Part Seven – Friday 30th August 2013
We were back at our place in Port Cogolin now and straight into a lazy, easy going routine. I am always up earlier than Peanut, so I breakfast alone in the loggia, often early enough to watch the sun rise over the apartments across the other side of the small port. Not this morning though, even I had indulged in a small lie in. Breakfast done, I wrote up the last leg of our Venice trip, the leg home. I brought Peanut tea in bed and read her our diary from the day before. We laughed remembering our fear at how close we were to running out of fuel.
We reminisced about our whole trip to Venice which had been wonderful from start to finish. On the way there we had another close call too. I was in the middle lane cruising at 130 km/h and pulled out to ease past a slower van ahead of me. As soon as I was in the fast lane, I saw three lorries in front of the van I had pulled out to overtake and they were all slowing. Then I saw the motorway was going from a three laner to a two laner. There was a small space in front of the lead lorry and I was in no man’s land trapped on the outside lane which was disappearing fast. I hit the accelerator, I hit it hard and we just squeezed in the gap ahead of the front lorry. It was close. But this was Italy, I never even got flashed at from the lead lorry for cutting in. There was a loud noise from the passenger seat as air came rushing out of Peanut’s mouth.
Back to Venice and what a lovely interlude for us on our holiday. When I get home and edit our photographs, I hope we have captured its magic with the Fuji X-E1 and the Canon with its Sigma 70-300 zoom. It was light and colour, textures, statues, lovers and I hope we can bring the place to life in our photos.
Meanwhile back in Port Cogolin, Jack Reacher was up to his neck in it in A Wanted Man, so I spent an hour more in bed reading that. I will finish this before we head for home, I can tell because it is gripping me. An hour is enough though, so we headed for the pool.
Before Venice Mrs P had improved leaps and bounds with her swimming. A breadth was now a doddle so a length of the pool challenged. She got in, set herself up and went for it with me swimming beside her. A dodgy start, her push off made her dip, a ragged second stroke saw her hands move half through water half through air and then she found some rhythm. A bend in the side of the pool showed she had reached halfway. More confident strokes. This was looking good. Two yards from home this was going to be a success. One yard… and then her feet were down! P had stopped short by just one yard. She was breathing deep and heavy now, puffed out and I could see by her face that she was really disappointed. In her mind it didn’t count.
We popped back to the apartment and had lunch which was a seafood paella with chicken too. It was lovely and I had a glass of wine to wash it down. I read some more Jack Reacher while I let my lunch digest, and Peanut read her book, a true love story, Somehow They Knew, by Anthony Cooper. Mrs P talks a lot about this book, so give it a read, I know I am once I have done with Mr Reacher. I do like the Jack Reacher thrillers, Lee Child has a very terse style, with short sentences, which are always to the point. I find myself wanting to write in a similar way. It’s good. Real good.
Back to the pool and with lunch digested and her breath back Peanut tried again to break the one length swimming barrier, this time though pointing into the sun, which I thought would be harder. Her start was good though and halfway came really quick. I swam along side her again, willing her on with every stroke. The edge of the pool was close now and I was sure she would do it this time. Two yards, one yard and again she stopped! I really felt her pain. She was so disappointed but by now she was really heaving for breath and I knew that today would not be the day. I gave her a cuddle, we’re British so it’s all about trying and I was proud of her – ok the length goal was elusive but now she was a swimmer. Maybe tomorrow!
We escaped the moment of failure with a poolside read of our books. Jack Reacher has started killing people for fun by now, while Peanut was lost somewhere in Singapore. We spent the rest of the afternoon like this, reading, swimming, sunbathing, a wonderful counterpoint to the hustle and bustle of Venice over the last few days.
Finally, with the sun beginning to fall behind our apartment block and the pool in full shade we retired to our flat for a refreshing hot shower and a pre dinner read in the shade. Spaghetti Bolognaise with fresh pasta, followed by chocolate puds that taste just like the Heinz baby chocolate puddings, that I had as a baby, as a small boy, as a bigger boy, as a young student, as a young entrepreneur, as a man and indeed as a middle aged man whenever Peanut will let me! We ended the day falling asleep in bed with our books in our hands!