Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Saint-Paul & Port of Nice

David had an interview today at the Sophia Antipolis business park, a local emulation of Silicon Valley. He suggested that Bondi and I visit another hilltop village: Saint-Paul betwixt Cagnes-sur-Mer and Vence.
After loading up on bulk canine food at a local garden centre, we got to Saint-Paul around 11.30 and began by walking around half of its fort-like ramparts. Inside the walls, Saint-Paul was a larger version of Èze. While very pretty, it was heavily populated by painting and bijoux (jewellery) ateliers purveying dining-room art and liver-spot-disguising bangles. Bondi got another three or four fountains ticked off his list before reclining beside my table for lunch. I settled into Augusten Burroughs’ Magical Thinking, autobiographical tales following up his earlier volumes Running with Scissors and Dry.

Awoke my Tablet PC from slumbers and found that a 2cm vertical strip of the screen digitizer – about 1/ 3 of the way across had failed. Not repairable AFAICT, so it may be heading for retirement after 2.5 years of use. I’m getting a little shirty with Word 2003 right now due to it not holding language formatting on the text I’m writing. This is compounded with a Windows XP SP2 bug which forces English(US) keyboard language to be reinstated on every other reboot, thereby overriding other English-language keyboard settings and thereby f**king up the spell-checking. While this bug was reported in the SP2 beta, non-US English is a 4th-class citizen at Microsoft so I’m not expecting a fix any time soon.

Early in the evening, David took me down to Nice for a real swim in the Mediterranean. I'd left my kayaking boots behind at the gîte, and so found the water entry on a bed of hard pebbles a little hard going, but the water itself was absolutely refreshing. We dined cheaply around at the Port of Nice and admired the luxury boats parked there. David pointed out the large number of water-facing apartments that were probably empty at this time of year. I’ve read that it is not unusual for French families to have multiple residences due to inheritance of diverse properties.

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