Thursday, 12 May 2011

A Retirement Break and Obstacles To Young Love

We're having some time in France at the moment. It's the first time we've been outside the UK since 2008  so I think the break is well deserved. One of the beauties of retirement is that we're not stuck to weekend travel and,although it's only early in the season, I've never been on a ferry with so few people before. It was like the Marie Celeste and Marion and I felt like we had a whole deck to ourselves. It was a smooth crossing and we arrived safely before a four and a half hour drive to our hotel in Brittany. It should have been a three and a half hour drive but thanks to the wonders of sat nav we seemed to take the most tortuous route conceivable. Fortunately for me, Marion had a road atlas to hand and after hours of driving but apparently getting not very far, she took control and the hotel finally came into view. It's a super little place Le Lodge Kerisper in Trinite Sur Mer - strongly recommended.

We've had a lazy first day. A walk around the town and along the beach marveling at the wonderful local architecture. Although I've got my digital SLR camera with me, the iPhone is still a very handy thing for holiday snaps like the ones on today's blog. Tonight it's our first taste of French cuisine (we were too late to eat last night). We're going to have to do plenty of walking and cycling as the portions on the plates of diners we passed at lunchtime looked generous in the extreme.

There are plenty of imposing mansions along the coast like this brooding edifice which reminded us of something out of Daphne Du Maurier - it has a bit of a Cornish feel to the place.

I managed to read my first book of the holiday today. David Nobbs was the creator of "A Bit Of A Do" a late 1980's tv series that we loved so, when I saw that connection on the book cover, reading it was a foregone conclusion.  It's a wonderful novel, funny, sad, original and beautifully observed. It follows two young lovers who star together in the school production of Romeo and Juliet from their teens to their forties. The path of true love isn't a smooth one but the bumps along the way are hugely entertaining. I would love to see more novels in this genre. At the moment the shelves seem to be piled high with crime and fantasy but for me you can't beat a good romance or social drama. Last week I read "We had it so good" by Linda Grant which is in a similar vein although with far less humour. That too was very readable. Publishers please note. More please.