What better way to finish off the midday meal than with a relaxing snooze!? The siesta is just that, a short nap taken in the early afternoon and by tradition after lunch. Siesta is a Spanish word meaning the 'sixth hour' and relates to the tradition of counting from dawn onwards, hence the nap at around 12pm. This practise is often associated with those living in warmer climates (although in no way not embraced by people the world over) where the heat of the afternoon sun together with a full belly makes for the ideal situation of a quick relaxing nap.
St Tropez has been dubbed as the summer playground for the rich, famous and glamorous during which time you see the beaches become engulfed with tanned bodies and expensive private yachts. The iconic Brigitte Bardot was 'discovered' here and you are almost guaranteed to spot someone famous strolling up one of the beaches or hanging out in one of the hip cafes. It is situated on the French Riviera with Ramatuelle lying on a hill nearby. The history of Saint Tropez is colourful and varied, changing between a fifteenth century military stronghold to a quiet sea-side fishing village. It was also one of the first towns on this coast to be liberated after World War Two and went on to become a favourite for artists who put it on the map as an internationally known and popular seaside resort. The continuing hordes of tourists each year prove the area's unabating popularity.
The French game of Boules, pronounced Bul, is the collective name given to two popular forms of games played with metal balls; petanque and boule lyonnaise. Similar to the game of 'lawn bowls', the aim is to be the one to get their metal balls closest to the smaller 'jack'. This game is most often played out in an open area.
Mayle's personal experience of playing boules in Luberon outlined a few extra 'local' rules, including;
1. Anyone playing without a drink is disqualified
2. Incentive cheating is permitted
3. Disputes concerning the distance from the cochonnet (jack) are mandatory. Nobody's word is final