It’s going to be a year of important birthdays. Today my father-in-law, Henk, turns 70. Or “69 + 1” as he says, “… no big deal.”

The rest of the family are celebrating in South Africa, around the pool with a braai (and way too much meat, as you expect from Saffers).

On our way to Aups, we came across a 70 sign, and thought … PERFECT!! An excellent way to send our birthday wishes across the continents, “Happy 70th birthday, Pap!”

Aups – capitale du Haut Var

Aups dates back to 6 BC. It lies on the foothills of the Alps (where the name comes from) at 505 metres above sea level. It’s 60 kms from the sea and 80 kms from ski slopes. According to the Tourism website, you can also go canyoning in the Verdon gorges. Ooh. Something for the summer … Hmm, how long can we be on sabbatical for?

When we got back, low clouds had moved in over Cotignac. Marcel and I popped down to the Spar, where it was clear. The cloud was hanging above the village like a protective blankie. Very mystical 🙂

Over dinner, Diana said they wanted to head back to Holland earlier, in time for New Year’s. Isn’t it funny how things come around again? Last year, we said the same thing to them during our trip from Portugal. That’s the beauty of good friendships, you know where each other is at, and it’s cool whatever decision you make. Naomi was over the moon … she’s been missing her buds big time. It’s got to be uber-boring for a nearly 17-year-old to hang around with us “old fogies” 🙂