A May miscellany

“Exceptionally closed”. The notice in all the windows directs you to their Nice shop.

Going to church last Sunday it was impossible to avoid noticing that Cannes was manically starting its preparations for the ten days of madness that is the film festival (about which more next week). We have to say that we were unable to identify anybody famous. The air of excitable madness was somewhat absent at Cartier the jewellers, a mere hundred yards from church, which had been subjected to a robbery in which the thieves walked off with £13 million worth of jewellery. They were  Mind you the Carlton hotel next door lost a record-breaking £120 million worth of jewellery in a so far unsolved theft in 2013. You can rely on Cannes for the biggest and the best.

The Carlton prepares for the Festival week

The Carlton prepares for the Festival week

Not only did we fail to spot anybody famous, we can’t be absolutely certain about this rather fine frog from our Sunday walk. We think it’s simply an Edible Frog – but there are in fact at least 44 frog species in Europe and an unknown number of hybrids – and they really aren’t easy to tell apart. If you have an interest in genetics you might be interested in (or appalled by) the bizarre things frogs do with their DNA.

Chris spent Monday to Wednesday glued to his desk writing reports but a plus point was two successive visits by Orange technicians which finally resulted in some sort of stable and modestly paced Internet for our house. Wednesday also saw a mercifully brief visit to the nearest tax office to get the appropriate forms. On Thursday we went to an Ascension Day service. Not something we normally do, but this was a joint service for the Anglican chaplaincies in the Cote d’Azur and was held only a few miles away from us in a rather nice outdoor setting. A slight distraction was provided by the sound of Turtle Doves and Golden Orioles which are thankfully easy to recognise.

Preparing for the service in the garden

Service in the garden

Friday was a visit to Courmettes so Chris could take a field trip. There has been a party of largely French-speaking people from A Rocha Switzerland staying for the week. It’s the first of what we hope will be many “Discovery Weeks” for A Rocha supporters at Courmettes. Chris’ contribution to the week was a guided tour of some of the more geologically interesting sites.

Admiring the geology

Admiring the geology


Despite a strong wind it was a very pleasant day and there were some splendid orchids in bloom including what is perhaps the Early Spider Orchid although, rather like frogs, they too go in for a vast number of subspecies.

Perhaps film stars are easier to identify.

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