Tag Archives: Cote d’Azur

J’aime la France – #160-194


J’aime la France160.

Paris

Lovers’ locks, Paris.

I love France, so much so, that I sometimes wonder if I have a little bit of Plantagenet blood coursing through my veins. Then again, I hate cheese, so perhaps not.

And, following on from my last post, I probably wouldn’t like it half as much had the Allies not been successful in liberating it in 1944/45.

There are so many places in France I have yet to discover, but some of the ones I have, I shall share with you:

Paris

Paris

Paris161, of course, the epitome of the romantic city. Musée d’Orsay162 is one of the greatest art galleries in the world, boasting a smorgasbord of impressionist works. The Latin Quarter163 with its bohemian cafés and restaurants, the artists’ square in Montmartre164, Lautrec’s Pigalle165. I even had the best cassoulet166 of my life in Paris. (Not to mention the biggest hangover.)

Cassoulet

Cassoulet

Further north from Paris is the Somme167 – Albert168, Amiens169 and Arras170. Now, the River Somme winds its way sleepily through Amiens amidst the riverside cafes and restaurants. A far cry from the death and destruction 100 years ago. If you want to become a pacifist take a trip to any of the numerous First World War memorials that are dotted around the countryside. If you weren’t one beforehand you certainly will be after you witness hundreds of thousands of white marble slabs.

River Somme, Amiens,

River Somme, Amiens

Whilst Brittany171 may have a similar climate to the south coast of England, its beaches and medieval towns eclipse what we have here. Even towns that were bombed to smithereens during the Second World War have been painstakingly rebuilt to their former glory. From the walled city of Fougere172 in the east to the Dinan173 and Dinard174 in the north. Morlaix175 in the west, Concerneau176 and Pont-Aven177 in the south. Mont Saint Michel178, (which is actually in Normandy), is one of the modern wonders of the world.

Pont-Aven, Brittany

Pont-Aven, Brittany

Morlaix, Brittany

Morlaix, Brittany

Fougere, Brittany

Fougere, Brittany

Tregastel, Brittany

Tregastel, Brittany

Can't remember if this is Dinan or Dinard in Brittany

Can’t remember if this is Dinan or Dinard in Brittany

Mont Saint Michel, Normandy

Mont Saint Michel, Normandy

My favourite spot is the Cote d’Azur179. Nice with its wide boulevards and maze of streets in the old town180, (there’s a cracking Picasso gallery in) Antibes181, Cannes for a bit of bling182, Villefranche-sur-mer183, Monte Carlo184, Juan les Pins185, and not as expensive as you might think. Further inland up in the mountains is the perfume capital, Grasse186 and the artists’ haven of Saint Paul de Vence187.

Antibes

Antibes

Nice

Nice

eea75151e5edcd3a86e78c790062ae02

Bouillabaisse

Saint Paul de Vence

Saint Paul de Vence

Grasse

Grasse

Another treasure is the island of Corsica188. Bonifacio189 with its brightly coloured buildings clinging precariously to the cliffs. Cargése190 in the north west. And the pirate haven of Sarténe191 up in the hills.

 

Bonifacio, Corsica

Bonifacio, Corsica

Cargése, Corsica

Cargése, Corsica

All in all, a veritable paradise. Particularly if you like meat and fish. Can’t say it would be a utopia for veggies, mind. Cassoulet, bouillabaisse192, moules provencal193 – ahh, heaven. Obviously, washed down with copious amounts of rosé or red wine.

Moules Provencal

Moules Provencal

Maybe one day, when my second novel makes a million or two, I can buy a little gites194 by a lake, or overlooking the sea.

There are so many places in France that I have yet to see, so if you have a favourite, please feel free to share your recommendations in the comment box below.

Addendum.

The one thing I HATE about France is dog poo. They seem to have an extraordinary amount of it. Obviously, they love their dogs. But, disappointingly, they don’t appear to be too keen enforcing public hygiene laws.

I recall strolling across a Tregastel beach in Brittany cautiously stepping over and around dog stools looking over my shoulder to warn my kids then, squelch. Open-toed sandals. I still feel nauseous to this day.

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Inside the world of Love is Blood


Grasse, where Severine and Harry meet.

Grasse, where Severine and Harry meet.

One of the wonderful things about reading a good book is imagining the world that the author has created. I suspect every individual would visualise slightly different characters and the world in which they inhabit. Hopefully, mine is no different.

Whilst Love is Blood is not autobiographical, I have visited all of the locations featured in the novel. This obviously helps when trying to describe the settings in which the leading characters play out their story.

The characters themselves are not real people. They are amalgams of people I have met, invented or seen in movies. Their personalities are defined by the plot of the story. For example, both Harry and Dominic need to be creative, hopeless romantics and spontaneous, otherwise the story wouldn’t progress very far.

The three leading female characters are all strong, determined women. Severine is probably the most independent and decisive. Roísín starts out life being strong-willed and flamboyant, but, in later years, becomes slightly kooky. Sylvia, meanwhile, is the quietly sensitive type, noble and reflective.

Here are a few images that served as inspiration for the story. And, if they were all in their prime now, some actors/personalities I could imagine playing the lead roles.

If you haven’t read it yet, I’d appreciate your help in getting me up the Amazon chart. You can get a copy of it here: Love is Blood.

Love is blood, love story, David Milligan-Croft, romance

Liz Taylor as Severine?

Love is blood, romance, love story, David Milligan-Croft,

Liz Taylor

Love is blood, love story, David Milligan-Croft, romance

Cary Grant as Harry?

Love is blood, romance, love story, David Milligan-Croft

Audrey Hepburn as Sylvia?

Love is blood, romance, love story, David Milligan-Croft,

Or Emily Blunt as Sylvia?

Love is Blood, romance, love story, David Milligan-Croft

Lloyd Cole as Dominic?

Love is blood, romance, love story, David Milligan-Croft,

Gina McKee as Roísín?

Love is blood, romance, love story, David Milligan-Croft,

Dominic’s Sunbeam Tiger.

 

Love is blood, romance, love story, David Milligan-Croft,

Severine’s Citroën Pallas DS.

 

Love is blood, romance, love story, David Milligan-Croft,

Saint Paul de Vence, Cote d’Azur.

Love is blood, love story, romance, David Milligan-Croft,

Sartene, Corsica.

Love is blood, romance, love story, David Milligan-Croft,

Cargese, Corsica.

Love is Blood, romance, love story, David Milligan-Croft,

Irish Museum of Modern Art where Dominic works.

Love is blood, romance, love story, David Milligan-Croft,

Harry’s toy workshop?

Love is blood, romance, love story, David Milligan-Croft

Sylvia’s sketchbooks.

Love is Blood, love story, romance, David Milligan-Croft,

Severine’s villa in Grasse, Cote d’Azur.

Love is Blood, romance, love story, David Milligan-Croft,

Modigliani – inspiration for “Clatto”.

Picasso's 'art on paper' - Dominic's mission.

Picasso’s ‘art on paper’ – Dominic’s mission.

Love is blood, romance, love story, David Milligan-Croft.

The Empire State Building, New York.

love is blood, love story, romance, incest, David Milligan-Croft,

Help me make it Number 1!

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