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Do the sundance for me

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I'm going on holiday to the south of France in a couple of days' time. Looking forward to all that hot, sunny weather. Or I was.

Think again, girl, because the weather forecast is atrocious. 12C (55F), cloudy, raining, thunderstorms. I didn't know they got weather like that down there. Looks as though I'm about to find out.

So, having a major rethink on the packing front. I'm a minimalist packer, if flying I usually manage to take hand luggage, even when going for a week's holiday. This causes consternation at the hotels where I stay. They think I'm not quite respectable. Actually, they're right, I'm not but this is nothing to do with the amount I pack.

In fact I am going on the train, Eurostar to Lille from London, then changing on to the French train a grand vitesse (TGV) for the next four hours. I was sort of hoping for free wifi on the train but it doesn't look as though I'll get it, don't think the train will have it at all and if it does, not for oiks like me, only for the people in business class. Since I've never worked out the point of paying more than you have to (both ends of the train stop at the same stations, yes?) I'll be in second class with all the other thrifty people.

I love this train journey, I've been down to the south of France every year but one for the last 15 years, so I always look out for the landmarks. Once you get past Valence, you're into mountains and then you cross the Rhone for the first time and I actually get goosepimples when I see it. Just outside Avignon you get a glimpse of the pont du Gard, the Roman aqueduct. Then the train curves slowly round the outskirts of Marseille and on, along the coast, through all the lovely little towns by the sea. Sometimes it's a bit inland, sometimes it's close enough to see the sea.

Then when I arrive there's going to be a huge struggle between my Sparkness and my desire to eat everything off every menu: confit duck, cassoulet, carpaccio de boeuf, lamb this, that and t'other, guinea fowl, chocolate mousse, creme caramel, tarte tatin . . . ohhhh! On a sparkier note, I am aiming to do lots of walking, along beaches, in forests, etc and the fact that it's rained is good, because this is a dry area that suffers from forest fires in summer, so if it has rained, a lot of paths will be open to the public that would be shut if it were dryer.

I might be off-blog for a day or two, but I'm taking Laptop with me for the first time ever, so expect blogs with pix like this one:

Although the toes may be blue with cold if the weather does what the forecast says!
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