On Friday morning we left a bright sunny, but chilly, Birmingham Airport and landed an hour and a half later in the south of France in the middle of a torrential downpour.
Actually I say and hour and a half later but it was much longer than that. This was due to the fact that Ryanair have obviously lowered their employment standards to the level by where their staff are unable to count. For over an hour we sat on the runway whilst one after another of the crew counted us. Over and over again. And then checked us off against the passenger manifest. And then counted us again. Eventually they decided on a number which was roughly the same and we were allowed to take off.
Biarritz airport is tiny and really cute and it took us no time at all to walk through it and find the bus stop which would take us into town a few miles away. Except it didnt. The bus I mean. It dropped us on the edge of town which meant a good 20 minute walk for us, in the rain, to find our hotel. When we did find it, just a short distance from the sea and shops, it was lovely. Very new and modern and minimalist, not at all what I was expecting. Our room was beautiful with a flat screen TV, wet room and very comfortable beds. Which is a good job because due to certain unforseen circumstances we spent an awful lot of time in there.
We set off to explore and find dinner after borrowing an umberella - it was still raining - and found a typical French bar not far away. We had barely put the umberella down when we heard "Hello you two - you found your hotel then?" It was another couple from the plane, staying at the same hotel as us, but being wimps (or wise as I call it) had taken a taxi rather than the bus. We had a couple of drinks and as they were friendly Black Country types within half an hour we knew their life story. We spent a very nice evening in their company eating a not altogether typically French meal and then running back to the hotel in the rain which was even heavier by then.
The next morning the sky was blue, not a cloud on the horizon - a gorgeous day - so after breakfast we set off for the beach. The surf was pumping and despite there being a chilly wind it really was beautiful. Although I have to admit it was hard to recognize the 'Biarritz' we remembered from 29 years ago. Its very upmarket now, and very expensive with beer being £5 a pint and the shops being of the designer variety.
We wandered round to the old harbour and had lunch, very typically French this time. Martin had Moules and frites and I had fish soup - or at least I ate the soup but left the fish part of it. For a couple of days I hadnt been feeling 100% - I was in the 4th week of Sutent and the side effects were pretty bad - and by now I was feeling really unwell. So we returned to the hotel where I slept for most of the afternoon.
The next morning, Sunday, I felt just as bad. I had been up most of the night running to the loo and was absolutely exhausted. The rain had returned and it had become much colder and for some reason I really felt it. Even with 5 layers on I was chilled to the bone.
There isnt much to do in a wet, cold Biarritz on a Sunday so we went to the Sea Museum - which took about 15 minutes to walk around. It was worth the 7 Euros entrance fee though just to get out of the rain. After it was all I could do to stagger back to the hotel where Martin tucked me up in bed - I went to sleep and he watched the telly. I didnt feel much better that evening so we ate at a Crepe restaurant (cue Martins 'crepe' jokes) just around the corner from the hotel. It was really sweet inside, like eating in someones living room, but I really wasnt hungry and just picked at my dinner.
Monday was more of the same Im afraid - horrible weather and me feeling really ill. We ventured out for an hour to buy the kids some chocolate cakes but I was soon back in bed shivering. Since I had IL2 I seem to feel the cold much more, and it takes me ages to warm up. This cycle of Sutent has been pretty 'challenging' (as Dr P would say) and Im so glad its finished now.
All in all it was a nice break, despite my feeling so unwell.
And Martin got to watch all of the New York Marathon and the Grand Prix while I snored next to him !