Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Ne fermez pas la porte

That'll teach me for making jokes about draughts in Dutch theatres in Corsica Bullitinu. Renée Blom's inscription (see photo, right) of part of a poem by I Muvrini's Jean-Francois Bernardini ("Ne Fermez pas la porte" - "Don't shut the door") on the elegant glass doors of Amsterdam's Meervaart theatre prompted me to suggest that the lobby would be forever draughty.

Well, my words have come back to haunt me. We usually find something interesting when we get back to our little apartment in Lumio after an absence: sometimes we find a little lizard hiding under the doorframe or a bird's nest over the lamp on our terrasse. This time, on the chilly and overcast day of our arrival, we found that our front door had been cemented to the ground and couldn't be budged.

We'd arranged for some new tiles to be laid over the winter, and the folk doing the work had made the level of the front step a shade higher than before. As a result, the door had become totally stuck to the tiles thanks to some excess cement that had worked its way under the door.

We finally yanked it open. And with the help of the guys doing the work, we removed the door, shaved a centimetre or so off the bottom, painted it where the wood had beeen trimmed, and waited for the paint to dry for an hour.

Corsica does get cold in March and never mind not shutting the door - we were without one altogether while this was going on. It was freezing and we stayed in our coats. But I still empathise with Jean-Francois' sentiments about harmony between people and how better communication can improve it.

Sunday, March 08, 2009


New plans for 2009

It's time to stop dreaming about places like the one on the left (Lavezzi) and get on with planning our next visit. A letter from our copropriété arrived a day or two ago, enclosing the agenda for a meeting on 27th March, so over the past 48 hours I've been planning our next visit to Corsica whilst struggling to free myself from a horrid stomach virus.

The aero-landscape has been transformed since we left Calvi last autumn. Excel Airways has gone bust, the flights available from Thomsons have been cut back, and easyjet has opened a new route between Paris and Bastia. So, later this month, before the direct routes start for the summer, we'll be trying a new way of getting to our favourite island. I'm not sure if we'll manage to get any snorkelling done this time (March is still a bit cold even for me) but I expect we'll manage a couple of decent walks.

From our home near Southampton, we'll fly with Flybe to Paris's Charles de Gaulle airport, swap terminals there and fly onward to Bastia with Easyjet where we'll pick up our hire car. You can be sure I'll let you know how we get on, and if you want to look at a few options yourself, you can check them out here.

Usually at this time we fly to Nice or Pisa, then get a ferry to Calvi or Bastia. But as we'll be there for such a short time (just five days) we're flying all the way on this occasion. In years past, the problem with swapping planes at Paris has been that one needed to take the onward flight from Paris's other, more southerly airport, at Orly. It will be interesting to see how much time and stress we save by cutting out that uncertain inter-plane dash in the navette along Paris's infamous périférique.

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