Monday, 30 June 2008
Sarkozy visits Carcassonne
Carcassonne is in the news for all the wrong reasons today. President Nicholas Sarkozy stood outside a Carcassonne hospital and expressed horror and profound emotion as the story of yesterdays accident emerged. During a military show real live bullets were mistakenly used instead of blanks and fired at the audience. Miraculously no-one was killed but there are 16 injured nonetheless. Sarkozy is waiting for the results of an enquiry apparently, and I can't help but ponder that if French bureaucracy is involved he'll have a hell of a wait, but then again it could well be a case of 'who you know' rather than 'what you know' so I expect the results were delivered seriously tout de suite.
Yesterday saw soaring temperatures in the Languedoc as the region began to sizzle as one would expect in June. His Lordship and I packed a picnic of epic quantities and headed for the Mediterranean coast a mere hours drive away. Rather sensibly lorries are banned from the motorways on a Sunday which makes driving with the trusty old Golf GTI, circa 1980's convertible a gas. As we whizzed through the Corbieres the heady scent of the sweet gorse assailed us along with the deafening sound of the crickets. I could feel the sun boring through my carefully buttoned up linen shirt. The old Yves Saint Laurent glasses and a battered straw hat completed 'the look'.
We found the most fantastic spot down on Gruissan plage quite by accident. A marvellous stretch of the smoothest softest sand imaginable with the crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean to entice us. We were one of the first on the beach so the jaunty striped umbrella went up right by the waters edge. I'd left my 'slap it all over' Boots BOGOF (that's buy one get one free) for all you International readers in the picnic hamper so I had to begrudgingly squeeze my precious coveted Clarins in a teeny weeny tube over the most vunerable spots. By the time the hordes started to pour over the sand His Lordship and I had found ourselves a very agreeable place overlooking the lagoon under a shady old tree where we proceeded to lunch with bone china and silver cutlery of course. I don't do plastic picnics now I am grown up.
Which leads me to reflect that with the awful news of yesterdays accident in Carcassonne on every one's lips today it is well to count your blessings every single day.
Even when you don't get to the beach.