P.S. Links to photos from my Nice trips in 2009:
and again in 2013:
Nice is as wonderful as ever - of course it's January so the vampires are here too... Not that sun bothers the little biters as much as it used to, but they do prefer to holiday in the winter when the days are shorter... They're an amusing bunch to observe - you'd think they'd just transform into bats and then fly across The Channel - but no, they were all there at Gatwick when I checked in... They all like to travel in first class like the rest of us! Even vampires like a glass or two of champers! Once we'd landed and gone our separate ways I didn't see them again that night - I thought I might have seen them out at one of the clubs, but no... No doubt we'll bump into them again at some stage! Did I mention that I'm here with your Auntie Magenta?? As you well know, she's always been a bit of a "one woman FANG club" for anything vampire - so I'm sure that she'll sniff them out eventually! Don't worry darling... They never try anything with me! I eat far too much garlic and that's one thing that they've never really evolved beyond!
Sunday 24th January 2016
You won't believe what I did today! I emerged from a birthday cake! How very Marilyn Monroe of me... I did volunteer, mind - I certainly wasn't shanghaied into it. As you can imagine it's something I've always longed to do. There's a man staying at our hotel named Tobias and he and your Auntie Magenta have gotten pretty close - now I know it sounds sudden, but apparently Tobias is a time-traveller and over night - in the time since they first met - she's spent six months with him in some luxury holiday paradise on Jupiter in the year 3473... Now either she popped something exceedingly strong last night or she's been two-timing me on this holiday of ours; not that I noticed! I'm not sure how I feel about it, really - only before I had time to even think about it Magenta was asking me to do her a favour because today was Tobias's birthday. So... Anyway! Emerging from a birthday cake has always been a dream of mine - and so I was very happy to help; the only negative thing being that soon after it happened Tobias had gone missing again. "He'll be back..." Magenta insisted. "He left his wallet in 3473..." I only hope she's right about that - only the doorman of the hotel saw him heading off in a limousine with about six vampire ladies, so I rather suspect we won't be seeing him again today - time machine or no time machine. I only hope that she kept her credit card away from him!
To keep her mind off things this afternoon, I dragged Magenta to the modern art gallery... One of our favourite things in places like this is to stand and pose as if we're actually exhibits ourselves... This time it didn't work out quite as well as it had in the past - we both fell asleep thanks to too much champers and birthday cake and the next thing we knew it was almost midnight and the gallery was locked up for the day. Thankfully, we're both pretty adept at level 6 tip-toeing, not to mention quite ambidextrous from our years in Girl Guides; we both earned badges in Cat Burglary. I don't think such an award even exists these days, but times were less intense back when I was a teenager. So, having both shimmied our way out of the gallery through the letter box, we made it back to the hotel. What a long day it has been! There's still been no sign of Tobias, mind... I think I'll take Magenta to Monte-Carlo tomorrow to keep her mind off the disappointment. Men, aye!? Tell me I'm wrong...
Monday 25th January 2016
As planned, today we went to Monaco - your Auntie M was still looking down and so I thought she could do with a little glamour. I'm not a gambler myself but I have a friend, Lucas, who works in a casino in Monte-Carlo who is gifted with the powers of premonition; he basically knows who will and who won't win - he can see what is meant to happen, but is able to influence it either way. For instance, if Lucas likes them he'll tip them a wink and guide them in the right direction - but on the other hand he enjoys just as much allowing those who don't deserve it to lose every last penny. When I'm passing through I always pop in to watch him in action, although this may be the last time I see him here in Europe as he's grown tired of the clientele here in Monaco and is about six weeks away from transferring to one of the big casinos in Las Vegas. He's looking forward to a new breed of customer - apparently the casino-goers in Monte-Carlo are all a bit too serious for him, whereas Las Vegas tends to encourage a slightly more wacky bunch of punters. I suppose I'll have to plan a trip over there and see how he's doing; although it won't be my first time. Your father and I spent one of our honeymoons there - I forget which; we were always renewing our vows back in the 70s and early 80s and I lose track... Still, these are stories for another day...
