Karen Koren - Gilding the Balloon

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I’M sitting under a fan in a beautiful apartment in the South of France. The weather is about 30 degrees. We live in the wrong climate in Scotland.

Everyone keeps telling me that we had our summer in April. I was in Australia at the time, it was their autumn, so this is the first bit of sun I have really had this year and already I am preparing to go home.

I would much rather live in Scotland, though, than France. There are not many ‘smilers’ in France, they are very gruff. Any question is met with a pointing finger and a grumble. At least if they grumble at you in Scotland you can understand them.

The sun, however, is a completely different story. There is nothing like a lovely breeze, hot sun and the Mediterranean sea to swim in.

We went to one absolutely lovely seaside café that rented out loungers and took advantage of their sunbeds... only to get the shock of our lives when the bill arrived - 20 euros each! You could get a hotel room for the same cost nearly.

That said, the sunbeds were worth it - even if it did mean going without lunch and dinner for a day.

Of course I ended up burnt - chest and face - and that was despite wearing factor 30 sun block. Katy, my daughter, wore factor 50 and she is burnt too.

Poppy, our best mate, wore factor 15 - she is like a lobster. Will we ever learn? Probably not!

This whole trip has been a bit dramatic actually. Poppy and Katy were telling me that on the way over, Gerard Depardeau was in First Class. He tried to go to the loo and was told in no uncertain terms to sit down as the plane was taking off. So he stood in the aisle and pee’d anyway - you’ve probably read about it in the press by now.

Back to the grindstone tomorrow and I’m set up for whatever comes along.