Returning to the South of France in July for a return housesit with Deefer and Rocky had its advantages and disadvantages.

We were there for the semis and final of the Football World Cup and for the semis our neighbourhood was ringing with cheers and singing. Our hosts had told us that the Valbonne town square would have screens for the final, so we thought we shouldn’t miss being among the French supporters in their hour of glory or sorrow. Fervent French supporters

We walked over the hill to the village and joined the throng. The place was absolutely packed but we managed to separately get a position where we could see a screen. Every time France scored the noise was deafening and flares went off on the outskirts of the square. It was certainly an experience to be among these passionate people and as the time ticked by and scores equalised the atmosphere got tense, but thankfully France pushed on. The final few minutes were tense and noisy at the same time, but as the final whistle approached, the noise ramped up and then just went off!

This visit we were looking forward to spending quality time with our doggy pals by the pool! The temperature of the water had risen to a more than acceptable 28-30 degrees and, after a tough lounge poolside, was refreshing. We quickly got into our routines with morning walks and then a wander down the road to pick up our baguette for lunch. Deefer was on daily medication now, but was still the one to meet us at the gate and gambol ahead of us whenever we arrived back from being out. No one had told him he was an old boy and if they had he didn’t take any notice.

Chris enjoyed getting out cycling on the local hill roads and returned to some of his favourite climbs to Gourdon and beyond. Morning rides meant less traffic and cooler conditions…

We managed a couple of trips out; firstly to Nice old town where we took in the sights of old houses, hilltop castles and views down the beach. One of the disadvantages of this return visit was that, after Spain, everything seemed so much more expensive, from bread to petrol to groceries. We hadn’t realised until we had a comparison.

We ummed and ahhed about taking a trip to Provence to see the lavender in bloom, but that would be a 5 hour plus road trip, for a half an hour look; we decided instead to visit St Tropez, but it was still a 3 1/2 hour round trip driving, so another long day. The town wasn’t anything too spectacular and the beach we went to (supposedly the best one) wasn’t anything special when compared to the lovely sandy beaches we enjoyed in Spain.

This was an easy break, familiar surroundings and lovely dogs. But it made us more aware of why we had chosen Spain as our base for the year and we looked forward to our return to cheaper living, lovely beaches and surroundings, and the new housesits we have lined up.