…in my luggage as I get around to unpacking back home.
1. Turns out I did get a decent picture on Market Day after all. Shorts and garlic. Garlic and shorts. Garlic Shorts.
2. Last Saturday night / Sunday morning the DJ at Rafi’s villa party played the 12 inch version of Bronski Beat’s Smalltown Boy. Just lovely. He also played Sunday, Bloody Sunday, which is a whole heap more difficult to dance to with any sense of… disco.
3. When I mentioned to the villa owner that B.’s grandmother was Dutch, he said, ‘we Dutch are everywhere – all over the world – it’s really boring… so boring.’ I think he meant that it was nothing out of the ordinary, but ‘it’s really boring’ kinda became our cheeky catchphrase for a while.
4. At that villa, Sunday morning, I got two great photos of outdoors chairs around tables, which I plan to turn into a Picture Window painting series; plus a sumptuous table-top coffee-pot scene, which is already executed and up on the site.
5. Scrambili Egg (our work-in-progress short stories series) came on beautifully over the days and weeks on that balcony. I wanted there to be a longer piece, a longer short story, that let us spend more time with the characters. This one’s pretty dark in parts. Murder on Scrambili Egg is the working title, and at its heart an ostracised baker called Cut-Off Jean.
When we got home there was a note from our lovely friend who’s kindly reading through the first Scrambili Egg stories collection: her editing help is imminent!
6. Each Sanary visit we graciously and officially furnish our favourite / best-performing eaterie with Best Restaurant Status. L’Endroit gets a very honourable mention (they really are so friendly and nice in there), but this year’s award goes to Mac’Sym’s. And to think for our first six years we simply wouldn’t park our hungry bums anywhere near it. (Trivia-kittens will like to know that previous winners include La Churinga and the eternally-mourned Bong Sen.)
6.a. Dining Addendum! I just checked the above awardings with B., to validate the rankings – and she pointed out that a more holistic view would put Jean-Marc top of the nom-nom table, with those amazingly artful moules farcies. And Willi with his Bonnie Tyler Tuna in the top tier too…
7. In one of the airport queues at Marseille a man was eating a packet of Barbecue flavour Lays crips very enthusiastically – great fistfuls going into a wide-opened mouth with all manner of elaborate approaches and angles; and a woman nearby was watching this transfixed. I was watching both of them. I’ve always had a comedy thing about watching people who are watching people. And very public absorption in food has always creeped me out.
8. This was meant to get its own piece – not just this time, but anytime – and is here just a wee nuggett about the French voice-over versions of US cop shows, crime dramas, imported shows en général. I once drafted a stand-up bit about it – how it’s like the writers deliberately populate the storylines with the most poundingly English of character names, which the Frenchies are forced to stick to because the names are littered across papers, door signs, van sides and badges – leading to our own tremendous fun as these smoky, mellifluous voices have to say: ‘Passez-moi le dossier de Jonathan McCorchindale…’ and ‘ou est Margaret Blenkinsop?’. And so on. Which is, really, funnier than I just made it sound.
9. There are two clock-tower bells that chime the hours in Sanary. One atop the big church, the other atop the Town Hall. They are never together, but consistently chime with this time inbetween:
10. Returning to rain, whole dayfuls of rain, and October all but gone. What a very, very, very perfect time.