Saturday, June 9, 2012

just another week on the French Riviera!

Another week gone by and things are going well here in Le Cannet.  We are finally taking some time off from all the house work.  We have put lots of energy into getting things sorted and feel as though we have finally made a big change in the house and deserve to take some breaks now.
Lots of books and knickknacks were donated to the rummage sale that the local church is having this weekend. It does feel good to know that someone else will be able to get some joy from the donations.  We could not resist glancing in, on our way home from coffee, to see how things were going.  Lots of folks showing up and looking at things, including some of ours of course.  Hope the sale goes well for them.
Wednesday night we hauled out lots of stuff to the end of the street for a special garbage pick up.  When dealing with more than just regular garbage, seems that you make an appointment for the pickup of bigger items and large loads.  Seems that one can do this just 5 times during the year.  We have now done this twice, so we are already planning our next loads, making sure that we use them wisely.  Unfortunately, there is no room to just pull up a dumpster, like we had in the driveway in Seattle, when getting rid of lots of stuff.  The streets are too small here,  limited to very small cars which get in and out with some difficulty.  Just to give you an idea, if a car is going down our street, we need to stand in a doorway to let them get by.  We have learned that you can order a dumpster, which would sit out on a larger street a few blocks away when doing this sort of work.  Our neighbor says that the everyone in the area would then use it and you might not have room for your own stuff!!

Early this week we took the train to Antibes.  This is a town just a half hour away, between Cannes and Nice. It has a wonderful provencal market each day, with lots of cheeses, olives, meat, veggies, fruits and treats among the many items found there.  It is a very lively and colorful atmosphere with locals and tourists rubbing elbows.  It also has a wonderful socca stand, which we love to stop at each time we go to the market.  Socca is chickpea flour, water and a little oil which are combined to make a very thin pancake and then cooked quickly in a wood fired oven.  Yummy!

oranges growing by church door

having lunch in a "cave"

Thursday we walked down to Cannes.  Yup, another day off in the same week!!  Did some research on bus routes that will take us into some of the hill towns around Cannes.  Also picked up timetables for visiting the islands, Ste Margarite and Ste Honorat, which are opposite the bay of Cannes.  We now have more day trip information.  We then walked around the Suquet, oldest part of Cannes, to find lunch.  Ended up in a little local, non tourist, restaurant in a back street and had a great lunch.  Continued walking up hill to the top and enjoyed watching the activity in the bay of Cannes.  A couple of gelattos later, plus afternoon coffees and it was the end of a wonderful day.

Today, Saturday, we again attacked the bougainvillea on the house.  We did it!  We cut it back so that it is a mild mannered tree type plant, that just covers a bit of the house.  It no longer arches over to the roof below us, forming a dense tunnel over the street.  Many comments from the neighborhood, varying from " oh its sad, its gone" to "oh this is so much better".  One woman told me that it had been something that she often saw my mother taking care of, but that last spring/summer it was no longer an activity that she was doing any more.  It took us 3 days and 21 large yard waste bags crammed full to accomplish our task.  We have two heavy woody spots that we may still cut off, but they are easily done with the handsaw....I say easy since I won't be the one with the handsaw.  All of this should keep the bougainvillea in check for another year.

Monday we will be waiting for someone from the electric company to come by to take the yearly reading from the meter.  The meter is located inside the house, third floor, so someone comes and does a visual reading.
Tuesday we are going to Nice to visit cousin Charlene, who is in school there.  Looking forward to getting to know her a bit better.  Her sister Maeva, has visited us in the US twice, so we know Maeva and consider her like a daughter.  This will be a good beginning to getting to know Charlene and help her get a bit more English speaking time.
Wednesday we are off for a week in Basel Switzerland to visit with cousin Maurice and his partner Gus.  We are really looking forward to this visit with the two of them.  Thankfully we are flying there since we just learned that a landslide has buried the railroad tracks this week.  It will be another month before rail traffic will start again.
Stay tuned for more travels sans Roulotte,
Michelle and Fred