12 days of Christmas: day 10

This photo is the view from our apartment. I’ve already waxed lyrical about the view which I adore at all times of the day, and at all times of the year. If I’m honest, I probably prefer sunrise and sunset simply because of the range of amazing colours, and the contrast between the sea and sky.

This picture was taken one morning in June which turned out much better than this photo suggests. You could be forgiven for thinking rain was in the offing, but the clouds rolled away and we enjoyed a very warm, sunny day. I love the contrast betwen the angry, stormy sky and the azur of the sea, spotlit by the sun trying, and finally succeeding, to break through.

I liked this photo so much I even made it my Facebook cover picture.

Our view

I’ll never tire of the view from our apartment. On a clear day – and there are plenty of those – I can see from Cap d’Antibes to Cap Ferrat. It’s the reason we bought the place and the reason why it’s highly unlikely we’ll ever move again. Indeed, we’ve now lived here longer than at any of our five previous properties. Of course, the place has other advantages but there’s no beating the view.

Our apartment is on the end of the block and we have a wrap around terrace which gives us access to the sunshine all day long.The sun rises in the furthermost corner and bathes the terrace running along the lounge, dining room and master bedroom with heat and light for most of the morning. Early afternoon it glows on the side terrace (and office). It’s the perfect spot for a bit of sunbathing. Late afternoon it moves around to the rear of the property, gently warming the guest bedroom, bike room and kitchen.

 

Most of the year we follow the sun around the property. In high summer we eat breakfast and lunch on the rear terrace, enjoying cocktails and dinner on the front. When it’s milder, though still sunny and warm enough to eat out, we do the reverse. Sometimes, it’s too cold and or too wet to eat outside though we’ll vary whether we eat in the breakfast room, attached to the kitchen, or the dining room, depending on the weather. Sometimes the weather is so bad, we can barely see beyond the terrace.

I don’t have a favourite time of year for the view. I adore it all year round though I am partial to a good sunrise and sunset. I love watching the sun rise, spreading its rays along the horizon. Sometimes it looks like molten lava, other times it’s just a gentle peach glow, in between there’s every shade of orange. As the sun sets, the horizon between the sea and the sky is imperceptible and the colours range from azur blue through to midnight then mauve, blush and pale gold. It makes me wish I could commit the vivid colours to canvas and, who knows, maybe one day I will.

I’m a sucker for property porn and love flicking through the glossy real-estate magazines though I’ve yet to find a property I like better with a similar view. Yes, I’d love a basement, a library, a vegetable garden and a wood-fired oven but not at the expense of my view.

It’s not just the view. Floor to ceiling windows allow light to flood the flat, the gentle flow of air through those windows keeps it cool, even in summer. No need to resort to air conditioning. Likewise, in winter, a spot of thermal gain through those windows keeps us toasty though we do have central heating.

The view from the back of the apartment is quite different, it’s of the forest. Throughout the year we’re much amused by the antics of the birds, our lone squirrel – what has happened to him? – neighbours walking their dogs, the kids playing and sunsets. There’s never a dull moment.

 

Happy Easter

As my beloved has become more mobile we’ve been out and about for short walks over the Easter long week-end, enjoying the warm sunny weather and wonderful scenery. April, with its heady mix of sunshine and showers, encourages the place to spring into vibrant colour. The trees are every shade of green, the bushes are blossoming, the birds are canoodling, summer can’t be too far away.

On one of our walks, we were admiring the floating palaces in Antibes, the largest concentration of man caves in the Mediterranean. Most seemingly lie idle, the only sounds of activity are from workmen readying them for the start of the chartering season, the Cannes Film Festival.

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Today we strolled alongside  the beach in Cros de Cagnes, a former fishing village, where the boats are rather more utilitarian than the shiny beauties we saw yesterday. It was good to feel the sunshine on our faces.

I hope you’re having an enjoyable holiday week-end too.