Monday, 3 November 2008

a new boulangerie

Still raining this morning. It used to be that Monday was a day that marked the end of the weekend and start of the working week, commencing early with a management briefing... Monday in St Jean de Luz is far less daunting. A lazy start to the week with coffee, fruit and fresh bread followed by admin and a couple of hours of writing. Went downstairs to Cafe Vauban for a light lunch and to read Le Figaro. The men working in the cafes here are wonderful. Immaculately turned out, brimful of banter and absolute pride in their work. There is a great piece in the paper today on Air France potentially going on strike because they were no longer going to be able to retire at 55 or 60 and were being told to retire at 65 (god forbid!), the French government has backed down and stated that people will be asked to retire at 65 but emphasised that it was merely a question and in no way mandatory. I am not sure how many people will jump at the chance to work for an extra ten years. I really want Sarkozy to succeed but he can't climb down so readily on domestic policy, very different to his comparative success with foreign policy and as EU president. Weather began to clear up as coffee completed, we can see La Rhune again.

October holidays are over which means less people around town. St Jean de Luz is very popular with Parisians many of whom have a second home here. However, it also means schools are back and the cafes are full of students taking coffee, smoking, chatting, preening and carrying their moped helmets from table to table. Mid-afternoon the sound of opera being sung floats upwards to the apartment. There is a man who walks, or cycles, around St Jean de Luz singing various popular arias. He seems to dwell where the acoustics are best, quite often beneath our front balcony, and appears to do this for no other reason than he enjoys it, we do too!

Went for a stroll along the beach and up to the headland just before dusk (at the moment it gets dark at 1830). It is wonderful to see so many people out walking before supper. The swell was impressive and the surfers were taking full advantage. Just as the sun started to dip out of sight the sky took on a reddish hue so hopefully the weather will start to pick up again. After such an unseasonably warm weekend swimming in the sea and eating outdoors the temperature has sunk dramatically. Snow is forecast tonight on higher ground. Stopped off for a hot chocolate and then on to the local cinema Le Rex where we commited ourselves to buying loyalty cards, so lots of movies in French starting with Quantum of Solace tomorrow evening, can't wait to see how Judy Dench and John Cleese sound in French! Before heading home we popped in at our new favourite place, Boulangerie Labechiloa on Rue Loquin, to pick up a baguette for supper, lovely and warm.