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The Antics of Worth and Gates 127/366

A trip to the south of France would not be complete for Worth and Gates if they did not spend at least one afternoon on their favourite beach. Basically they head for L’Escalet turn right at the beach and park as far along as they can. Then they walk along the coast towards Cap Taillat, a small island that juts into the sea and which Worth thinks of as Kirrin Island from Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books. Halfway there they drop down to this small strip of golden sand.

Worth lay down and studied what he saw. High above jets had criss crossed the sky with their vapour trails. Christian crosses dominated the sky like signs for those who seeked a sign, or an omen for some, or just the ironic artistry painted by jets polluting the sky as they brought happy people to fresh shores for fun and frivolity.

As time passed, the vapour trails turned to wispy cloud, beautiful yet reminiscent of a white artex  ceiling on a 1980s English home. Below this ceiling single engine propeller planes scuttled across the sky, bringing the noise of their engines to Worth’s ears and naturally making him think of Biggles. Below this seagulls floated on unseen currents of air, gliding over the beach and the sea looking for an easy meal. Their world mingled with man’s world sharing the same space yet living such different lives. Or maybe Worth is wrong. Maybe the seagull has read Biggles too and right now is pretending to glide across the border from a Spain torn asunder by civil war into the halcyon safety of a France not yet introduced to Hitler’s Stuka bombers. The seagull perhaps has an imagination as strong and rich as that of either Worth and Gates.

Following the seagull’s glide, Worth has his eye taken to the horizon, where the sky tumbles into the sea. The demarcation is clear as the deep blue sky nonetheless contrasts strongly with a line of dark navy sea. To Worth’s eye there is an inch or so of this navy sea before it turns to a beautiful turquoise blue. The colour of summer jewellery. This turquoise sea sits higher than where Worth is lying. It appears to cascade towards him creating bold waves as it nears the beach, waves that threaten to roll straight over Worth. Power and beauty.

And on the beach people play. A family shares a picnic. An adorable little boy rushes to meet the waves clutching a stick and a little red bucket. A lady walks by with a tall thin dog an Afghan hound and a tiny dachshund. The tall dog was on a lead, the dachshund bounced around and under the larger dog. An incongruous but irresistible pair of dogs. Three Canutes stand at the edge of the sea. All their power combined fails to stop the sea and three shrieks leap from their mouths to meet the sound of the lone propeller high above.

Gates opened the picnic and Worth felt like they were sat on two street facing chairs people watching as the world ambled past. They were the best seats in the cafe thought Worth and that was the main thing.

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The Antics of Worth and Gates 126/366

The sun shone. The red convertible beckoned, roof down and inviting. It begged for a twisty country road. Worth gave the car what it wanted. He headed inland to Grimaud then beyond on the La Garde Freinet road. Someway down this he turned off left on the D14  signposted Collobrieres. The road got twistier. The road got narrower. Concentration went up. They took a right on a bend and turned into a farm.

Bond turned into John Wayne. Moneypenny turned into Velvet Brown.

A large brown mare – Ballin – was given to Wayne. Brown got a smaller mottled brown mare – Cisco. Brown was pleased with Cisco as she has a donkey called Cisco. With 4 others they headed out into the wild wilderness of Les Maures.

They could smell the sun on their faces and taste the scents of spring in the air. Wild red poppies splashed the verges with colour as they fought the long grasses to taste the sunshine.

The horses stooped constantly to chomp on the abundant grasses, till you reined them in to the march once more. “Allez, allez” and Ballin would fall in behind the horse in front. Some of the tracks were steep and they kept the horses moving to stop them slipping. 

All the while the countryside astounded with its lushness, its strength of colour and scale. Yet man’s touch pervaded through it all. Power cables here, concrete tracks there, fresh planting where the trees were being managed. Cork trees old and new, showed where the cork had been harvested.

The ride was a wonderful treat to their senses. The sights of the landscape, the sounds of the wildlife, the taste of Spring,  the smell of the flowers fighting the earthy, dusty smell of the horses and lastly touch. The intimacy as they patted the horses neck, or felt the coarseness of their cropped manes. The feel of the leather reins in their hands as they fought to master their mounts.

Put simply this was a fun morning.

Soon enough Wayne and Brown became Bond and Moneypenny. They twisted and jived their red convertible to Collobrieres for lunch.

Bond and Moneypenny were once more Worth and Gates as they tucked into a lamb shank and veal respectively. A walk around the small town eating an ice cream completed their stop. 

They headed for home via the D41 to Bormes les Mimosas and then the coast road to La Croix Valmer and then home.

Home at last, tired but smiling thinking back on a great day, Worth glorying in the joy of feeling so well, he though like Gates, wondered exactly who he was?

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The Antics of Worth and Gates 125/366

Worth felt on top of the world. He was driving his red convertible, with the roof down. The sun was shining and Gates was looking pretty damn fine in the passenger seat. He was driving to Monaco and the world felt like a pretty good place.

They parked at the Rock and headed into old Monaco for lunch in one of the many restaurants in front of the palace. They had beef kebabs with chips and salad and they were rather good. They chatted with a Yorkshire couple who sat next to them. Turns out they now live in Ireland.

Then Worth’s tummy took a turn for the worse and he got tummy ache. He smiled for Gates as best he could but there was no hiding it and it put a damper on things. 

Valiantly they went on to see what Menton was all about but their hearts weren’t in it and soon they headed for home. Gates took over the driving and got them home. 

Gates made Worth a cup of tea. Then some Pago. She read him Biggles. By bedtime he was better and looking forward to horse riding the next day.

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Playing in Grimaud and St Tropez

Yesterday we went to book a horse riding trip for Thursday and on the way back we stopped in Grimaud for lunch. We had a saunter round and wandered up to the old chateau that tops the hill. It is a lovely place to spend a few hours exploring.

Lunch was lovely. Norwegian salad for me and an omelette for Peanut washed down with a glass of white wine each. A lot of Harley bikers were there making the restaurant busy. 

We had planned to go to the beach but the strength of the sun had waned so we went to St Tropez for a mooch instead. 

We parked in the centre at place des Lices and then headed to the port to grab a few photos of the yachts.

A lot of the more traditional yachts were in the port which to us are more interesting to see. Contrasting with these were the Harleys parked along the quayside. Peanut grabbed this photo. The reddy background is from the seats of one of the more famous cafes that surround the port. I loved this image that P shot.


The Antics of Worth and Gates 124/366

A lazy day for Worth and Gates on holiday in the south of France. However, the sunshine dragged them out of bed and into their car for lunch in Ste Maxime. Duck for Worth and salmon for Gates made for a rather delicious lunch and this necessitated an afternoon on the beach to help digest lunch. A dash to Gigaro was called for then. 

That is the fun side of living with cancer mused Worth. The not fun side of dying with cancer was the tummy ache that followed the meal and the sunglasses to hide the bloodshot eye where a blood vessel had decided to burst for no good reason. 

Worth mused some more. He likes his life – he gets to do all kinds of antics with Gates – there’s nothing to beat it.


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