Sunday, October 29, 2006
The X-ray Factor
It’s nice to be back on the Riviera and not feel like an impostor – now at least the first half of my handle is true. Got in last night and our bags arrived this morning and we celebrated this reunion with lunch at Michel’s. I once asked him why the apostrophe – since it doesn’t occur in French – and he said it’s because he wanted it to look English, and both he and his wife are called Michel(e). I didn’t try to explain about the plural apostrophe - I just hope Lynne Truss never sees it. But he does do a fantastic grilled sea bream which I guess is the main thing.
Greeted by Daniel, our newly-friendly newsagent, as we bought our Sunday Times – three times the price in England and half the size – and he thanked us for the plug. Now half the world is flocking to Villefranche to see a cheerful marchand de journaux.
As you get to the departure gate at Heathrow you come upon a mountain of confiscated cigarette lighters because someone once carried liquid explosive. Now they go to new levels of lunacy every time there’s a new scare – after PanAm 003 and the exploding radios they went wild about electronic stuff in your luggage. Then it was beards and back-packs. Then they caught that guy with the explosive sneakers, and they forgot about electronics and back-packs - now you have to take off your shoes in public and go through the metal detectors in your stockinged feet while your shoes go through an X-ray machine.
One only hopes they don’t catch anyone with explosives in his underpants.