The beach is back!


So, following the “canicule”, the beach is back in it’s full sand and pebble glory.

To be frank, although one hears comments about the heat of the last few weeks here, it’s not at all unusual to have these temperatures in August anyway.

Bronte throws herself into the river at least once a day; though she really should check how deep it is when she hops in at a new spot…..

Our house is set on Rue de la Plage.

For many years as second home owners still stuck in the UK, we had no idea how or why the name came about . We couldn’t see any beach on our riverbank walks. Then the Mairie’s guys cleared it, and, voila! it all makes sense.

There are a few other mini-beaches along this particular stretch of the Aude. “Ours” is the largest.

Much appreciated by the many fishermen who enjoy the beautiful scenery and the trout. (There is a no kill policy in place here). My son was right down in the water fishing almost every day of their July visit. Trev says he’s a natural at casting; with the overhanging trees and the rocks it’s not that easy.


I have no idea what Bronte is excavating here.

Anyway, oh well informed and erudite blog followers, what’s this weird bright red stuff that is growing down by the river ? below

I’d say maybe the Martians are colonising. Actually, I think they are already here. My daily life is a litany of surreal and alien experiences.

Par example, yesterday. After a series of delays, I make it to a certain “Trésor Public” office (local tax/admin etc) at 11:50. A young lady was (wom)manning the reception desk and trying patiently to help a very old lady understand an apparently shocking tax bill.

Enter, stage left, a very grumpy and officious man swinging a bunch of door keys and waving these pointedly at the receptionist who, to her great credit, ignored him.

He returned to his office picked up the phone and hissed, sotto voce, down it to an unknown caller. The gist of it being that HE was ready to meet for lunch but there were still annoying members of the public hanging around outside. I was not prepared to come back again for the second time in a week, so I advanced on him brandishing my Trésor letter and my RIB (bank ID number) which the letter had requested.

Monsieur whipped the letter from my hand, perched his spectacles on his nose and perused it at arm’s length ( toxic?) this was the ensuing dialogue

French, translated, in bold

Him“This letter states that we need your RIB”

Me “Yes I know, that is why I am here” I pass him my French cheque book, in the back of which are tear out slips with the RIB details on.

Him “This is a cheque book. Does Madame not understand that a chequebook is not a RIB?” snatches cheque book from my hand and waves it about emphatically.

Me ” Yes, I understand that very well, but if you will permit me I will show you the slips at the back with my RIB number”

Him ” It is lunchtime, and you do not have the right information”

Me ” It wasn’t lunchtime five minutes ago and I do have the information” I try to retrieve my cheque book, which he is now waving angrily in the air over my head!

I become aware that Trev has entered the building. He silently takes the cheque book, points out the RIB slip to Monsieur and silently walks away. Monsieur rips the RIB slip out dramatically, and snatches that and the letter, waving me away with a “C‘est ça, fini!!!”

I’ll let you translate. I fully expect a duplicate letter requesting my RIB in a week or two.



About coteetcampagne

Artist, period home maker, renovator, restorer, Francophile. My mission is to save the old stuff, one beautiful piece at a time
This entry was posted in Renovation and restoration diary- France and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to The beach is back!

  1. You came between a Frenchman and his lunch…and survived!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. MELewis says:

    No, seriously? Even a fonctionnaire cannot get away with that!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Osyth says:

    There have been various reports of lakes and rivers running red this year. I think the Camargue was effected which is, very broadly in your locale. Maybe this stuff is that stuff. I think it is an algae but I don’t recall any more. Old jobsworth needs his face rearranged. What a git!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Chris says:

    oh my goodness

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ellen A. says:

    How nice to have some beach area to enjoy and a cool stream to walk in. I’m no botanist, but the red stuff looks like algae. The locals should know whether it is harmful or not. Apparently there is a river in Columbia that produces lots of this color algae along with others, so it is known as the River of Five Colors.

    Liked by 1 person

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