For my birthday we went to a restaurant that we had been passing on our way to the airport yet never visited. It seems like many others we know too. It was large, so no need to book, in fact for a good part of our meal we were the only two occupied seat out of 80. The food was good and Delia’s steak one of the best she had had apparently.
The delay to Delia’s op freed up the weekend we had planned to go to Berlin – too late unfortunately. So we looked for a last minute booking near the coast. Our usual place near Contis was booked so instead of St Julian en Borne, it was St Parentis en Born about 50km further north. Much cheaper, but we got what we paid for (more about that later).
The Saturday drive was 3 hours mostly in rain with dazzling breaks of occasional sunshine through the clouds. Arriving we had a compact and bijou detached annex to a duplex single storey house. Our “annex” comprised two rooms and a bathroom. Compact but for two night perfectly acceptable. We quickly unloaded and then jumped back into the car with Siena and drove to Biscarrosse Plage. First impression in the rain and cold wind were reminiscent of Skegness out of season – including the deserted fairground rides. All a bit dismal, even the beach wasn’t dog friendly (though Siena did manage a short crazy dash around appreciating the soft sand between her pads).
Back to our gite with a roasted chicken for dinner and a bottle of bubbly in front of a log fire It was after this that the negatives began; two undersized single duvets on a double bed, a cock crowing from 5am and yappy dogs at the door at 6am. Anyway, the day was fine and after our experience of Biscarosse we drove the 45 mins to our known favourite beach near Contis. As usual Siena loved to run and run and we had a lovely long beach almost to ourselves. After a picnic of chicken salad followed by pancakes in Contis we explored our way back and found a slightly less deserted beach albeit not such a long walk from the car. The back to the gite, pasta carbonara (and wine) followed be a repeat of the previous night. I can safely say I would have happily strung up those 4 fluffy white terriers that decided barking at our door was a right laugh!
Unusually for us (well, for Delia if truth be told) we wound our way home more slowly than usual. Pausing for a gawk and coffee in Parentis and then the coast road towards Archachon. Parking near the road and walking through the woods towards the beach found us on a long deserted stretch of beach by a long metal wharf. Unlike yesterday, the sea was calm and quiet. An hour or so here and then heading home with a late lunch at a services, better quality food (though not by much) than the equivalent in the UK.
Of course the big thing this last week was Delia’s operation. She may write more about it next weekend but most of you have been kept up to date more or less. In short it went well. On her return to the hospital room where I was waiting she was awake enough to be smiling. It went so well in fact that she was able to leave a day earlier than expected. I had expected more time to tidy up etc but I had at least bought her flowers the day before, to greet her upon her return home.
Delia is still a bit fragile but the nurse is visiting each morning and it looks like she may be able to have the drain (draining blood and plasma from the operation) removed tomorrow (Monday). I think she is looking forward to being able to get around less hindered. Perhaps a short walk in the (just returned) sunshine.