It had been so amazingly hot that I felt myself about to dissolve into a kind of creme brulee on the road, so I bought some super-power Number 8 suncream. This had the word Bronzante on it, and must have contained some dye or other chemical because my knees stayed brown until February.'
Fed up with questions about what he was going to do when he retired, Edward decided to get on his bicycle and ride from Le Havre to the Mediterranean. He struggled in Normandy to get directions from old men tipsy on Calvados by 9 a.m., passed by prairies of corn and acres of sunflowers, and hit his stride on the towpath of the Burgundy canal. He explored the mystery of what an ouvrier eats for lunch, and was barred from a swimming pool because his trunks were too decent. Through the Rhone and down to Provence and the Camargue, Enfield is witty and informative as always.