19th May 2012. Thunder and lightning overnight here, followed by the welcome hiss of rain. Of course, the dog was quick to take advantage of the situation by jumping up on the bed and shivering in time with each rumble of thunder..
I found this video this morning.. it's Manfred Radius, a glider pilot in the US, who carries out spectacular displays at night trailing sparks from fireworks mounted on his wingtips - all accompanied by classical music. Stirring stuff! (I couldn't place the beautiful music at first - but to put you out of your misery it's the Intermezzo from Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana)
20th May 2012. I was walking the pooch this morning along the beach at Anglet when there was the sudden unmistakable roar of military jet engines. Looking south towards Biarritz, I spotted seven Alpha Jets of the Patrouille de France arrowing across the coast in a relaxed 'gaggle' out into the bay at low level (~200') before heading north under threatening grey skies - looking for all the world like predatory sharks as they returned to their base after taking part in a weekend airshow at St Jean de Luz..
This is a clip I found from the national lunchtime news on TF1 showing St Jean de Luz sizzling in the heat just a few days ago. By contrast, it was cold, grey and wet today!
Rugby is the sport down here in the South West. The fact that it was successfully implanted here owes much to one Harry Owen Roe, a Welshman who came here to Bayonne on a rugby tour over 100 years ago and liked it. (Think he might have met someone!) There's a lot more about Harry Owen Roe here. He was clearly held in such high regard that the town even named the street that runs down the side of the Aviron 'garage' Rue Harry Owen Roe after him!
Football is definitely a minority sport here and driving through the countryside it's surprising just how many rugby goal posts you see. Here's a clip from TVPI, the local TV channel, that gives an idea of the passion and enthusiasm for the game in the south west and the Pays Basque in particular:
Finally, in case you've been wondering what Pipérade is all about, it's a classic Basque dish and it has to be one of the world's tastiest. Sparing no expense, here are the two Roux brothers, owners of the legendary Waterside Inn (3* Michelin) on the banks of the Thames at Bray, to show you how it's made. This is a really simple dish to prepare and as I said before, it's delicious. So, no excuses for not trying it out!
NB: Try to use the freshest of eggs and Bayonne ham sliced as thinly as possible.
24th May 2012. Today it's a perfect day for a sea trip. Let's go fishing from the Vieux Port in Biarritz.. (where we usually eat sardines):