, send me a few Shadoks. They would keep pumping and pumping and pumping.

Does anyone remember the Shadoks?

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Quiet please

When you want a quiet drink on a Saturday morning. Heavens, it is not even “Feria” time…

Café Saillan last Saturday
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Market or coffee?

That is the question

Another hot day coming up

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Welcome August 2022

A new month is upon us already under the sign of heat waves in most parts of the country.

In any case by the looks of things, it is going to be a quieter month for me however things tend to change rather quickly.

Looking forward to a few day trips to the beach for lunch

I also have a couple of new places to visit and meet up with family and friends

Ortaffa

All in all, it is a relatively easy month (so far) and I shall take this opportunity to carry on abstaining from any alchoolic drinks. If I manage, it will be my 3rd month in a row.

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Côte d’Azur

Took a few days off to go to Cavalaire sur Mer which is like a second home to me.

The place has changed a lot over the years and I guess I was there for the first time in the early 60’s. A lot of new constructions are visible in particular when looked at from the sea. However, unlike some places in Spain, no building exceeds 4 floors.

What has not changed, is the brilliant view from the apartment. I shall never tire of it and would go as far to say that I need to be there 2 or 3 times a year.

We had decided my brother and I to hire a boat for a day after what proved to be a wise recommendation we did this on the on the first full day. Indeed very strong winds and therefore a choppy sea were expected after that.

Day I

We go down to the port before 10am

and take possession of the beast after last minute recommendations from the owner to my brother who is the acting skipper on this occasion.

And we are off

Heading east first to round the Cap Lardier towards St Tropez before turning back and heading for the islands and in particular Port Cros for a lunchtime picnic and a swim for some.

On the way back from Port Cros island

We finished the day with the usual aperitifs at home and outside followed by dinner at „Les Rotisseurs de la Côte“ at the port. I feel like I should say: „as usual„

Day II

The plan was to go and fill up with one of my favorite rosé wine at the „Domaine de Croix Valmer“ which is located a few kilometres away and near the „Plage de Gigaro“.

In fact we headed afterwards to the afore mentioned beach a few hundred metres away for a relaxing drink by the sea.

Lunch was back home to make the most of the view. The colours of which change constantly depending on the time of day.

The bay of Cavalaire consists of a 5km beach stretch of fine sand. There are half a dozen private beaches with restaurants. It is clear that in the summer season it is fairly crowded everywhere. Nevertheless to digest lunch, we strolled along the whole beach and back.

For dinner, we went back the couple of kilometres to the „Plage du Débarquement“ in La Crois Valmer to the „Nautic“ restaurant. It bought back a lot of memories of when I was a teenager and the bar / disco across the road. What happened there will remain there.

Anyway, the choice of the restaurant was made by my old school friend Luc who now lives permanently in the area. I am glad we found each other again after all these years.

Day III

Wednesday is market day in Cavalaire. In the summer my advice is: Get there early

We have been looking for an olive pot to replace the one I broke back home. I was hoping to find something at the market but no luck. I know of a place not too far away and we head there. I did not find exactly what I was looking for but bought a couple of pots nevertheless.

After lunch back home, drive to St Tropez via the back roads to avoid the usual traffic. It did not help much once there as all car parks were full. There is only one thing to do, drive gently home via the old and typical villages of Ramatuelle, Gassin and such like.

Dinner was at my friend’s Luc place. From his patio area, he has a great view on the vineyard from the Domaine de La Croix as well as the sea and Cavalaire town in the distance. Anyway a good time was had by all, good food, good conversation, a few memories about old friends and places.

Back home

The journey home the next day took a little bit longer than expected due to the crowded roads. After-all we are a couple days away from the busiest weekend of the year on French roads. In addition to this, we got stuck in a traffic jam due to a fire which crossed the motorway helped by the strong wind. Watching the news the next day, it took 4 fire fighting planes one helicopter and 200 firemen to stop the fire.

Another relaxing mini break

I shall be back in the area in about 6 weeks

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La Fête Nationale aka Bastille Day

Another good one from my friend Bob

And here is the link of the firework display in Carcassonne from France.TV

Let's Live In France

There’s a link in the right hand column on this page to a 5-minute video that condenses the half-hour fireworks display over the medieval walled Cité of Carcassonne on July 14, 2016. That was just a few months after we had moved here and it was quite the introduction to our first Bastille Day in France, except no one here calls it that. Officially it’s “‘la Fête Nationale Française” although we typically hear simply “la Fête Nationale” or even “le quatorze juillet” just as in America we might say “the fourth of July” instead of the more formal “Independence Day”. In researching the history behind this holiday I discovered some fascinating connections between George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Bastille Day.

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Polynesia 2023

It has always been on my bucket list and it will happen sooner than expected. In fact everything has been reserved, partially paid for spring 2023.

In the middle of nowhere so to speak

French Polynesia comprises some 118 islands

We shall concentrate on the Society Archipelago (Iles de la Société)

The plan

The plan is to visit a few islands in the Society Archipelago of French Polynesia. We shall transfer from one to the other by plane and we have also added a 4 days cruise in a private catamaran with crew / guide and cook on board.

But before that, we can hopefully look forward to the long 25 hours flight, with a 2,5 hours stop in Los Angeles in the middle, in one of the new Air France business class cabin on a 777/200.

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Trip of a life time

With all this time on my hands, being stuck in a hospital room, I can finalise the bookings for next year’s scheduled holiday in some of the French Polynesian islands.

The catamaran in the pic above is reserved for a few days of islands hopping. Some of the legs will be done by plane (2 to 3, 7to 8).

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