The reports from the boaters of Pont de Vaux were of a cold, wet May, with the temperature struggling to reach 14 degrees. The river has been in flood for a while and is only now showing signs of slowing down. There have been a number of 'early baths' for those cruising in those conditions. The culprit is the bitter northerly wind, which has been evident since we arrived 'home'.
Day four on the boat and it seems we have brought the good weather from Italy to France. The wind has remained strong, and cold, but the sun appeared the morning after we came aboard for the first time in over a month.
Today is fellow boater, 'Yorkshire Bob's' birthday. We found this out as we chatted to him while watching the arrival of the vintage cars talking part in the 'Old Timers' Trophy. They took off from Vonnas (home of Georges Blanc of the 3* Restaurant), arrived at Pont de Vaux at 11.45 for a leisurely lunch, and set off at 2.30 for Pont de Vesyle Chateau. There were some real beauties taking part; my favourite was 'Jane' a Daimler built in 1899.
Back to Yorkshire Bob. His recently retired Missus is back in the UK arranging the final wind down from her job in the Health Service. We didn't like the idea of Bob opening a can of beans alone aboard his cruiser on his birthday, so I invited him to dinner. I'm doing a starter of country terrine, cooking a Pot roasted chicken with Shitake mushrooms, potatoes, carrots and peas, followed by Roquefort and goats' cheese. Bob is bringing a 'cheap bottle of plonk' to go with the cheese (for non English readers, the 'tight walletted Yorkshire man' features in many jokes.)
My Friday afternoon haircut was a great success, worth every centime of the 31 Euros it cost. My hair grows very quickly and the cut was at least 6 weeks overdue. The experience began in the massage chair, which massaged my back while my hair was washed. During the second soaping, I was given a head massage and felt so relaxed that I was able to leave the cut entirely in the capable scissors of the young hairdresser. She used scissors only, no razor or clippers and produced a 'tres court' cut effortlessly. As she worked, she commented that the shorter style suited me much better. She gave me what is probably the second best haircut I have ever had. Needless to say, I gave her a generous tip in return.
MWNN continues to improve although the cough has not disappeared completely. Despite my warnings, he insists on drinking the red stuff every day. It may be good for the heart, but not for the chest.
Next week we shall go in search of new batteries. The electrics are working and the battery management system is valiantly trying to charge almost dead cells that have reached more than twice the age of their guaranteed life. We will have to drive to Chalon sur Soane to pick them up and may call in on our Ozzie cruising friends, jennylyle if they are still there.