There is always a sense of gradual re-awakening when the time of year arrives to be back in France.
Six days of dull skies, frequent rain and a glacial house caused me to wonder more than once whether that time had not, in truth, arrived at all. Had I broken nature's embargo?
Then I rose to brilliant sunshine and found that even without the enhancement of window panes it was warm outside.
It was such an inviting day, especially by comparison with those that preceded it, that there was only one thing for it: a walk along the foot of the cliffs that separate Le Lavandou and Saint-Clair.
The beach at Saint-Clair may be the most beautiful along this stretch of the Mediterranean coastline. It is also - as I am sure celebrated residents, who include Jerry Hall and also, I believe, Tracey Emin and another ex-wife of a Rolling Stone, could confirm - heaving in summer. On this day at the start of March, it was as unheaving as the photograph depicts.
Tant mieux. Instead of the dreary search for a space that drives you farther and farther away in July and August, I was able to take my pick from a stretch of empty slots that went as far as the eye could see.
And I then I turned back to Le Lavandou, but by the scenic route on foot.
In summer my granddaughter, Maya, takes delight in running from wherever we have found our square metre of sand towards the point where the foot of the cliffs starts. Once I catch up, we continue hand in hand, taking care not to fall on the slipways for the lifeboat and turning a couple of corners until we can make out Le Lavandou in the distance.
There we imagine we can just about see the Bécassine pancake restaurant she loves so much and the manège (she still doesn't recognise the word if you say it in English - "roundabout"). And then I coax her back to our spot on the beach.
But you can continue to walk along the shore and that is I what I did to celebrate the arrival of decent weather. There were so few other strollers that it was like being in Swaledale but with sea, a cheery bonjour in place the "how do?" or "good morning", salt air and a couple of surfers instead of grazing sheep. I accept that little resorts can seem deadly dull out of season but this, if I am on my own, is much as I prefer it.
There is life, too, if you look hard enough. Rackham le Rouge is a bar/restaurant/music venue that began life two or three years ago in the main street, Avenue des Commandos d'Afrique, which descends from the through road down to the sea. It was a cosy little bar then, with immaculately executed nautical decor, but hopelessly located for an establishment that sees attracting clients as any part of its function.
Now it's on the seafront, at its far end but still liable to draw in passing customers even in late winter/early spring. And the live music is the key: I'd missed jazz the night before, but immediately booked for this Friday.
So yes, I enjoyed the return of life as I know it down here. There'll be wind and more rain to come; some parts of the south are back on orange alert for bad weather. But also lots more sunshine. And far from coming too soon, I find I have landed just in time to catch the last of the mimosas ....