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DOWN TO the mairie for a Sunday morning meeting of the CEPDOL, an acronym so convoluted that all I can tell you about it is that the C stands for Comité. It's the village amenities committee. Nowhere else in the world would su

IT'S ONLY a few minutes from the Spanish border, but it doesn't strike you as a frontier village. In fact, it reinforces its Frenchness, gives itself a last shot of pure Gallicism before the language, colour, scenery and ambiance changes a couple

I'M AFRAID my first thoughts on arriving at the hotel Bleu Marine in St Raphaël weren't very charitable. There was such an incredible noise, like a surreal fairground or railway station music: you couldn't separate out the strands of music be

THE FLAG'S flying outside the Mairie, the village town hall, flopping idly in the soft spring breeze. Sunning himself at the top of the steps is Jean-Claude, looking like a prosperous antiquarian taking a breather in the shop doorway and scanning

 

HERE'S SUMMER upon us, like a long-awaited favourite guest. Hooray. We've waited so long for this. We can sleep with the windows open, get the main work done in those delectable hours between dawn and coffee-time, flop out round the