The final day of my holiday with the mysterious travelling companion. We are staying in Cannes then will make our way home tomorrow. Will update you all on the tone of the past few days when I get some space between the adventure and me.
We arrived in Cannes yesterday afternoon. Last night I ate salad Nicoise in a small brasserie behind the Majestic that I enjoy whenever I have been here for the film festival.
The last time I was here was when Suzanna and I rented that house in Seillans. I had driven to Cannes to take Dicky to the station curtailing his time with us. After a walk around the harbor he decided to stay. Now, THAT vacation was hard. Surly children, love affairs and God knows what. From what I can remember, I seem to have paid for the lions share of that holiday…for eight people!
Cannes, here we are again. We chanced upon Suites Hotel on the Blvd Camot. It’s like a hotel from the future! The bed linen is really crisp and expensive feeling, the room is huge and well laid out and the bathroom and toilet have a pod like quality. It might be described as flexible accommodation. There are Japanese type raffia screens that divide the room if so required and even though the colors and fixtures are not to my taste it is incredibly comfortable and ergonomic. The television moves around on wheels, there are a desk and a daybed.
Our room in Canadel at the Hotel de la Plage looked much nicer than it turned out to be. The bed was uncomfortable, the room was noisy and the breakfast unbelievably expensive and not, as we first thought, included in the price. Consequently, we paid eighteen Euros for a basket of bread. The day before I had spent only twenty Euros in the market feeding us both for the entire day.
I have really enjoyed the last week here in France more than our time in London, mostly because everything, apart from Cannes and St Tropez, was new and unusual. Showing someone around your life can have its drawbacks.
Yesterday, on our way to Cannes from Canadel-sur-mer we spontaneously stopped off at a cliff overlooking a small bay. We scrambled through the brush over hot red stone to a rocky outcrop and swam in crystal clear waters. The little dog watched from a shady ledge. The sea was teaming with tiny, silver fish skimming the surface looking for food.
You know, there were times when I was with JBC, toward the end of our 7 years together, when we would find ourselves in some remote, beautiful place and I would hanker to be with someone I truly loved. That this maybe beautiful but to make it perfect one must share the moment with a man that I loved.
There is something dismal about looking at a wonderful view and not have a lover by your side. I think, during this past week, we may both have felt that. To be with someone familiar, hopeful and in love.
We did not stop for lunch after the swim so by 5ish I was exhausted and desperate for water. At moments like these I feel like I may have become Uncle Monty from Withnail and I. Monty, the tenacious old queen who pursues Withnail with gay gusto. Example: the day before yesterday the car had been laden with food to eat and water to drink. Yesterday, with the companion in charge, the cupboard was bare. Instead of just buying more food I sort of expected my companion to think ahead and do as I do. To no avail. A sticky wicket that one..expecting.
Like leaving your fingers in the car door to prove how selfish someone is when they squish them.
Do you know the film Withnail and I? It used to be a cult film. Uncle Monty arrives in the freezing country cottage where Withnail and his friend have escaped from London. They have no money; unable to light a fire, nothing to eat and both look utterly miserable. Within seconds of Monty’s arrival the table is groaning with food, the fires are roaring in the hearth and the lighting is perfect.
Unlike Monty, and men like him, I have a limited desire to provide and make perfect day after day. I foolishly expect him to think ahead when he just can’t. It is not in his nature. It’s not his fault. You see, I have a fantasy that includes being looked after as well as I look after him or others. It is a fantasy, it is unachievable, and it is my role and my role alone. I have only myself to blame when even the most simple of expectations remain unfulfilled. If I want water in the car then I must buy it, if I want delicious food then I must go to the market.
As vacations draw to a close there is the inescapable dread of going home. We return to very different scenarios. He climbs back into the bosom of his family with yet another vacation and I will peel off elsewhere to make something happen with that extended family of AA men and women who have become my solace.