Negative brownie points

Xmas Day

Santa left me just what I wanted: a dry, sunny day for riding. After a slap up breakfast, which included my delicious home made muffins, we set off on rapidly drying roads to enjoy a few hours in the saddle. As we left the Domaine, we noted that one of the fir trees had been felled in last night’s storm. Either that or Santa and his entourage had crash landed before making their deliveries.

On a clear day, you can see forever

The sky was a vivid blue though the sea was green rather than its usual azur. The storm had cleared the air allowing you to see for miles around. There were plenty of cyclists out enjoying the morning as well as loads of families trying out the bikes, trikes, scooters and skates left them by Santa.

As usual, we had opened our presents on Xmas Eve. Earlier in the week, my beloved had uttered those dreaded words “I’ve got you a couple of things”. Dreaded because I hadn’t actually asked for anything, meaning he’d used his initiative aka I would be getting something which he would like. 

I can’t claim to have been disappointed, more resigned, as befits Mrs Scrooge. He had bought me a small and a large desk diary for 2010. He said he thought the latter could be useful for the office. I don’t need to tell you that buying your loved one a “gift” for the office is unlikely to win you any brownie points. Indeed, you’re far more likely to end up in “the dog house”. Obviously, my beloved had failed to observe that I already have my 2010 diary, the same one I buy every year, and which I’ve been using for the past few weeks!

In case you’re interested, I bought my beloved a Panasonic Lumix combined camera and video, a waterproof carry case for his mobile phone, money, licence etc when he’s riding and a new razor/hair trimmer. Fortunately, he’ll be able to make reparation as my birthday is only three weeks away.

Everything to play for

Sunset, just as the sun starts to slip from the sky, is my favourite time of day here. Today I can see clearly from Cap Ferrat to Cap d’Antibes. Nice’s terracotta glow is dimming while the sky is every bejewelled shade of the rainbow: crimson, apricot, gold, aquamarine, mauve and finally an inky indigo blue. This is surely one of the many wonderful reasons for living here.

Another is the weather which this week has been cold (15 degrees) but sunny with barely a cloud in the sky. But I have not been able to ride.  I am literally champing at the bit to be let out. I’m like an addict who’s been denied her fix and is now starting to experience withdrawal symptoms.

I do love this time of year. Every town is tastefully lit up, the shops are full of goodies for the forthcoming festivities, there’s a thick cover of snow on the distant mountains, Xmas trees are everywhere and I’ve lost count of the number of Santas I’ve seen attempting to scale a balcony. Indeed, we even have our own competition in the Domaine for the best decorated balcony. Needless to say, some are very tasteful while others are not. But they all add to the sense of fun and occasion that is Xmas.

I shall be venturing forth tomorrow, whatever the weather. There’s only so much a girl can take. But I’ll be back in the afternoon to listen to how those boys of mine in claret and blue fare against the Red Devils. An upset may be on the cards.