When Normandy is mentioned, the English subside into glowering silence, since the pretensions of the short little man who established a beachhead near Hastings almost a thousand years ago still rankles, since he brought with him smelly cheese, better cider and men in pointy hats. We did, of course, bring it on ourselves since the match ain’t over till the whistle blows and gazing up into a hail of Norman arrows isn’t the brightest strategy for the King of England.
Nevertheless, these days, Sundays in Normandy are cultured, peaceful affairs. The Honfleurais are proud of their ancient harbour from which goods were transported from Rouen to England to satisfy the bestial appetites of the fascist rapacious invaders.
A decent fish lunch at a Michelin-rated restaurant – quite a departure for a meat and potatoes man – then the exodus from Deauville (so chic) after an invigorating paddle on the world – class beach to the autoroute, avoiding the vacation stampede via quaint little towns with seventeenth century architecture and almost as many canals as Venice. Most satisfactory. The soundtrack is, of course, from Taizé and I can’t remember why the pigeon breasts stuffed with foie gras got into the video. Senior moment. Never mind.