The Fée Gully

I promised Baka (and myself) a long walk at dawn this morning. Something that I’ve neglected for a few months now. My apartment building lies before one of the hills surrounding Cannes and at the edge of lovely residential neighbourhood which supports a lot of greenery as you move up the hill in and around the million dollar homes.

One route I enjoy is about two and half kilometres long, goes up part of the base of the hill and follows along a lovely woody area surrounding a gully. It always smells so nice in spring or after rainfall there. However, it saddens me when I see what people have done by dumping refuse, junk, bits of cars, or skeletons of scooters left by thieves. Such a beautiful tranquil area despoiled by the uncaring dregs of mankind and no one to rescue it.

Despite that, dawn was exceptional with the thin sliver of the waning crescent moon to be seen just rising above the black hill against a navy blue sky as Baka and I walked up the road.

Only the wind could be heard rustling through the trees. For a long while not a sound, then something sounding like a crow woke and was the only voice to be heard.

Even the little sparrow we spotting on the gully road preferred to remain silent as Baka and I approached, flitting off into a tree in silence. Even the crow remained quiet for a while as we passed through the gully. Almost magical feeling as though you were moving through the home of fée.

Twilight Royale

I never seem to tire of watching a sunset and the infinite variations of colours and the profound silence that comes upon the world for unusually long and calm moments. No cars or scooters, no rushing about, just stillness as though life stopped to finally pay attention to something beautiful.

Summer’s Twilight

Yesterday I was invited to the Carlton Beach restaurant by a client for lunch. Very nice. Probably the nicest beach restaurant in Cannes. It has been a few years since I last was last there. Lovely place and the kitchen is pretty good.

It is also the best place to watch the summer fireworks. In Cannes and many other towns along the French Riviera, they have a fireworks competition throughout the summer. The Carlton is dead centre of the event in Cannes and going there for dinner and the fireworks is a grand experience.

It does require some planning though, as parking is a nightmare and there is always crowds of people. When my parents lived here, we’d drive the car down early in the day and park it in a nearby garage, then return home by cab. In the evening we’d get a lift with friends or the domaine’s guardian back down. After the event we’d often stay and luxuriate at the restaurant, while the crowds and traffic dissipated.

These days I don’t live far by foot from the Croisette, so it is often a nice walk with Baka to the sea side. Sometimes he and I would go at the end of the Sunday afternoon and walk along for a bit and then stop in a café for a glass of wine and maybe a light snack.

Last night though was the last fireworks in Cannes for the summer and I did not attend. Opted to stay home after the large lunch I had had earlier. Also Baka probably wouldn’t enjoy the boom boom of the huge speakers playing music as the fireworks go boom boom in time. And last night must have been a grand show as the boom boom of the fireworks seemed to be exceptionally loud, even from my apartment and seemed to go on for a whole hour.

Alas with the last of the fireworks come soon the signs of summer’s end; cooler nights and breezes, the departure of the tourists (yeah), the return of kids to school (boo if you’re a kid, yeah if you’re a parent), the return of daily life in the streets. The south of France doesn’t have a distinct change of seasons like Canada and northern climates, with autumn colours and fall of the leaves. Summer here just fades into winter, as the sunset into night.


There is something immensely satisfying and relaxing about the pop of an opened wine bottle on par with the sound of wooden wind chimes in a gentle breeze. Add to that the subtle gentle klink of empty wine glasses as you take them from the cupboard. Now factor in a sunset on the Côte d’Azur with your little dog lying beside you (watching the street below for other dogs passing by of course) and you might actually have an orgasm without the mess. Ok. So it’s subjective, but at least I get to contemplate such things.


I’ve been moving apartments this month from the ground floor to the second. The bulk of my things from a 63m2 flat have been squeezed into a 50m2 one, though I still have a large beige marble coffee table to sell or store, an old Atari Mega ST with hard disks, loads of games, and developer docs to either flog to a collector or junk (sniff), and a couple of boxes of books to sort and store on selves or in the deep dark mouldy cave.

For the most part it is done, though I still have to do the final cleaning and get the washer moved, once I get a plumber in to disconnect the water hose that I can’t do because the tap is frozen open, as is the flat’s mains (which has no knob to boot). Of course since it is August in France, everyone dicks off on vacation almost all at the same time, so trying to get someone around is like trying to drag an air-conditioning repair man by the toe nails away from the beach along the river Styx.

Today I hope to finally get my phone reinstalled in the new apartment, after a two week wait, and hopefully still have my ADSL service connected, since my number hasn’t changed nor did I cancel it. In the interim I’ve been using my GPRS cell phone modem for Internet access.

Just the end of last week I finally got, after four weeks waiting, a replacement Yokohama car tyre installed by a nation wide tyre specialist chain that is suppose to be a reseller of the brand! Thankfully I work from home and have had nothing really urgent requiring a vehicle, but I am amazed at how pitiful service in France can be. I could have taken a vacation in Japan and brought back a new tyre as extra luggage for the same price in less time.

Add to the fact the people in the north from France, England, Germany, etc. all seem to make there way to the Côte d’Azur to laze about in the sun, drink Côte de Provence rosé, and scratch at their navels.

Since moving in to the new place, I’ve not been sleeping well. Either the traffic noise is louder on the second floor; all the bleeding tourists need new mufflers for their cars, bikes, and scooters; or everyone lefts their brains at home before going on vacation. For example last night, as with many nights these past two weeks, someone came home that I finally spotted around 23h00 on a Harley Davidson that sounds like all the helicopters from Apocalypse Now during the Ride of the Valkyries.

Of course there are also the multitude of pizza delivery scooters buzzing back and forth; there have been what sounds like a Ferrari club doing time trials around the Gallia apartment complex; and then this morning at 4h20 it was a drag race complete with with squealing hand brake turns at each bend or corner. And they doubled back for good measure. All this was immediately followed by a hurling of shouts into the dead of night in what sounded like a mix of Arabic and accented French for about ten minutes.

R.O.U.S. aka Rodents of Unusual Size is a reference from the film The Princess Bride and these past couple of weeks, I’ve been wondering if the R.O.U.S. were suppose to be a metaphor for the French. After all that has happened lately, it’s a hard call.