It’s official: we’ve been in Nice too long. I’ve begun to see the appeal of chihuahuas. I can’t believe I’m even admitting this in public, but it’s such a significant development that I just can’t ignore it. I used to think chihuahuas were ludicrous. I mean, who wouldn’t? They only weigh about five pounds, you can squash one with a decisive stomp, and their owners force them to wear laughable items of clothing, even when the rest of us are wearing sandals. Nice is crawling with them. I never considered them dogs until recently. Chihuahuas were only one notch up my not-dog scale from old, fat, overbred pugs, which always remind me of deep-sea creatures.
But then I started to use them as a reminder to run faster. On the Promenade, for example, there are so many chihuahuas that I decided that every time I saw one, I’d speed up for a bit – interval training. And, of course, that made me start to notice their behaviour. Eventually one chihuahua made me slow down: even though it was only six inches high and dressed in a quilted pink jacket, it was squaring up to a Great Dane. Now this I had to see! I’ve learned since that this is a typical chihuahua “Who you lookin’ at?” reaction. The Great Dane tried hard to hide behind its owner, and the chihuahua had to be swept up in its owner’s… palm. Its little teeth were no bigger than kitten claws, but it clearly thought they were as threatening as monster talons – and this self-belief convinced the other dog to back off. I didn’t have my camera with me then, but in any case it was before I started taking pictures of people and their chihuahuas.
These other pix, in no particular order, are taken on the balcony of our new rental studio, the delightful Kira, who came to stay before she went to take on the world at the Cannes Film Festival, a trimmed olive tree at the amazing art deco Villa de Noailles in Toulon, a dog at our local DIY store, where we’ve spent too much money getting the new rental studio ready, my feet watching the tractors get the beach ready last month, and Ted.