4th December 2010. Finally, a dry day.. and sunny too. Despite it being only 2°C this morning, I decided to get down to the club for an outing. I've just looked back and the last time I was out on the river was 13th November.. it having rained every single day since then. This morning we went out in a coxless quad sculler and did a relatively painless 12km (Running total 333km). I say 'relatively' because with not having rowed for 3 weeks or so my hands had softened up - so I'm now sat here with fresh new blisters.. With it being the first Saturday of the month, it was time for an apéro at the club after the outing.. As Basil Fawlty might have said, I mentioned France's crushing defeat last week at the hands of Australia once but I think I got away with it!
Walked along the sea front at Biarritz this afternoon and around town. Christmas shopping seems to have clicked into top gear at last.
6th December 2010. It's 16°C here this morning and forecast to rise this afternoon to an unseasonable 19°C.. warmest in France. Bizarre weather. Meanwhile, up in the north, Cherbourg suffered badly from unprecedented flooding yesterday as a result of melting snow combined with a high tide.
We took the dog for a long walk through town and out along the Nive as it was a warm afternoon.
7th December 2010. It was reported on the TF1 news last night that the temperature at St Jean de Luz yesterday reached..... 22°C!
Spent the afternoon in the garden taking down a hefty cypress tree that had got out of control. I've now got a stack of logs that I'm hoping someone down at the club can use.
8th December 2010. We went to Dancharia in Spain this morning - just across the border from the lovely Basque village of Ainhoa, reputedly one of the most beautiful villages in France. I wouldn't argue with that. Dancharia is known for the numerous Ventas that are located there - Venta Peio is our favourite.. and with Christmas in mind we stocked up on drinks. As an example, a 2 litre bottle of Sir Edward's Scotch (made from 100% Scottish grapes*) was a tad over 16€.. (about £13.80 at today's rates). And contrary to the report in the above link, I don't find it a "rough and ready mixture" at all. I guarantee the writer of the above review couldn't identify it in a blind tasting with other blended whiskies. The car indicated that it was a balmy 22°C on the way home.. Meanwhile the rest of France shivers. As does the UK.
* I jest!
Today marks the 30th anniversary of John Lennon's death. It's impossible to imagine how he would have lived through the intervening years.. what new personas he would have lived out, what causes he would have espoused, what great new music he would have made. More here, here, here and here. RIP John.