Back to my day in Monte-Carlo and I left Magenta watching Lucas at work and headed up to the old town - I simply insist on having lunch up there whenever I visit; the view from the old town is quite remarkable. Oh, how marvellous it must have looked when Princess Grace married the Prince Of Monaco back in '56 - I can't possibly confirm or deny whether I was invited or not - but I certainly never made it. I did, however, see a drag recreation of the event at The Vauxhall Tavern sometime in the early 90s. At any rate I probably got better seats than I would have done for the actual event, as I knew the manager and was allowed to watch from the side of the stage. Ah yes... Happy memories!
Tuesday 26th January 2016
I meant to mention it before, but I didn't see a single vampire the whole time I was in Monaco yesterday; but there they were in Cannes today! Apparently it's their film festival next weekend, which explains why there are so many of them around! Who knew that vampires even had their own little film industry!?! Magenta and I hung around to watch some of the red carpet antics - of course, we didn't recognise any of the actors... I have a nasty feeling that some of the red on that carpet wasn't from dye, but I shouldn't make such rash assumptions... Magenta and I did get in to see a sort of preview event where they played trailers from the films that were being celebrated during the festival. I have to say that I was surprised by just how many Rom-coms vampires make! I mean, there's no doubt they are a very passionate bunch - but I've never really considered them to be very humorous beings; even those of them who were funny before they died seem to take on a very self-centred sombre personality. The other - slightly surprising - thing that I discovered was that vampires simply can't make horror films - I suppose it's too much of a busman's holiday for them; well, not that they're meant to be as bloody as they all used to be. A typical "vampire" horror movie is all rather whiny and "woe is me" - lots of angry looking villagers with stakes and endless social commentary... That's the other thing - most vampire horror films are about five hours long without intermission. Thankfully we were spared having to sit through one of those... Goodness knows how long a Director's Cut of one of their films would be! The one thing I will say for them is that they may not make very good films, but they really do know how to put together a decent canape. Not bad considering that they can't actually eat, being dead - the poor darlings...
Wednesday 27th January 2016
Goodness... Today was a write off! We stayed at the film festival far later than I intended. I blame it on Magenta, myself... By the end of the evening she was suddenly the world's biggest expert on vampire films and didn't want to leave - not that we would have been able to get a train back at that time anyway; I certainly wasn't shelling out for a taxi. I've been to many parties over the years - and they don't get any easier, I can tell you! It's bad enough, at the best of times, being chased about by men who you're not interested in - but it's even worse when they keep on turning into bats and hanging off the side of your wine glass to impress you. Not only that but I was also trying to keep an eye on Magenta and that's tiring too; part of her is saying "protect me", whilst her more deviant side is giving random vampire gentlemen (and ladies, for that matter!) the come-hither. How happy I was to make it home; although the last I heard of Magenta she was contemplating a number of offers of marriage - several of them from a Portuguese vampire-only water-polo team. You might want to save up to buy yourself a hat for when she finally decides which one (if any) of them that she intends to marry! That woman! She's nothing to do with me... Does she belong to you, by any chance? (Deny it, honey!)
Thursday 28th January 2016
Honey! It's time for a change! I'm still staying based in Nice - we have the flat for at least a month, but today I'm leaving your Auntie Magenta to enjoy her vampire friends and I'm heading to Turin for the weekend. Some of my witchy friends are there to celebrate the 100th birthday of a mutual pal; it sounds like fun - and it should be - as long as nobody gets too drunk and turns any tourists into frogs! Well, maybe one or two frogs will be fine - I mean, you don't turn 100 every day of the week! (It's toads that you need to watch out for - they're much harder to turn back, apparently!) Goodness, honey! A century sounds so long! But never mind, I'm still only 39... Yes! Okay! So I realise that this now means that you're now older than I am - but nobody needs know that we're related, now do they? You won't be offended, right? No - I thought not....
More soon, honeybee! Stay safe! Love, Mother xxx
The post and all contents are Copyright Paul Chandler, 2016.