Monday, 18 February 2019

A Few Days in La Rochelle

Blue sky, random packing, bra too tight, eating up those miles at sixty with a few bits of motorway where we can get out of the crawler lane and ramp up the petrol consumption.

Yes, it's a mini break to La Rochelle. Justification, if needed: we didn't get a holiday in 2018.

Mme. Peugeot has been ditched in favour of our very old but still gorgeous Audi tt.  We are escaping routine trips to LeClerc, office slavery, book writing, and unsolicited phone calls.

Le Champlain, our favourite hotel, is a haven of soft furnishings and elegance. Our little sports car is nestled amongst top of the range monsters.  Our adventure can begin with the knowledge that we have time to unpack and settle for more than a moment in our upgraded room, where the window opens onto a garden and the hot water is endless. There is squirty soap, too.

Sorting out a pair of tights and wondering how such things can be so badly designed to cut a body in half, I put on a dress and, (why not?) some BB cream.  Love the magnifying mirror in the bathroom - never has my eyeliner been so perfectly applied.  Boots, coat, trainers, hat, scarf, gloves in bag (just in case it snows).

Glorious sunshine.  Just the right amount of people. Archways, shops, the occasional dog turd.  What's that Al's saying?  Ah yes, bagels.  Cereal for me and cheese topped for him, both with chicken of some kind or other garnished with green bits.  Into Monoprix for two small bottles of Bordeaux (screw top).  A short trot to the harbour wall, where we sit among the pigeons, vocal homeless, and buskers for a picnic lunch.  Bliss.

Having decided not to discuss Brexit, we turn right at the Murder Tower (you will cry, if you go there), and follow the coast.  My face aches from smiling.  My greedy lungs swell with ozone.  What a wonderful thing it is to be alive.  I beam at Al and he tells me his ankle is only hurting a little, but veers towards an empty bench for a lie down. Peace, peace and peace.

Swiftly followed by gin and tonic at the casino, specifically, on the terrace looking out to sea.  There is a very elegant woman wearing a black lace dress and crimson lipstick - she sits opposite and waits for a friend who turns out to be a young refugee whom she has taken under her wing.  They discuss visas and freedom.  It's humbling.

We head back to the hotel for a rest before dinner, watch a terrible film, get changed and saunter down to our favourite wine bar: 'O bon 20' (Al worked it out before I did the first time we found it).
Gin and tonic (toxic quantities...) for me and a nic red for Al, to accompany delicious tapas: grilled chorizo, and a cheese platter served with bread - I would elaborate, but simple good food is best left free of adjectives.

No need for dinner.

And four more days to look forward to.  Formidable.

No comments:

Post a Comment