Tuesday, September 27, 2005

j'adore la France...

Hi folks, back to business as usual after long-awaited week on summer hols in the south of France. Coming back to London after basking on the Cote d'Azur is a bit like Dorothy going back into Kansas from Munchkinland - in many respects! - but mainly in terms of the weather. There is something very, very GREY about England. All the colours are pastel, muted, mild, and just that little bit nondescript. Mediterranean colours are truly colourful...We saw Nice, St Tropez, the Ile de Porquerolles, Aix-en-Provence, Grasse (where they make all the perfumes) and several adorable little towns with markets to die for. What is better, in life, than feasting on freshly baked olive bread, a selection of French cheese, locally grown tomatoes, marinated olives a la provencal, fresh melon and white nectarines and a delicious bottle of local plonk that would probably sell for 12 quid in Waitrose??!? Even arguments in the car couldn't dampen things (I belong to the "I think it was that one" school of navigation...).

Will pick up the musical pieces very soon. In Provence we listened to Ravel, Canteloube, Poulenc, Faure, Berlioz and, um, Brahms. (Who wasn't French. But imagine if he had been..........)

Meanwhile I have October issue cover features in not only BBC Music Mag and About the House, but also The Strad - interview with the truly gorgeous Nikolaj Znaider.