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Holiday Diary Port Cogolin July 2014

Friday and Saturday 25th and 26th July


As with all of our adventures it all begins as soon as I finish work. Work though does not give me a second to get excited about my holidays it is just a relentless queue of orders and queries from the minute I start to 4.30 when I finished on Friday. Finally, I stepped out of work and into another world.

Mrs P was held up in traffic so I walked to meet her jumped into Pacey said hello and admired the stylish u-turn Peanut performed to save us 10 minutes of traffic jams. The drive to the tunnel is always the worst bit of the whole 1000 mile drive to our apartment in the south of France. The UK motorways and especially the M25 are just so congested. Anyway as it happens this leg of the trip went fine. The tunnel though was busy so no chance of hoping on an earlier train. I have written previously about the “charms” of the terminal building or rather lack of so I won’t go on except… Well except for Mr Dyson. Your carpet cleaners may be good (though in truth I’m more of a GTech man myself) but your hand dryers are an affront to my ears. Very effective but put 10 together in a busy terminal and they make a stress making constant roar. Ok so they lack the terror of the noise of a Stukka dive bomber but they make up for it with the relentlessness of their noise. As soon as one person finishes another jumps on one. Multiply by 10 and a jumbo jet cannot make as much noise!

So to recap. A brilliant start to my holiday. Picked up from work by a fit bird who drives like Bond. A great run to the Tunnel and a Dyson dryer to rant about. I’m in Heaven already.


We crossed and got off to a great start all the way to Beaune. Here we had a sleep which was longer than we would have liked but we must have needed it. This meant we hit Lyon at a busy time. Oh and the whole of France was heading south to the French Riviera or Spain. Our automatic toll clicker got us through the dreaded Lyon toll in minutes but it could not help with the high volumes of traffic which resulted in two accidents and a slow journey. Often we are at the apartment for ten but this time it was two when we got there. PaceBeast fitted in the garage a treat and by three we were unpacked and all set up on the patio.

We got out our very British checked shopping trolley and walked to Geant for a big shop. This trolley is one of the best bits of kit we have here. Ok so it lacks ceramic brakes, it only has one gear and the engine is looking a bit tired now (well it is 54 years old) but it gets the job done. This time packing in an electric BBQ as gas ones have been banned in Port Cogolin for safety reasons. While at the shops we had a lovely apricot pastry each to keep us going to dinner.


Dinner. Too lazy to cook – though we did build the new BBQ (that could be a blog all of its own) – we went to Baou Baou’s for dinner. A little treat and I had paella while P had tagliatelle with rouget and prawns. Both dishes were delicious. Bedtime next and a date with Harry Hole back in Oslo.

If you enjoy reading a blog where two people drive to the South of France, go to a supermarket and have dinner out then keep popping in for more of our exciting adventures!


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Blog A Pic – RAF Hendon Museum


Last weekend we went to the RAF Hendon Museum to meet up with Peanut’s son Duncan and it proved to be a smashing venue for  a meet and catch up. From PhotoBeast’s point of view it was a chance to match the Fuji X-E1 with the delicious Fuji 35mm 1.4 lens and test them ut against some challenging indoor shooting without flash. We were delighted with the results which are shown here with a fine and yummy green velvet film effect applied for good measure.


Venice By Night


Venice is possibly the most photographed city in the world. It gets huge numbers of tourists all clicking away catching every vista and detail and in truth I am just another in the hordes of tourists. But if i don’t take the pictures then the memories will disappear and it is nice to look at pictures of Venice that are your own and your own memories. Not only is Venice beautiful by day but it demands to be photographed at night too. To be honest though, I go to these places as a visitor and tourist first and a photographer last, I don’t want my photographs to take over from the experience of just being there. The result is I get good snaps, rather than great photographs but i am happy with that, because I was there, I have lived, breathed, tasted and smelled Venice and that is the main thing. Anyway nonetheless, I hope you like my snaps of Venice by night.

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Venice’s Greatest Bookshop


While exploring Venice on a recent Summer holiday, we stumbled across a marvelous bookshop which had a sign outside boldly proclaiming it to be “The World’s Most Beautiful Bookshop”. Well it might be right. Inside it was wall to wall glorious chaos, which really made you feel like you could dive in and discover some wonderful and exciting book which up until that point you never knew you needed. It was fascinating and compulsive and you really could spend hours in there. At the back they had created a staircase out of old books which one of their cats had made home.