We had our elder son and family here for their half-term recently. It’s a good time to come with youngsters: the pool has warmed up to the point where you can spent a couple of hours in it – which they did – but it’s not so baking hot that you don’t want to do anything.
There were a lot of high points for them, not least two good beaches, but particularly enjoyed were a visit to Nice by train and staying up at Courmettes on the now annual Fete des Courmettes.
The train journey to Nice is great, but as we’ve probably commented before, why oh why do French railways not clean the train windows? In Nice the boys enjoyed the dancing fountains (and got very wet), we wandered round the headland, had lunch in a restaurant by the harbour, and came back through the old town. Here we stopped for ice cream at a place with a mind-boggling choice.
On Saturday we all drove up to Courmettes. This is the third year for the Fête des Courmettes. This year the workshops included bread-making, painting and a demonstration of bee-keeping.
The afternoon included craft and nest-box making for the children and many other stalls. There was even a demonstration of compressed air rockets. After the evening meal, attended by at least 60 people, there was a bonfire on which our grandsons were delighted to toast marshmallows.
Those of us who grew up in a Britain where countryside was abundant and close at hand can fail to appreciate how valuable an outdoor experience is to those many youngsters today who live in urban areas. It doesn’t just clean their lungs, it stretches their senses.