Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Mishaps add interest

Marja-Leena asked if I'd got any regional snaps from our holidays. Since our aim was to devote ourselves to sensual pleasure these are rather rare. In any case I'm aware of my shortcomings with a camera and only reluctantly unship l'appareil. Hope what follows gives some idea of what we were up to.

View from restaurant just below Mont Aigoual observatory (1567 m); for all I know Kanchenjunga was visible. BB's younger daughter provides frame

Zach the juvenile mariner; his ma on Li-Lo behind

St-Guilhem-le-Désert a touristy but well restored village

Mont Ventoux in Provence, a trial for TdF racers

View from the villa's balcony - good for getting loaded to

The narrow streets of Couvertoirade, a walled village

Zach unimpressed by Grandpa BB's progress through the billows

More from the Villa Bonden:

OH WHAT A FALL Shuffling past Lodève’s hotel de ville and more than a little conscious of the seventh phase of Jacques “Ages of man” I stumbled over a bollard and fell on to my nose, the basis of my only true claim to physical beauty. The tentative attention I received from French teenagers and octogenarian concierges confirmed I’d been right about Jacques. The nose survived but my left wrist was sprained and led to my forcing my way through the rapidly closing door of a pharmacie, the time being 11.59, a minute before France’s sacred lunch break. Normally I am able to turn my physical failings in France into rewarding conversational opportunities, but the grumbling stomach of the pharmacienne prevented this. The wrist-support cost a shocking €41. Un prix énorme, I said, demanding a receipt prior to a claim on my travel insurance I know I will never make. My hungry saviour nodded.
LE STYLE C’EST L’HOMME Lodève was also the scene of a lost purse which necessitated a visit to the police commissariat (in the vain hope that someone might turn it in) and to the gendarmerie (to obtain a temporary driving licence replacing the one that had disappeared). The police were mainly overweight, sweaty and worked in a paper-strewn cavity that looked a hundred years old. The female gendarme wore a blouse with creases so sharp they could have been used as weapons.
CHARTRES Quite a different experience from those which uplifted Lucy recently. The Hotel Marmotte is located on the rue Charles Coulombs, but Chartres has another similarly named street which only lacks the final s. Satnav obediently took us to the first in the town’s traffic-crowded centre before, contritely re-programmed, taking us to the correct address in the midst of an industrial estate. Cheap, though.

8 comments:

Relucent Reader said...

Thank you for posting your photgraphs.
Massif Central:now I can see why Patrick Suskind's nasty character Grenouille in Parfum flees there. Striking rough scenery.
Kachenjunga?!? Wow, who is your optician?
Young Master Zach is a fine looking boy.

Plutarch said...

My goodness. Zach appears to be flying his rubber dingy!

marja-leena said...

Thanks for sharing your vacation stories and photos - the area is lovely and so are your family. So sorry about your wrist, hope it and ego heal quickly.

herhimnbryn said...

Looks like a good time was had by all ( despite the mishaps).
R.I.C.E. the wrist and reduce keyboard time ( yeah, can see you doing that!).

The Crow said...

Hope your wrist heals rapidly, completely. Enjoyed pictures of your family, especially young Zach.

I especially liked the photo of the narrow street of the walled city, Couvertoirade. Looks like a place one would saunter through leisurely.

:)

Barrett Bonden said...

RR: The Massif Central's most important function is to remind motorway drivers how huge France is. By European standards, anyway.

Plutarch: Took a second look and, yes, it's a hover-dinghy.

M-L: I doubt my ego will ever heal. But no best wishes about my nose, and you're one of the people who has seen it. Was it too Augustinian?

HHB: If you tell me to stop I'll stop.

The Crow: They were selling wooden broad-swords at the Couvertoirade tourist shop and Zach had to have one. As he strode out of the shop, slashing dangerously, a Frenchman said, "Voila! Le petit chevalier." Pretty neat given that Frenchmen aren't usually up to saying nice things about foreign kids.

Lucy said...

I especially like the two Zach photos, the one in the inflatable looks like a montage or similar, he seems to be hovering over the water surface.

The Hotel Marmotte doesn't sound too promising; there is a chain here you may have seen called Bonsai Hotel, which I think sound even worse, like they might have to trim off your lower appendages to fit you in the rooms...

Barrett Bonden said...

Lucy: The Hotel Procrustes?