Tuesday 29th September – We’re waiting for a fix

We updated to IOS8 and it’s made our iPads etc go ‘crazy house’. My iPhone doesn’t know if it’s Arthur or Martha and when I try to download pics from one to the other it all goes belly up.

‘Take it off’! I tell Gilbert. I want things the way they used to be. He tells me he can’t and we’re waiting for a fix. I’d be lost without technology now but hate stuff going wrong. Trouble is we’re so used to things being right most of the time, we have no patience for things going wrong. Gilbert decides to have a chat to someone in Timbuctoo about it and tells me this could take a while, so I decide to go for a wander.

We’re not in the best part of town. Not the worst mind, but the shops are your mundane, fruit and veg, cafe, laundromat, hair salons, tyre shops, garages and a heap of pizza places. I peer into one of the hair salons and then step inside and ask. Parlez vous anglaise? Non. She replies. Ummmm Coupe pour moi? I think the word for hair is cheveaux but it might not be and she must know I mean hair. Oui she replies with a smile. She has a guy in the chair and two old ladies seated. She goes back to cutting so I sit beside the ladies. No one tells me otherwise so I guess I’m in line now!

Another couple come in and sit. When it’s my turn we both laugh as I try to explain. Do what you like.
Make it short.
Cut it all off.
You decide.
I shrug my shoulders and point to her and hope she gets the picture. Gee I wish I had written a note from google translate or something I think.

She starts to cut but is a bit apprehensive, I can tell. Another lady walks in and the hairdresser asks her if she can speak Anglaise and she nods ‘a little’. So I tell her and it’s all good. “You are saying you trust her and she can do what she likes. N’est pas?” “Oui!” Now they are all talking about my hair, where I come from, how it would be funny if she cut it all off and I only wanted a trim. Including mimicking her waving goodbye and me being shocked at what she’s done. I’m gathering this from the odd word and the gestures I pick up. It’s finished. Do I want wax? Yes they all agree I should, so that goes on and they all confer that yes it’s a good job. Très Bien. Everyone is laughing as I pay my 20 euro and leave. Last cut before we get home now.

When I get back Gilbert’s not very happy. There’s still problems but he decides some fresh air will do him good. I’ve been wanting to go to Cimiez since we got here. Isn’t it typical. Kept putting it off cause we had soooo much time and thought Friday we’d leave it till Monday cause weekends were busier, then got horribly lost yesterday, but I was still happy cause I had all today free to go up and explore Cimiez. There’s a beautiful monastery up there where Henri Matisse the artist is buried, I explain to Gilbert. A house is up there too set up as a museum dedicated to his life’s works. The largest collection. It’s a shame but inevitable that many of an artists pieces will be spread around the world. A lot of Matisses work is in Russia so they are proud to have as large a group of his work as they do. I’m really excited. Especially as I’m an artist now too! I drew my apple this morning by the way. It needs a bit more work….took a photo of it in case it got eaten, the apple I mean.

So Gilbert opens up his iph app for public transport and puts in ‘Matisse museum’ and Voila! There we have what bus to take and nearest place to catch it from where we are right now. Wow, I’m impressed… We head off and I say to him. “Did you have this thing in your phone yesterday when we walked around for seven hours and got nowhere?” He admits he did, but thought it was only train timetables he could access. Today he found out he could get bus and tram as well. Oh yeah… nothing can dim my excitement however at getting to Cimiez and we happily walk to the bus stop. Catch the bus and get dropped off almost at the door. Gee this is amazing I say to him. I’m taking photos left right and centre and point out Matisse’s house like I’m five and it’s a Ferris wheel. How do you know Gilbert asks me as I head off through an ancient Olive grove. “I saw it on the internet” I tell him. “I recognise it from there.”

We get there and the door doesn’t open. Walk to the side thinking maybe that’s not the entrance. Walk right round in disbelief and back to the sign. I translate slowly in my mind ..,open 10-6pm sauf Tuesday. What the hangs sauf. Except? Open every day except Tuesday. Arrrrgghhh. I’m gutted. We’ve been here two weeks and the most important thing for me here is closed on our last day.

My fault entirely. I kept seeing ‘open seven days’. The archeological museum is also closed, as is the Chagall Museum when we get there. What’s wrong with Tuesday I mutter to myself as I drag my feet. Wouldn’t it make more sense to shut on a Monday. Dumb arses.

Look at this place Gilbert says. Imagine having that place to buy cheap and do up. It’s gorgeous. Imagine. It’s across the road from what was the ‘Regina Hotel’ and some workmen are sitting having a cuppa.

The Regina hotel was built 1896 essentially for the wealthy British to holiday in style with a whole floor for the royals, where it gets its name. It’s way up in the hills of Cimiez. Building up in the hills was what the rich did to show how wealthy they were. It wasn’t till a bit later that someone had the idea of promenading on the beach and more hotels were built down on the waterfront of the Riviera which had previously been just a fishing port and probably where the poor lived. Next to the sea where many made their money. Isn’t it funny how things turn completely around. It was converted into flats in the 1930’s.

We make our way home. Have an early dinner and tidy and pack. We have an early start leaving home 6.30 am and after three trains arriving Tarbes about 5pm where we will stay with Marco.

This has been a good stop Sauf missing Matisse. Damn!

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