Monday, 10 November 2008

for whom the bell tolls

There are advantages and disadvantages to living in a top floor apartment in St Jean de Luz. Advanages include wonderful views and the sound of waves at night. The disadvantage is the eglise Saint-Jean-Baptiste. Although a wonderful example of community Catholicism, the historic bell rings out each hour of the day, and night. Not only does it ring out the 60 minute segment, it repeats itself just in case you missed it. This is lovely until you get to around 4am when eight deeply resonating peels disturb even the deepest whisky induced slumber. As I have been told, if this is the greatest of my concerns then I am a lucky man, enough said.

Warm and balmy t-shirt weather today so we spent the morning on beach catching up on some reading and making the occasional foray into the sea. The oldies aqua-aerobics class was out again, there is something particularly Victorian about seeing a group of octogenarians working out in the sea. Before lunch we headed to the market to stock up on fresh crevettes (prawns) and vegetables after the success of supper on Saturday. The market was very busy as locals and tourists sought out fare in advance of tomorrow's public holiday, remember although today is not a public holiday most people are off work so as to 'faire le pont'. Although the French respectfully take a public holiday on 11 November, finding out if there is a commemorative service or procession fell largely on deaf ears. I guess having been secretive French Resistance fighters they are still reluctant to discuss anything openly about the War until you have proven your trustworthiness.

This afternoon we made a remarkable discovery akin to anything Indiana Jones (top link!) could have achieved. We have identified the location of the legendary Foret de Lapins. We had heard tale that there were thousands of these mythical vampire creatures roaming the hills somewhere near here and now we know where they are we can seek them out and attempt to uncover the Coupe de Carottes. It's actually a wee nature place not far from here, but we thought the name was brilliant!