Thursday, January 12, 2006


After the New Year in Paris I went down to Cannes for a few days. The weather was lovely for the first two days, so I was able to eat outside on the beach (see the photo in the title bar above, taken Jan. 5th). I met up with Monique, the mother of one of my ex-students and her partner Lionel, who introduced me to a friend, Sylvie. We all had a pleasant evening in an old restaurant I had spotted in a sort of mini-Montmartre area. There was some live music and a lot of chansons sung by Charles Asnavour on the hi-fi - a very French evening (and I had to speak French all evening, so a bit tiring too).

On my last day in Cannes, I had a trip to Antibes with Sylvie, where we found a lovely bar, with art exhibitions and a view of the sea.

We left it late to get back to Cannes and I missed my train, but luckily it was no problem. I was pleasantly surprised to find that there was another train in about an hour and I was just issued with another ticket - no extra - I don't think this would happen in the UK. It might even have been a good thing, as the later train had plenty of empty seats, so I wasn't irritated by people on mobiles, etc. In fact I was quite disciplined and finished my book - "Mind Wide Open", how neuroscience shows Freud was wrong - of course - Steven Johnson, recommended.

This took four hours. I then rewarded myself by going to the bar where I chatted to the conducter and barman, who were a bit bored as there were so few people. The conductor had lived in the US for a while, and spoke English well, but I forced myself to get some more French practice. The barman had lived near Bournemouth for a while, and quite liked some aspects of British culture, pubs, etc. It was reassuring that they thought my French was OK and that I should have little problem if I moved to France.

I arrived back in Paris at about 11 pm, checked into my hotel and then had a late omelette in Cafe Phare at Bastille - where cafe philos started.


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