26 December 2007

Boxed In

Ah, the joys of Boxing Day... Woke up, had a post-migraine headache, took drugs, drank coffee, drove with the parents to pick up Monsieur Exquisite. We drove up into the Esterel Mountains to visit the holiday resort of my youth, Cap Esterel.

Technically, I suppose, we only went twice: once when I was seven and once when I was 10. I remember: the big, deep blue pool, the smaller wave pool, the "chute", the ham pies at the boulangerie, listening to Andrew Lloyd Webber in the apartment, the evil kids' club full of French kiddies screaming "Sophieeeeeee!", the little train down to the sea, ordering a diablo menthe because I liked the stirrer only to find I didn't like mint and didn't get a stirrer, the ice creams with loyalty cards and, well, assorted other stuff. Time has meant that the big pool has shrunk or I have grown. Ah, nostalgia for a time that never truly existed - or did it?

We then drove up some mountains and ate a picnic (wine, bread, beef) on the cold, rainy rocks. How very English. Back at the apartment, everything went intensely white as I developed my second migraine in two days - the stress of holidays, obviously. I took some paracetamol, water, espresso on the newly acquired Nespresso machine and some of the caipirinha my brother made. It seemed to help as I soon felt better. Monsieur Exquisite then unveiled his perfect present: a set of books of Dante's Divina Commedia published by the San Fran-based Chronicle Press, re-translated and re-illustrated for modern times with plenty of SF and NYC references. He really does know me so well.

After a rotisserie chicken dinner on the terrace, Monsieur Exquisite, The Bro and I went out drinking. We had a drink in a dingy, smoky Irish pub. A round at the Irish pub cost the same as one drink at the Carlton, where we went next. For 19 Euros, my mojito was not that great - not sharp enough or sweet enough; perhaps not bittersweet enough but nothing ever is anymore. They did at least provide macaroons on which to nibble, to make up for my two bites of chicken and a piece of buffala mozzarella for dinner.

So, here I am in Cannes, in winter and the whole town feels as though it is closed for the season; it's not the only one, that's for sure. The course of true holidays never did run smooth; not as smooth as one might imagine them to be, staring out into the sea, watching the boats sail off into the future.


  1. Anonymous12:42

    Be bold and make your escape! Try a climb up the Pic du Cap Roux, in the real Estérel between Agay and Cannes. The artificial kind can surely give you a headache...

  2. Thanks for the tip! I'm often in that part of the world and will hopefully be better equipped for hiking the next time. My current town of residence in the UK is notorious for its absence of hills...