Every morning I go with Mrs Daniels to swim at Larvotto. There are very few swimmers now October’s here, and when there’s little sunshine, even fewer.
However, this doesn’t stop us heading out each day with towels and tote bags in which to leave our mobile phones, safe in the knowledge that no-one will dare attempt to steal them.
The first steps into the autumnal Med are the most difficult, but then it gets more bearable. There is a top layer of warmer water, and what a wonderful feeling it is to push off to feel the sea embrace us.
According to my wife, since by the time she’s bobbing out towards the breakwater I am sipping my first grand creme of the day in one of the several splendid beachside cafes.
“How was it?” I ask each time she joins me at my beach-facing table. “Fantastic,” she says, her bottom lip hardly trembling. I am full of admiration and share my half-eaten croissant in a deep mark of respect and awe.
We are not alone in the cafe. There is usually a gaggle of British entrepreneurs, entrepreneuring loudly on a bigger table. One or two sole traders squint against the sun as they search their laptop screens trying to find an upside to the cryptocurrency crash. They never look up.
Before lunch, when construction workers come to eat, the only other customers are Russian mothers and their toddlers, and usually grandmothers, too.
All the children have Dior T-shirts, or Versace, or some other expensive must-have brand.
So far I have resisted the temptation to ask the Russians for their take on the war in Ukraine. This is very difficult for a journalist, as asking questions all the time is a compulsion it’s hard to ignore.
Instead, I listen in as they buy sweets for their golden-headed offspring. Never does a Bonjour pass their surgically-altered lips, nor a Merci or a Bon journee.
I try desperately hard not to be judgemental, but fail abysmally.
I consult, instead, my weather app, but that takes my anger close to boiling point.
It’s getting cooler on the shores of the Mediterranean, but in Kyiv the thermometer at night gets closer to zero as each day passes. Without a respite from Russian bombardments, many people of my age will die this winter.
Of course, my wife points out, life in Russia for ordinary people is not a bowl of cherries.
I hope that Mrs Daniels continues her morning swims. They do both of us so much good and we thank our lucky stars each time that we are here in the sunshine while most of the rest of the world faces desperate times.
Any views or opinions in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the publishers. Monte-Carlo Diary is published in the interests of editorial diversity.