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First day

After my unfortunate experience when travelling to Verona in July, when some idiot picked up my iPad in security and the operatives there were less than efficient in recovering same, I was more than apprehensive of Gatwick.

This time my iPad was housed in a light brown bag which no one could mistake for their own, security people were their normal loud and bossy selves – do they realise that for many this is the start of a holiday?

Once through with myself and belongings intact I downed a large Bloody Mary to celebrate despite the early hour. We had to wait 30 minutes at the gate as they was no coach to take us to the plane.

One passenger enquired “Will I be refunded for paying speedy boarding as there isn’t any? “

Another brassy woman who appeared to be in charge of a group pickled up her newspaper and exclaimed  “Let’s see what. the silly bugger is up to now… ’.

I assume she was referring to Boris Johnson which rather contradicted the repeated comment in the Westminster bubble that the public won’t forgive them for not delivering Brexit. This public had the most unflattering estimation of them.

The Easyjet flight was a full and cramped but only 90 minutes to Marseille. I have learned that when it comes to budget airlines creature comfort is secondary to economy and speedy travel. I still prefer the train though.

On arrival we were met by Algy’s Pal Ralph who runs a wine school. He had billeted us in a golf resort between Aix en Provence and Avignon in a large house overlooking the 8th hole. The Mistral was blowing up a storm and some wayward pitchers to the green saw their golf ball land in our garden.

The wine tutor’s wife Joanna prepared an excellent lunch of a lightly crusted tomato tart and fresh melon.

The region is abundant in fruit and veg and it’s not just the wine that is classified but the melons we ate too.

Conversation fuelled by rose was commonplace till one lady discovered an elderly couple were her next door neighbours on the farm in which she grew up.

In the evening we had a tasting of roses and another delicious dinner of chicken in lavender which grows here in profusion. For some reason the conversation was more about music of the 70s.

It has been a long day with a 3.30 start for me and I had to make my excuses and leave the table as fatigue descended.

About Robert Tickler

A man of financial substance, Robert has a wide range of interests and opinions to match. More Posts