The umbrella that thought it was a projectile

The little boy, I would say 6 years old, had just got a marvellous gift: a huge inflatable ring, brightly coloured, to bring to the beach! His parents asked to have it inflated in the shop (it was a do-it-yourself shop downtown Antibes), a procedure which took 8 minutes (yes, I timed it). The boy then couldn’t get his ring out, he was too small, the door was too narrow and the ring was too big. Eventually his parents stepped in.

Not only children have inflatable devices on the beach: people of mature age can be seen floating around on huge flamingoes. Not me though. I went to the beach with a brand new parasol, anti-uv and all. It was just that it wouldn’t stick in the ground on the pebble beach. It was also a little windy, so twice it took off at great speed towards the neighbours, scaring them greatly but causing no harm. I have now, a couple of days later, learned to harness this wild item. Or maybe is it just that the wind has calmed down?

After exhausting hours on the beach, chasing the parasol, I thought I deserved a really nice dinner, so I went to the Café Milano, to be taken care of by Luana and Davide. There are always other Swedes in this tiny restaurant when I’m there. If this is because there are lots of Swedes in Antibes, or because Swedes are particularly fond of Café Milano or because of pure coincidence, well, that I don’t know. But I don’t really believe in coincidence.

The day I accidentally did martial arts (well …)

Morning in Antibes

I arrived at the yoga studio for my first class in a couple of weeks, but discovered that the class would be replaced by a two-hour martial arts workshop. Martial arts! Me?!? What a joke! I immediately wanted to turn around and go home, but the very persuasive Caroline, the studio owner, got me to stay. I must say it was a lot of fun, but I felt more like a hippo than an agile warrior, tripping over myself while trying to do the gorilla walk, more stumbling than leaping trying out the leaping frog and looking in the wrong direction while attacking the imaginary adversary. No photos here from this event.

Evening in Juan-les-Pins

When I was a the opera a couple of weeks ago, I had followed the instructions and didn’t bring my camera, only to see that everybody else had one (see post “Orange and pink”). With this experience fresh in memory, I did bring my camera to Saturday’s Jazz in Juan-les-Pins, where I was to see Anoushka Shankar. Again it was the wrong decision: a stern security guard peered into my rucksack and of course immediately spotted my camera, the only item in it. I had to leave it in a baggage storage, where I saw a great number of motorbike helmets and one camera. And guess what? As soon as I entered there was a man, totally uninhibited and stopped by no one, standing up taking photos with a camera. I turned around and there was yet another man, holding his camera high above his head, thus clearly visible, to get the best angle. Not to mention all those taking photos and filming with their smart phones.

Anoushka Shankar did a great performance, and before her Kandace Springs delighted the audience, with a gorgeous sunset as back drop. These two photos are iPhone ones. Apologies, but now you know why.

 

And back in Antibes

Overheard in an Antibes bakery this morning:

Customer to lady behind the counter: I’m leaving my apartment. You wouldn’t happen to know someone who is looking for one?

The lady called out the question towards the inner regions of the bakery and then:

Lady: Yes, one of our bakers is indeed looking for something. Can he have your phone number?

And it seemed that that was that! An easy way to solve your housing problems!

Culture vulture

In Mirabel

Guitar player: Are there any foreigners here?

Voice 1: Yes! I’m from the UK!

Me: I’m from Sweden!

Voice 2: And we’re from Piégon!

Piégon? That’s the village just next door, a mere kilometer from Mirabel-aux-Baronnies. The exchange above took place at an aperitif concert (very nice!) with the semi-local band Bluesville (from San Francisco and Belgium, but reportedly with connections to Mirabel) in the new local art centre, X Inspirations. I’m very proud that there is an art centre in our tiny village.

In Rosans

Most exciting animal spotted on the way to Rosans, about an hour to the east of Mirabel: vulture. Yes, it is true. Vultures were reintroduced in this mountainous area, where the Alps make a timid start.

Number of inhabitants spotted in the medieval village centre (where the houses were clearly inhabited): zero.

Number of abandoned red fluorescent chairs seen: one.

There were interesting stairways, leading to heaven and to locked doors. There was an eerie metallic sound that could be heard all over the village. What it was I don’t know.

Number of tourists encountered: four. They were Spanish.

Number of abandoned cafés: one. Number of lively cafés: one.

Best artist in the village: Marion Richaume, ceramist, inspired by the tree of life. Her atelier is named after the moon.