Every morning you swim out to the farthest buoy. A little afraid of sharks, having watched way too many documentaries with great whites exposing their gnashing teeth. The water is green-blue and barely tossed, although on some days grey and glassy like milk. You swim thinking of other bodies of water, stuff you should be doing for work, ideas for lunch, naughty things you'd like to do and have done to you. You backstroke in to shore then head out again, over and over. Every morning you nearly collide with the guy in checked boardshorts on that stand-up canoe. Every morning you hear the old cranky man cleaning the wooden planks of the cafe with a leaf-blower.
Then, before the crowds come with their tumbling kids and teensy bikinis and umbrellas and tribal tattoos and suncream, you sit awhile in the sand, invisible, contemplating coffee, hoping to dodge last night's dishes. The wind comes up.
Before lunch there will be pastis most days. (For those who haven't tried one yet - a cloudy aniseed aperitif, you keep on adding water until your jug is dry.) On a bright red table in a village. Or in the piazza at the nearby town, a hot clifftop hike away (involving naked swims on the way back).
Or in a cafe high up above the coast in a village with lavender shutters and winding paths and massive agave with bent blue arms.
Then in the afternoons you might have a nap, read a novel, or tickle your revisions; set out to a faraway and breathtaking beach.
Or a mountain village you never, ever want to leave.