Nimes

We spent the night in Nimes to meet up with my US-based cousin and the party of old ducks he was shepherding round some of the sights of southern France. He’s now 89 and could easily be 20 years younger. We did the amphitheatre, the Maison CarĂ©e and laboured up the hill after him through the gardens to the Temple of Diana and above. He once told me he intended to live till he was 94, but he’ll have to do a rapid degeneration if he’s not to surpass that.

The town crest is a crocodile that is plastered everywhere. There are also lots of shops selling crocs. Nonetheless I, as always, seemed to be the only person wearing a pair.

The car, now with 260-odd thousand miles under its belt, performed impeccably. Tomorrow is a crunch date for it as it is going in for its controle technique before the regulations are tightened. If it survives that it should be good for another couple of years. It has needed nothing beyond oil and filter changes for five years. It is worthless with scarcely a panel without a dent or a scrape since I gave up worrying about its beauty years ago. But I doubt if I could afford a replacement as efficient and comfortable. It has a new career this year humping soil and plants around the village.

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