The splash in the back

On a lovely warm Sunday afternoon in October last year I discovered the path that follows the coastline along the Cap d’Antibes peninsula on the French Riviera. 

I can’t remember why, but I turned around after a while. Maybe I was hungry, maybe I had forgotten to bring a water bottle, maybe I had something to do later in the afternoon.

On a lovely warm Friday afternoon in November, just a few days ago, I thought that I would take this lovely walk again. I was well prepared and had no intention to turn back this time but to do the full circuit.

Since there was hardly any wind at all I was surprised to see that the sea was a bit agitated. To my great delight the waves formed very photogenic spray when they hit the rocks along the beginning of the path.

As I continued walking the waves became a bit more violent and the splashes, spray and froth were fascinating to look at. I had a great time with my camera!

Time passed (I’m always very slow when walking with my camera) and the sea was getting rougher. I hadn’t had so much fun for a long time!

And ooops! A water hedge appeared next to me!

The path ahead was actually covered in water, I saw on closer inspection, an inspection which was abruptly interrupted:

Ok, I thought, after such a big wave there won’t be another one like that for a while, so there will be enough time to pass this wet part of the path. 

I was hit in the back by an enormous wave and thrown onto the rocks. Luckily I only hurt my leg a little. But of course I was totally soaked, my trainers were filled with water, my hair was dripping. The only thing to do was to get back to the car as fast as possible and go home. People I met were staring at me, probably thinking I had tried to have a swim with my clothes on.

So I didn’t make the full circuit this time either.

But what about the camera around my neck? Strangely enough it seemed ok at first sight, with only a few drops on it, so I felt quite relieved. But it isn’t ok. Salt water must have gotten into it after all. I’m heading to Uganda in two weeks time, it must be fixed by then.

 

Mirror mirror on the ground

Every year on 15 August my village Mirabel-aux-Baronnies turns into a big flea market cum party – it is the day of the Fête du village!

The greatest concentration of people is always around the wine-tasting stands, where all the nearby cooperatives and many independent wine producers have their wines on offer. You only have to pick up your tasting glass before embarking on your tasting adventure.

All over the village people set up small stands to sell toys no longer in use, clothes no longer in use, trinkets no longer in use, furniture no longer in use, chipped plates, worn-out shoes and well-read books. In the main street artists from the area showcase their handicraft and art work.

I remembered from previous years that some interesting items could be found in front of the church, and this was the case this year as well. There was for instance a whole collection of mirrors, which I went back to photograph a couple of times in the changing light.

If you needed a clarinet, a saxophone, a violin or a cello you might find something to your liking.

No village feast is complete without a band!

Among all the thousands of things for sale my eyes fell on a small table which could be mine for 5 euros. Hmmm. Needed some reflection. When I came back a little later the price had gone down.

Silly me still couldn’t make up my mind whether or not to make this investment so I went home. Then I suddenly realised how much I wanted to have that precise table so I hurried back.

It was gone.

Don’t irritate the lion!

Many of the lovely villages in my corner of Provence have pretty and evocative place names: Villedieu (God’s town), Faucon (Falcon) and my own village, Mirabel-aux-Baronnies (Beautiful view) are just a few examples.

But Villedieu stands out in a special way, namely by having its own motto, and it isn’t just any motto: Noli irritare leonem, which translates as ‘Don’t irritate the lion’. Not bad for a village with 506 inhabitants. You can see it here, engraved underneath the fighting lion.

But by all means, don’t let this fierce motto deter you from visiting Villedieu, you surely won’t irritate the lion!

I warmly recommend having a drink in the shade of the plane trees on the village square where you can contemplate what life might have been like here in medieval times. What made the inhabitants of this now so peaceful place liken themselves to an irritable lion and who was the enemy?