(apologies for slight hiatus)

The Ripped Backsides of Nougat City (or Where Not to Go When Yr Car Can?t Wink). Dr Vick’s Golf’s clignotants aren’t working so most of the day we scour the endless lookalike trading estates on the edge of Mont’limar for an honest electrician. Everyone glumly points us elsewhere (they never in fact get mended). There is a Museum of Nougat variously indicated on signposts (“Have fun learning everything there is to know about nougat making”), but we haven?t time for fun. Nor have we time to pay radical suburban hommage to Roland Barthes visiting the French equivalent of B&Q, brilliantly named “Mr Bricolage” (yes “Mr.” not “M.”). Interlude: lunch in Alba-la-Romaine – food nice but not fabulous – and a tough wander up and down its steep little winding alleys. It’s built on a hill, and towering above some of its streets is a great mervyn peakish crag w.a ruin perched on top. All around is lavender, bees and mulberry trees.

In N’mes again that evening so that Dr Vick’s mum can catch a place, we get lost in its strange shifting streets, trying to get to a mystical square w.a palm tree which we keep glimpsing, except then it vanishes before we get to it. High up in some streets are excellent gargoyles of dogs; scooting round the square with the big Roman Forum are several late-nite robot tamagotchi kids, all kitted?n?cuted up in multi-coloured helmets, leads, trainer bikes and secret remote control pads wielded by their showy-off parents in the shadows. (The hotel wz called THE TUILERIES: marie-antionette shd sue).