Monday 5 October 2009

Sunday Miscellany

I’m writing this on the TGV to Paris. The train journey takes three hours and will bring me from the sunny, warm South to the colder, greyer North and a complete change of landscape. On the one hand, yay!
Paris. On the other, I am very sad to be leaving Roisin, George and Gregory behind. Selected Hints for Aix will follow – but the Tip-Toppest Hint is go!

It should be pretty clear by now that I really liked Marseille. So instead of writing at length about the train (though I am on the top deck which I’ll admit is quite cool) I thought I’d revisit a Sunday we spent in Marseille two weeks ago.

At the recommendation of a colleague of R & G’s we drove into Marseille and followed the main road along the coast, along the corniche, with stunning views over the sea and the islands. We went almost as far as we could go, to Pointe Rouge, where the city suddenly gives way to a little fishing village.

The restaurant that we’d been told to go to was shut and the only other one had just one table left - inside. Lucky for us, the second restaurant (called ‘Au Bord de L’Eau) was excellent.

We shared a big plate of antipasti and then Roisin and I both had cod roasted in the pizza oven, with aioli on the side. By dessert time, the crowd had cleared a little and our waitress invited us to move to a table outside, by the beach. Profiteroles taste better with a tang of sea air.

We had our hair whipped by the wind afterwards when we went for a walk and Gregory did his best to fall off the rocks (don’t worry, George is too fast for him). I hadn’t been feeling that well from a mixture of a cold plus the medicine I took to counteract it, but the sun, sea and salt made me feel ready for anything. I could have stayed there for hours. I remembered the lines e. e. cummings wrote (from a poem I never much liked but this part has stayed in my head): For whatever we lose (like a you or a me) it’s always ourselves we find in the sea.

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