I’m off again. Off to Andernos-Les-Bains on the Arcachon basin to look after a villa for the winter with some cheffing and teaching work thrown in to pass the time.
‘Not bad if you can get it,’ a friend of mine said.
‘Well, yes, and no,’ I replied. ‘It’s work. It’s by the sea. But it’s also an hour from Bordeaux, a city I really like. It means exchanging some of the best wine in the world for some of the best oysters in the world. Which is great if you like oysters,’ I continued. ‘But I happen to hate them, so it looks like I’ll have to stick to crab and champagne for my lunches.’
This housesitting lark though I assured him, isn’t all fun and games, open crab sandwiches and fine wine. I’m rarely in the same place for more than a year. My worldly possessions can fit in a ruck sack. And I generally run out of money at about Christmas time.
But as Chatwin once wrote, ‘Man’s real home is not a house, but the Road…’
Not that I’ll be on the road. More in a cosy cottage by the sea, but the sentiment is the same.
I’ll miss Bordeaux though. I’ll miss its creaking stone houses that look like they’re going to tumble down at any minute. Its stray scruffy dogs that roam the streets like grumpy patrol sergeants looking for a fight. Its freshly sandblasted public buildings that look like they’ve just been built. Its bloated river sliding slowly through the city like the liver of a dead alcoholic edging its way towards an open bottle of ethanol on the morgue table for one last drink.
Bordeaux is a great city. I can vouch for it. The best in France? Possibly. But it’s time to leave. Go West. See the sea, eat some crab, enjoy the view, swim in the sea, run on the beaches, earn the dollar, enjoy the ball. C’est la vie and all that crap.
But one question remains. What happens to Blogley in Bordeaux?
Do I keep it. Or do I change it to Blogley in Andernos-Les-Bains. Or even Blogley in Bordeaux (in Andernos-Les-Bains) to make it sound like a lo-cost airline destination that’s a 17 hour bus trip from the airport. An airport that’s no more than a corrugated iron cow shed manned by filthy farmers waving coloured flags in the air to guide the plane down. Or was that Luton? I can’t remember.
But all of this can be thrashed out in the New Year when I return to France from Blighty, bright and bushy tailed after my Christmas retreat in Chesterfield with my family.
It therefore leaves me to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. See you next year for some more helpings of Blogley. Enjoy the Turkey!