Showing posts with label Nice. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Nice. Show all posts

Monday, 18 July 2016

Promenade des Anglais

This morning I took a dip in the Mediterranean at 8am in the morning; the sun was rising and the water flat and calm. Another day in paradise begins. It's hard to imagine that only a few miles away and a few days earlier such horrific events took place.

You see the aftermaths of atrocities on TV and you feel for the victims but it always seems very far away; until it happens on your doorway.
My husband and I had just returned from a fireworks display in St.Laurent du Var (next to Nice) and decided to stop of for a quick pint before going home. Soon the TVs were switched on and we learnt about the tragedy unfolding in Nice.
Needless to say, the beer was forgotten about as we just wanted to get home and let friends and family know that we were ok. We met some friends on our way and we were just so pleased to see them safe and sound. Social media is much criticised but here it showed its use; with one click of a button I could let my friends know I was safe and see that they were safe too.
It was a late night and the next morning was filled with sadness and dread. The feeling I had driving to work I wont forget very quickly. Would all my colleagues be there? Would they be grieving?
I'm so thankful that I've not lost any friends or colleagues, but many have been affected in some way and they will struggle to come to terms with it.

Nice in happier times:
I firmly believe that the best way to defy terrorists is by living my life the way I have always done. The south of France is a beautiful place with the most perfect climate and I hope many people will continue to visit. I will be going out to restaurants, to beaches and events. I will not cower in my apartment but supporting local businesses who now must face a tough time.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

The weather

Unlike when I worked in the UK, my colleagues and I spend little time discussing the weather. Mostly it just to say 'il fait beau dehors, profite bien!' (it is nice outside, make the most of it!) to the fellow worker finishing his or her shift. With 211 sunny days a year we are blessed with an exceptional climate, so visitors were a bit surprised when they experienced some rather heavy rains, strong winds and thunderstorms last Tuesday. When things are bad here, they can be really bad and chaos ensued. Cancelled or diverted flights, mudslides, a river bursting it banks and traffic at a gridlock.

We often say that we have so many good days as all the months rain is received in one massive downpour.

The beach here in Cros de Cagnes is an artificial pebble one. They build a wide promenade between the water and the old fishing village and most of the sand beach was taken up by the road. Every spring a few lorries bring some more pebbles to repair the beach. Autumn waves and storms all do their best to erase the small strip of land. Last years storm was spectacular and I've writen about it in my short story 'the wee baldy man, published in the e-bundle 'Something Short'

High waves picked up the pebbles and threw them over the promenade, leaving a trail of destruction all along the coast. So yes, we don't talk about the weather very often, but when we do, it's the topic of conversation for many days.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Not so easy

First a bit of news, I had a productive day off when it wasn't good enough to swim. I now have nearly 7 stories ready for the short story bundle and am now looking into publishing these together with some stories written by my friend Elspeth. The only snag is that Amazon KDP will not let us set up a joint account to split the royalties at source. I'm sure we'll find a way round this. Honestly, writing is the easy part, everything else that comes afterwards is bloody difficult!

Another thing that wasn't easy was getting people to read your book and do a review. I believe my book would appeal mostly to young males, not an easy target group to get to read full stop. Luckily it appealed to some female readers out there and Laura Besley has very kindly posted her review on Amazon, Goodreads and her blog. You can read it via the link below:

Working at the airport I spotted something else that used to be easy but now seems a rather complicated affair: Taking an Easyjet flight.
I haven't used Easyjet recently, but in the old days, you bought a ticket, took one item of luggage and a handluggage then you got a boarding card without a seat number and you all pilled on a quick as you could to get the best seats.
Blimey, things have changed! I now and then work in the tiny shop that oversees the easyjet gates to the UK in Terminal two. Easyjet in my view now takes just takes forever to board, they mostly start 45 to 50min before take-off. Firstly you now have to pay for hold luggage so everyone tries to get as much as possible in their hand luggage. If it is not spotted on check-in, they do catch you on boarding and the now far to big hand luggage has to go in the hold anyway. Then there is all the different types of boarders, Speedy boarder etc, it just takes forever and you now pay for the privilege to go onto the plane before the others and to select your seat. (Little secret; you all still get there at the same time!)
Easyjet is one of our biggest operators in Nice, so they must be doing something right, but the name Easyjet seems a bit ironic now.