Tomorrow is a French Bank holiday: Bastille Day. This evening we enjoyed a splendid firework display in our home town while tomorrow we’ll watch one in Cannes. During the summer months, for a variety of reasons, we enjoy a large number of pyrotechnic displays thanks to the location of our apartment and it’s panoramic coastal view.

The festival season has also started and I spent Monday evening at the Nice Jazz Festival on Monday which has been moved from Cimiez into the town centre. The rest of the summer I’ll try to profit from the various free events put on by the regional council in many of the small villages and towns.

Tomorrow marks the official start of the French holidays and many will take the next two weeks or so as vacation. The month long French holiday in August now seems to be an urban myth. I don’t know anyone who takes that much vacation in the summer except for those permanently on holiday: the pensioners. The start of any holiday period in France is always marked by horrendously long traffic jams on key routes north, south, east and west of Paris, and Lyon. The Domaine will also start to fill up as relatives arrive to spend their summer vacation with family and friends. I’m always amazed at how many they manage to cram into a two-bedroomed, one bathroomed flat. My rule of thumb of a bedroom and bathroom per couple is completely ignored.

My youngest sister is happily ensconced in my younger sister’s flat. Generally she doesn’t enjoy spending time on her own but married life means she now appreciates a little “me time” away from her husband and his cats. My other sister arrives at the week end, shortly followed by her husband. This year they’ve generally chosen to visit while we’ve been elsewhere. Anyone else would think that they were avoiding me.

This afternoon, as forecast, the storms arrived: heralded by darkening skies, high humidity and the clap of thunder. My beloved,  back this morning from his recent voyage, elected to go for a quick ride. He left it too late and returned as drenched as the riders in today’s sprint stage won, predictably, by Mark Cavendish who also took possession of the maillot vert. None of the other jerseys changed hands and everything is now handily poised for tomorrow’s first stage in the mountains where we’re all hoping for fireworks. No damp squibs please!

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