Aups 2018

As Richard says with the horrific weather we are having at the end of our stay, “It makes it easier to leave.” But other than the last few days and few earlier, we have been blessed with absolutely lovely Midi sun and mildness. Adele had met us at the train station in Les Arcs and brought us to Tellus. A month of connecting with friends and loved ones has been a joy. A dinner at Penny & Hamish’s with Carol, another dinner at Carol’s with Penny, Hamish, Pierre, Catherine and Daniel with Mela’s paella, a dinner at Pierre and Catherine’s with Carol, Mela, Penny, Hamish and Sara, a dinner at Liliane and Renaud’s with Jim, Joanne and Sara, a dinner at Cindy and Dieter’s, a dinner chez nous with Antoine, Dominique, Adele and Pascal, a dinner at Jim and Joanne’s with Liliane and Renaud, and another dinner chez nous this time with Pierre, Catherine, Liliane, Renaud, Jim, Joanne and Marguerite and cooked by Santima and Laura.



The Focus

Sara was our first houseguest. Apart for her troubles getting to Aups from Nice, everything else went well. We did the lake circumnavigation including the Temple of Apollo and Moustier Sainte Marie, and did the same with Laura and Santima once they were here. And with both Sara on one occasion and later with Laura and Santima we visited Barbara up on the hill. Richard, Laura and Santima each bought one of Barbara’s paintings. Natacha also paid us a visit when she was visiting her mother. Richard and I joined Jacqueline and Hans in Cannes for lunch when they finished their Mediterranean cruise. We all visited (briefly) the Ile de Saint Honorat. And the night before Santima and Laura left (we drove them to the TGV station outside Aix), they took us to dinner at the Hotel Provençal which was surprisingly delicious. With Sara, we had one dinner at Les Gourmets. We have also just had a dinner at the Bastide de Calalou with Penny and Hamish, and we will dine there again tomorrow night with Pierre and Catherine – the day before we leave for Paris (Hallowe’en).

Sadder things: Michael’s Eros has died. And dear Wendy in Long Beach has had a severe stroke as she was talking to an audience about her recently published novel. Her last words to Doug were “How inconvenient.” He has kept us abreast of her condition – good things and bad. It will be a long recovery at best.

Our own healths have been mixed. Pains, aches and exhaustion predominate. We visited Nicholas and Micheline, and Claude and Birgitte were visiting as well. I have seen Phillipe, the Maries but not together – one now working at the Marché Aupsois, Audrey at the Café de Cours, Petit Claude of course with the cars, Maria & José, Serge, Jean-François, and Elaine.  Clement has worked on our roof tiles and cut down the dead reine claude tree; Dalmaze Fernand repaired a leaking sink and toilet, and RND cleaned our chimneys and got rid of the frelon nest in one of them. Richard and I have also been to the podiatrist which was a real treat for both of us. In fact, the whole stay has been a real treat in spite of the farm and country life making us more acutely aware that we are no longer young as we once were and are simply no longer young at all. We did manage to celebrate the Ides of October with space cakes. For me it was: “In the course of evolution, every once in a while, there is a spontaneous mutation – non-genetically predetermined. It is this that is an eruption of the otherworld, ‘God’ if you will, but some manifestation of the divine other (‘Divine Other’ if you will). ”

After the TGV station, Richard and I enjoyed a lunch at La Rotonde in Aix – an old favourite haunt. It rained but was still beautiful. We did some shopping as well and then came home and relaxed peacefully. Jim and Joanne came to us for a delightful luncheon of leftovers. Closing things up is not particularly easy, but we’s gettin’ there.





























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