J'aime l'hiver a Saint-Tropez. In shop after shop, business after business, a sign bearing that slogan - and, often enough, another announcing fermeture annuelle - was displayed.
And why not? At the prices they feel entitled to charge, for no matter what goods or services, they must surely earn enough in the summer to see them through the winter without the need to head off to the mountains to replicate their trade for the skiers. It is also beyond doubt that this beautiful corner of France becomes more beautiful still when there are not hordes of peoples and, especially, when there are empty berths along the exquisite harbour front.
But we can still whinge.
I have no doubt local taxes are high in Saint-Tropez. Does that justify pump prices set at criminal levels more than 20 cents a litre higher than a few kilometres inland? It does not. That petrol station's exorbitant prices are set in stone, whatever the oil markets are doing.
We spent a day there and will be back tomorrow, because it is despite all a lovely place.
But I did chuckle when I perused the wine list at the Thai restaurant on the port, Chez la Thailandaise. At first glance, the only white was priced at 1,400 euros a bottle. I did then realise there were two house wines at 30 and 40 euros (the former also coming at 6 euros a glass) and we found it an easy choice (two glasses of white each, avoiding the cheeky little red, a Margaux costing 190 euros).
We've all got to earn a crust and that Sauternes on the Thai restaurant's list knocks you back a bit wherever you buy it. "Yes, we have no problem selling it," said the Cambodian manager. "But look at the boats opposite - it costs up to 10,000 euros per day for a berth. A single drink at one of the night clubs will cost you 28. That's Saint-Tropez."
But Monsieur le Maire, get your house in order. If you can spare the time between answering all those angry letters from Brigitte Bardot, just have a quiet word in the ears of those trying to rip us all off.