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“Turn around……when possible”

“Go straightaway on the motorway”

“Go through the roundabout and take the 2nd exit”

These are a few of the comforting expressions of Beatrice or “Bea” our 5th passenger who is accompanying me, Steve and our friends Esther & Howard through the medieval villages and coast of Provence, France. My wonderful husband, who has brought me here for a belated 50th B-day gift, almost always seems to know what I need. He was adamant about excluding Bea from our trip, so I was happy that my friends prevailed.


A much needed kiss in front of the beautiful village of Gordes

“Bea” has a lovely British accent which is not only soothing but is helping us on our journey. Left to just a map, we would have surely driven off a cliff by now durring our day-trips around Provence , or found ourselves unexpectedly at the Spanish border. I, being a space-planner by trade, take pride in map navigation, but the French change road numbers and street names frequently and don’t bother to update the maps nor alert the public. I think this is their little inside joke aimed at American Tourists. Not that Bea is perfect. Sometimes she stops talking just to screw with us. I still prefer her to the optional French speaker who would have at the very least berated us at every wrong turn in a language I barely understand.

Somewhere back in January I lost my job and my creative mojo (a story for another day). So when my family and friends heard that I was going to France, they assumed that touching down in Paris would somehow spark my writing flame. Not so. It is Bea that has inspired me to start blogging once again, not France itself. She has given me the ability to not have to think about directions at all, which has somehow cleared my head. Her words make me laugh and have certainly prevented any turmoil in the car as she is the most diplomatic of the 5 of us. Since I can depend on her, I am free to explore without worry — so much so that when the “check tyre pressure” and the “teacup light” for oil came on days ago, I laughed that off too. I could get stranded in France for weeks and be happy that I will have interesting things to blog about for days and maybe even weeks to come. As I sit on the balcony of our lovely rental home overlooking Antibes and the Mediterranean Sea, my mind is spinning with all of the stories I intend to share.

In the meantime meet “Bea”…….

Our lovely 5th passenger

Our lovely 5th passenger