Showing posts with label Juan les pins. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Juan les pins. Show all posts

Sunday, 14 July 2019

Where do you go to: The rags to riches tale inspired by the epic Peter Sarstedt song by Jean Cerfontaine

I picked this book for two reasons. A I thought it was an interesting idea to base a book on a song lyric. B. One of the locations mentioned in the song is Juan les pins. As this is only a few miles from here I wanted to read what the author had to say about my area. We get a nice snapshot of 1950's and 60's Europe and some well known names like Picasso and Yves Montand are woven into the story. I gave it 4 stars as it is hard to emphasise with a character who's life is just so fabulous.

Basing a book on a well-known Peter Sarstedt song was an interesting idea. Time and time you are reminded of the song when Marie-Claire does something or goes somewhere. It builds a familiarity with the character that we wouldn’t otherwise have. After troubled and murky beginnings the young orphan Marie-Claire is adopted by the Le Blancs and starts a new life. And what a charmed life it is. Growing up in the plush surroundings of the French embassy of Rome and then Athens and Moscow, Marie-Claire takes to her new life like a duck to water. As we see her blossom into a young talented woman the action moves to Paris and we get a taste of the early sixties and how the rich and famous lived. The story gets a little repetitive as Marie-Claire’s life seems to be an endless string of parties and holidays. Her past is the intriguing part that hangs over the story like a dark cloud, and although it is resolved in an original way, I think the writer could have done more with it. Well written and a nice snapshot of 50’s and 60’s Europe.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Juan les Pins

We moved to the south of France nearly 3 years ago and after the amazing weekend we just had it is hard not to feel just a little bit smug. The UK has been battered by high tides, storms and snow while we have enjoyed t-shirt weather. This weekend I managed to get 3 days off in a row and we decided to make the most of it. 3 years on we still have the feeling that we are on holiday every time we get a day off. We decided to take a train 20 min up the line to Juan les Pins. From there you get some amazing views over the bay of Juan. In my book it is the place where Cameron had moored his yacht to enjoy all that Cannes (on the other side of the bay) had to offer.
Juan les Pins is worth a visit as it is one of the few places along the coast that has a sandy beach. Most of the town has seen better days though and it isn't as upmarket as Cannes. In December the season is definitely over, but there are still plenty of bars and cafes open along the sea front and on a sunny day you can enjoy beautiful  views over the bay. I recommend enjoying afternoon tea on the terrace of the very smart art deco hotel Belles Rives or even brave a swim (I did and it really wasn't too bad with a wet suit!) Getting off the train today it was hard to imagine I will be back at this station tomorrow at 8am to go back to work and reality. (Sigh!)