THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain
Aix and pains
The Last Big Run

A pause

The Track My Tour app map is updated here. No waypoints will be added today as I'm having a break. 

My Ferrari guys in London think the mecaniciens de Lorraine serviced the air-conditioning just fine, but that there's a more basic problem. It blasted cold air when I took delivery but stopped working again very quickly. They infer that there's a refrigerant (freon) leak. The service kit may therefore not have been necessary at all, but another part of Speranza is now new so the money's not wasted. They'll fix the leak when I put her in for her annual service next month, They say it's not a roadside repair because it may take a few days to work out where the leak is by putting coloured liquids into the system and waiting to see where they emerge. So we shall continue to run warm.

Hobbit sized doorFor me, it's not a problem. If I were alone, I would put the roof down anyway so blasting along with the windows down is a pleasant way to enjoy the heat of the South of France. I feel a bit guilty about my poor friend Babička though. She's accustomed to her luxuries, disappointed with the lack of sightseeing stops and is not enjoying the trip as much as I would wish. It's a disappointment to share a passion with a friend but find the reaction is "meh" at best.

After morning coffee – no breakfast for us intermittent fasters – among the cheery, carb-loading French residents (we're the only foreigners here) of our B&B, I deposited Babička at the Eschaton –Anselm Kiefer Fondation five minutes away. Our B&B is very near to it, so I got the booking right this time. In fact Babička really seems to like the place, which is a relief. It's the last accommodation I will arrange for her, as our next stop is her family's home.

I put my laundry into a washing machine. "Pah!! Here we 'ave the sun" said madame, when I asked if there was a dryer. In fact she hung it out to dry herself and delivered it to my door neatly folded. She and her husband run the place alone and their industry is remarkable.


I collected Babička from her event and we had lunch in the nearby village. It rained and everyone else in the courtyard was moved indoors but Babička took charge, moved chairs and table so we could stay outside just out of the rain. The staff looked bemused but went along with it. As she described the exhibition to me, I wondered out loud how much her genius artist was worth. She thought it likely he was worthy, but poor. A moment's research disclosed he is one of the wealthiest Germans with a net worth, at the last estimate, in excess of €100 million.

After lunch, we retired to our "mas" (a Provencal word for manor, apparently). Babička wanted to swim. I went to my room for a snooze. I've loved all the driving but I was pretty tired. I woke, refreshed, just in time for dinner. It had been an agreeable day.


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