Collected the young man from Girona airport on Thursday night (it’s now Saturday) and we spent the past two days exploring, both on foot and by car. It was lovely to see the place anew through his eyes. He loves the cottage and Collioure and confirmed that I wasn’t dreaming the whole thing. He is pleased, I think, to discover that he’s not going to have to worry about his mother starving in a garret while he gets on with the serious business of drinking Dublin dry with the rest of his year.

A trip to Ceret, the old capital of the region, was a bit of a failure in his eyes because there was a carnival on (and carnivals are not on the ‘cool’ list this year) but I will be back to see the museum of modern art and prowl the old streets. And carnivals go on for a week in France, so there will be plenty of opportunity to don my Venetian mask and stalk strangers.

Carnival at Ceret

Carnival at Ceret

Last night we had the most wonderful meal in a restaurant just at the end of the street. Prices are not cheap even though the season hasn’t really started yet, but the owners were friendly and I managed to communicate without embarrassing the young man too much. It’s so quiet around the place that it’s hard to imagine the throngs that will be descending in just a couple of months but that suits me fine. I can write in peace. With the sun shining in the open kitchen door and landing on my laptop I have no distractions. And no excuses.


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