July 4th!

I hope my American readers will be pleased to hear that we celebrated their National holiday in style – in fact, we made a whole weekend out of it!

It started on Friday evening, when we hosted a July 4th barbecue for some of our American friends.  Unfortunately, it didn’t quite go to plan.

This is Provence.  The sun shines here 360 days a year (or something crazy like that).  Well, the sun chose July 4th to be one of those days when it doesn’t make an appearance.  Worse still, July 4th saw one of the worst thunderstorms for years hitting this region – just at the time our guests started to arrive.  Not to worry, we can cook indoors, we said, as they towelled themselves off and donned the dry clothing we had just loaned them.

Then there was a flash of lightening directly overhead and the power went.  We’re used to this happening during thunderstorms in Ireland, so we just assumed the whole area was out.  That’s what normally happens, right?  Not to worry, we’d just have to cook outdoors, despite the rain!  Candles and the barbecue were lit.  Burgers and sausages were cooked and brought indoors.  Salads and burger trimmings were spread out and the feast began. DSC_1720

The storm moved on, but still the power stayed off.  Dusk began to draw in and the lights remained steadfastly OFF.  How very inefficient of the power company, we thought… then it dawned on the LSH that the main trip switch may have been flipped.  Saying nothing to anyone, he sneaked off to check the fuse box.  Sure enough, we were the only house in the block without power… oops!  He flipped the switch and then cheerily burst back into the room – “Oh look, the power is back!”

Everyone cheered – but they’re going to kill us when they read this and discover that we should have had power all along!  Sorry, guys!


That little flag is a 32 year old souvenir of my travels in the US as a student. And no, I have no idea why it’s back to front.

On Saturday morning, the LSH made the video I posted yesterday on Sunday.  I spent a lot of Saturday editing it, apart from a brief respite for Mojitos by the pool with my friend Mandy, who has just moved into Céreste.

Me & Mandy, giggling over mojitos.

Me & Mandy, giggling over mojitos.

On Sunday, we spent the entire day on MC’s boat, Cobra.  What a beautiful, fun day we had.  I had a pain in my jaw from smiling by the time we got back to port!

We cruised out to Ile de Porquerolles, which is the island closest to where MC keeps her boat.


We anchored in a little crique (cove).


Then we swam and ate and fed the seagulls.


It seemed awfully cute when the two baby gulls climbed onto the boat to be fed too, but I fear we may have started them off on a life of begging and thievery.


We ate some more, swam again, then we snoozed, after which we people watched…DSC_1740

…and dog-watched…

DSC_1738…and ice-cream-delivery-boat-watched…

DSC_1742 …what a cool summer job!

MC and Georges were keen to show us the port of Porquerolles so we cruised off again in the middle of the afternoon and arrived at the port a little after four.


Well, if you thought the ice-cream seller had a cool job, wait til you see the next photo…


These very pleasant (and very pretty) young ladies in the light blue shirts spend the day zipping back and forth in their dinghies, meeting and greeting every boat that comes into the harbour.

DSC_1750They tell you where to go, depending on whether you’re just there for a couple of hours, overnight, or a longer stay.  We were directed to the ponton d’acceuil (reception pontoon, I suppose) where a very pleasant young man helped us to dock and ticked us off on his clipboard.  We’re just here for ice-cream, we told him.  Ok, he said, but try to be back around five.

We had a wander around the town, which did indeed consist mainly of ice cream sellers.  Supposedly hand made, but it wasn’t a patch on what we buy here in Céreste from Scaramouche!

We went for a short walk around the back of the town, mostly to see if we’d get a nice view of the harbour.  We did.DSC_1752And a nice view of this little crique for good measure.

DSC_1754Time was ticking by… in fact it was nearly six, so we legged it back to the ponton d’acceuil, hoping that we wouldn’t be keel-hauled for being late.  We needn’t have worried, the same pleasant young man just ticked us off his list and helped us to set sail once again.

There was time for one more swim and a spot of water-taxi-watching before we headed back to terra firma.  I have to say, the water-taxis all look like they were assembled in someone’s back garden.  I wouldn’t be in a hurry to board one of them!

DSC_1748We wake-watched while saying au revoir, Porquerolles

DSC_1761…and the LSH even got to drive the boat for a while (I think my nautical vocabulary may have just failed me.  Do you ‘drive’ a boat?)

DSC_1768The day finished with a meal in the port before we hit the road to come home again.

What a magical weekend.

DSC_1764I think we did Independence Day proud.

I hope you all had fun on the 4th, too.

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