Web of Intrigue

My next post was going to be on Cassis, Nice Cannes and fun, fun Verdon Gorge Well truth to tell, other things take my beady little eyes. For instance, sitting at home and watching the local Air Show on Sunday. Just how do you show air? Anyway, as I sat with book in hand, and viewing the Air Show, I turned to my right, and there next to me was a spiders web.

Do you know, of course you do, that a spiders web can withstand a hurricane! The complexity of the structure means that if one cord gets broken, the web itself grows stronger. Nifty. Well, sitting in the middle was an evil looking arachnid. And he had a guest. Mr Fly had come for dinner, or rather to be dinner. Do I watch the Air Show, or the spider and fly act? Goodbye Air show. I talked about this with a student on Monday and they told me that spiders melt the flies, and suck them up. Like a McDonald’s slushy. Students love telling me such things, yuck! Anyway the fly slowly disappeared and I left the spider for his cracker and cheese course.

The day was hot, and the door to the living room left open. Later that day I decided to watch a documentary about Zanzibar. A place we might visit next year. Anyway down we sat in front of laptop all cosy and cuddly. A little while later I felt something on my face, and in the dark simply batted it away. Then my wife went into hyperdrive. Screaming, shrieking at levels that shattered our crystal vase, she leaped like a whirlin’ Dervish into the air and across the room. A wonderful combination of legs performing an Irish Riverdance, and arms something like Saturday Night Fever played out before my eyes. ZShe really can move well! A spider had descended onto her in the dark and was making her its new home. Pulling spiders web from her shoulders and hair she continued to scream.

The perpetrator? A small rolled up spider fell t the floor. Making quietening noises I manfully approached the spider. Just as I got to it, the arachnid unfolded itself and, well, it looked quite big. Really. It was the same spider. Manfully I took a step backwards, collected a dustpan and brush. This way I would not hurt it, and more importantly not get too close. With the screaming finished a wonderful nervous laughter entered the room. Did it wish to melt my wife? I shall never know.

Hopefully tonight we can finish Zanzibar without our spidery friend.

 

 

Mascara and Horses

The horse is a majestic animal, with power, grace and beauty combined. Horses have evolved over something like 50 million years from a small dog sized animal.

And now? Well now young girls and young ladies are putting mascara and eye makeup on horses. How degrading and simply down right silly for such a wonderful creature.

I have an idea! Maybe the same people could try, let’s say,

lipstick for lions

tints for tigers

powder for pythons

foundation for falcons

You get the idea;-)

 

 

 

Further Southwards into France

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Went into Avignon by bus which was cheap, clean and let me have a good gander as I was not driving. I did ask, but the driver said, ”Non”. Avignon was home to the pope between 1309 – 1377. Well he had one advantage then, the walls kept people out. They are still an impressive sight. However Avignon was beset by hoardes of tourists, they swept all before them. Really it was too much. Souvenir shops for instance. A few tacky shops are okay, however Avignon had its fair share. Nice bridge too, but when will it be finished?

Took in Aix-En-Provence which was a combination of the beautiful and the slighty grubby gracefulness. Prices for food were bad. Basically what we will pay in Polish Zlotych cost the same in Euro’s. The best way to negotiate this thorny problem was to stop and buy fresh fruit and vegetables at the roadside stalls. Great food from under the provence sun, and far better prices. Even managed to get service with  smile.

Headin’ down we drove through the Camargue. This is one beautiful place, truly. Low lying and flat, none of those pesky mountain passes with inches to spare! Driving past rice fields and then the most beautiful white horses. There are plenty of places to stop take in this area. We alighted in Cassis. Cassis in the sun is great. A long sweeping esplanade with a great beach and a free pissoir in the car park. What more can you want! Although there were tacky shops the place had a wonderful feel to it. Just walking along the roads one could see it was well looked after, with splashes of colour from beautiful flowers thrown in for measure.

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Pottered around and went to the most unhelpful information lady in history. Her Gallic indifference and shoulder shrugs were superb and her English, well, bazik. Anyway we discovered that safaris into the Camargue cost around 120 Euro for the four of us. So no thanks. Eventually we plumped for the cruise which was about 12 Euro for an adult and discounted for the children. The ferry trip went up the mouth of the (Lesser/smaller?) Rhone and although we draw close to some beautiful views, it was all a bit distant. The chop on the sea as we took in the swell of the sea on the return trip was pretty cool for me. Onwards and along the coast…

 

Natural History Museum London Town

Opened in 1881, but dating back as an idea to  to 1753, this is ‘the’ museum for children of all ages. A hop and skip from South Kensington or Gloucester Road tube stations’ means it is also easy for even the most directionally challenged people to find! I speak from first hand experience of this debilitating sydrome. The exhibits cover such a wide range that is simply too much to take in on one visit. The architecture itself is also a delight and it well worth to take time out from the exhibits to lets your eyes run over every nook and cranny. The icing on the cake is that admission is free. What more do you want?

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Sleepy Beautiful Tropea, Italy

Half and hour by inexpensive train brought us to Tropea with its castle, monastery, cathedral and sleepy narrow streets.

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The view up from the beach. Flip flops are not the most practical footwear  for the descent nor for the tired ascent. The beach wasn’t overcrowded and plenty of places abounded for the essential tasty Italian ice-cream. The town has a little snooze in the afternoon so it is a good idea to have viands tucked away in a bag for the children who can become hungry anytime. Also remember to take that large fold up map. Good for directions, better for keeping off the sun when lying on the beach as a makeshift awning!

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The castle is small but is worth visiting as a museum gives an idea of hour people must have fared under the Italian sun. At its feet is a roundel which has now become an open air restaurant. Splendid views out across the Tyrrhenian Sea as the sunset set, was as stunning a backdrop as could be desired. Be careful about feeding one cute kitty that may well come your way though, as a few more will quickly note your largesse!

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View from our table,  without the cats . Sit back and soak in the atmosphere which is Tropea:-)