After eight weeks here, the honeymoon period between me and the city is coming to an end.
I woke up this morning in a cloud. A freezing cold cloud that hid everything except the headlights of the 40 foot long bendy buses that roar along my street.
It’s winter now. And the city is not my friend any longer. Dank, dreary, depressing Bordeaux.
I’m exaggerating, of course – it’s still nice. But it makes me wonder if any city looks great on a dark foggy day.
I was at the beach yesterday at the Grand Crohort that I wrote about in Blogley 176. I went swimming. Not a soul in sight.
Eight weeks ago when the summer was still in full swing, it was heaving. Now not a person. Apart from the faint image of a fisherman in the distance catching his dinner.
I used to swim with my friend Richard in winter every Sunday at Maenporth in Cornwall. It cleared the inevitable hangover and focussed the brain on the week ahead.
Yesterday I wasn’t hungover. I just needed to leave the city. Even Bordeaux with all its charm has become draining. Probably just these past few days of cloudy shitty weather.
The pollution is a factor as well. My running times are down from when I was at the farm in Queaux (yes I know, I can’t stop going on about it). My average pace is down from 4.10 min/km to 4.15 since I’ve been here, which is a good chunk of time over 10kms. You do the maths!
There could be lots of reasons for that I admit. Too much wine. Too many €3 Bud Pints at the Vintage Bar in town (see Blogley 169). Too many stodgy cakes at lunchtime. Too much bread. All are possibilities.
It wasn’t all fun and games at the farm either. Winter was hard. The isolation, especially at the weekends when I felt like merrymaking, was difficult. But the crucial thing was, it didn’t take long to feel better. I just went for a swim in the river.
It’s getting the balance right, isn’t it? For me I’d say it’s 70 – 30 in favour of the countryside. Thursday, Friday, Saturday in the city. Sunday to Wednesday in the country. That would do. That would be nice.
For the time being though, I’m in South Bordeaux…innit!