17 July 2009


5 p.m. Le soleil brille and isn't quite yet over the yardarm (not to my knowledge, anyway). Heading down to the beach on the Pointe de la Croisette in the sunshine is very pleasant. Despite the fact that we have a wider range of beach seating and bedding options than a decent sized outdoor shop, I still seem to end up with a slightly crappy chair but I don't mind. Even though it's 5 p.m., the beach is rammed, not least because a woman with one of those annoying rat-like dogs (chihuahua, I think, is the technical term) was taking up enough space for a group of six. Everyone is very brown (apart from me, of course).

Sitting reading The Golden Notebook in the heat, I lasted 20 minutes before I had to go and fling myself into the sea to cool off. My body automatically flinches when close to the Med, probably because of the all of the forced cold entries in December, but today the sea just felt gorgeous. Usually, I just swim a little way outwards and then parallel to the Croisette as far as the Martinez Hotel but today I was feeling so energetic (and lazy for skipping my morning run) that I swam down to the Carlton, a little further along, which was probably a round trip of about 1200 m. This was no mean feat given how high and hard the waves were rocking over me and given that I was goggles-less.

Afterwards, lying down on the beach again, reading and drying off. Yes, this really is the definition of la détente. Especially when the evening swim was followed by a G and T and a really nice steak on the patio. Tomorrow morning I'm going to try the double-whammy: going for a run while wearing swimming kit underneath; when I reach Sunrise Beach, I will strip down to my bikini and jump off the end of the mini pier/pontoon into the sea--preferably after first removing my iPod from my person..

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