Waking up without Calliope prickling me is a lovely thing. I didn’t sleep particularly well. But even though we have no air conditioning, we have a fan and the night is cooler here than in Greece so sleeping comfortable enough.
The little house on four floors we are renting is built around a spiral staircase. The ground floor opens onto the street, and is a kitchen. The first floor has a bathroom and the bedroom. The second floor is has sofas and is more of an off season feel about it. The top floor, where we are spending lots of time, has a large outside balcony with a view of rooftops, the harbour and the mountains beyond.
Lorraine and I purposeful when we did got up. We went to a small Sunday market, so bustling it made me feel a bit claustrophobic. It was, however, selling lovely things so we persisted, buying a good cut of cured ham, two types of delicious cheeses, peaches, nectarines and tomatoes as well as an artisanal sourdough baguette with a rich nutty taste. Brought this booty home, for a late and delicious brunch.
A mellow lunchtime sitting on our balcony, and then a snooze. But at three o’clock we were up and out again, snorkelling on the rocky beach very close to where we are staying. Very crowded. Lorraine and I trying to appear as insouciant as the French about stripping off and waddling into the sea. The water a more yelp-inducing temperature here, than in Greece, but was fine once you were in. There were many fish, which we recognised from the other end of the Mediterranean, snorkelling near each other it was nice to come upon shoals of fish. This part of the coastline is a marine conservation area apparently. Then a bit of a walk around the lighthouse and looked at the cross with a figure of Jesus facing the sea.
We returned home and had showers, then I went out and bought some pink wine, which we drank, accompanied by bits of bread soaked in olive oil and tomato that Lorraine rustled up. We got ourselves ready, and found a little restaurant close to home. We had a nice enough meal there. Lorraine’s starter was crevette, and slightly disappointingly more whelks. I had a Spanish salad, a leaf or two with a thin piece of ham and cheese. We both had moules frites, some nice chocolate mousse. A friendly little place, and we got talking a little bit to the couple next to us, a French man and an English woman who lived in London and swapped continually between the two languages.
Lorraine and I then went for a mooch about. We stopped at a bar and had two small but expensive beers, looking across at the waterside with a DJ playing some French House music which seemed to fill the whole town, then went to the wifi café, where we had two more small beers. Seeing a young English guy order a large beer, inspired me.
Lorraine and I came home eventually, and sat on our balcony looking up at the mountains overheadand the crowd of stars above them having an absolute bloody final pink wine, still able to hear the DJ on the waterfront. I recited When you are old by WB Yeats, which Lorraine always thinks is a great and romantic talent. And so to bed.