Lara Platman - in Cannes, France
Magic hour at the Mirama beach bar on the Cannes Boulevard de la Croissette is a bustling affair. The DJ plays the latest house tunes and the long weekend leads up to the international film festival. Predatory papparazzi start to flock to the resort, while inhabitants ride the storm of the "Crisis" and await the summer return of the luxury charter yachts.
For a single almost-40-something female, sitting alone sipping rosÃ© as slowly as physically possible, this is heaven. After spending the day here at the Mirama, being waited on hand and foot, (literally with reflexology and massage women swarming the beach along with hat and glasses cowboys), I felt that I was allowed to enjoy the CÃ´te d'Azur sunset. I had earned it after enduring a day with nothing more than my own company for entertainment, cheered by a copy of Catherine Mansfield's Montana Stories. I gave the odd nod to a neighbour, as beach sand blew into our paths, and gawped with alarm when I saw livid sun burns on the bodies of revellers.
Cannes has no age limits. I am not sure if it is the sunshine or the way of living, but the chap near my table, has to be over 60 and would, if given the chance, get up and dance. Show us all how it is done. At the next table a group of youngsters, aged in their mid 20s, are partying with glasses chinking and music slamming. This beach bar puts Britain's Broadstairs resort to shame.
I must tell you how I came to be in Cannes a few days before the biggest international film festival. I had intended to go to Monte Carlo, for the historic motor racing grand prix. Alas, the historic event is every two years and me, being the over enthusiast, forgot to think about if this was an "on" or "off" year. With cheap flights available, I booked in haste.
So my jolly to Cannes was picked in the hope of me meeting the man of my dreams. And here lies the catch, or not; where does one find that special man, the one to laugh at your jokes, to help you with your bags and to raise his seat when you raise yours. Where does one find that special love where even the most irritating toast crumb of his in the duvet will bring a smile to your heart?
Sitting still and parading like a peacock might on paper do the trick, but one does have to make an effort to seek him out, finding the perfect venue where batchelors or divorcees of a certain age frequent has got to be one of the hardest tasks I have ever endured.
Sill, without luck I have no answer. Suggestions have been passed to me. Endless suggestions in fact. So with a nod to the hearty I ventured to Cannes and to the Mirama beach bar. Perhaps I am a year too early for the classic car, I think I may indeed be a week too previous for the classic man. So while the Inhabitants of Cannes eagerly await the international film jet set, I, a single female, will simply have to endure another day and another evening alone. Perhaps, after all the waiting, my reward will be that much the greater.
* The 62nd Cannes Film Festival run from May 13-24.