and the temperature is already up to 27 degrees. My chest is beginning to complain after so many days of heat and the 10 day forecast is that this weather will not break until the weekend.
Loony GSD's arthritis is much improved and we have an appointment for Friday (today as I upload this entry)for the first of the weekly slow release injections. We haven't yet asked what the long term treatment is to be and I'm already fearing huge vet's bills when we return to the UK. We have pet insurance but it does not cover 'existing conditions', nor will it fund any chronic conditions beyond the first acute attack. The treatment in France is much cheaper but even so, last week's consultation set us back 87 euros.
On Monday we drove to the river in search of a shady spot from which Loony GSD could swim. We ended up beside the camp site, just below Turnous, on the right bank of the Saone. A small copse of trees beside the launch ramp for the ski boats offered shade and, as MWNN parked the car and unpacked the folding chairs, I took the dog for her swim from the ramp. I threw a large piece of dead wood for her to retrieve. As she swam back towards where I was standing on a little iron jetty, I noticed movement from the ramp beside me. There was what I thought was a large beaver or otter. Loony GSD went to investigate and the poor creature defended itself by snarling and snapping at her. I called her off and was so proud of her when she came instantly to me. On further investigation, MWNN declared the creature to be an injuredcoypu (I looked it up on Encarta and it's more likely to have been a beaver). I thought it had been mangled inthe prop of a ski boat but its back legs were intact and there was no sign of external damage. MWNN asked me to keep the dog busy while he investigated further. He tickled its feet and got no reaction - the beaver was paralysed, probably with a broken back. MWNN said the crows were gathering in the tree above so, while I bundled Loony GSD into the car, he put the dying thing out of its misery with a large tree branch. I'm not normally upset by 'nature red in tooth and claw' but this injury was inflicted by people 'having fun' in their high speed boats. We've seen the ski boats roaring up and down this stretch of river and never once has there been anyone water skiing, they'e just racing around for the pleasure of speed. They take great delight in making the narrowboat rock furiously in the bow and stern waves they create - such fun!
We missed the Wednesday market in Pont de Vaux because all of us overslept that morning. Loony GSD is off her fodder because of the heat but shows no sign of arthritic pain - thank goodness - the pills seem to be doing the trick by themselves. We set up the chairs in one of the fishing spot close to the boat, downstream of the weir and allowed her a couple of swims in the afternoon. The weather is set to break today (Thursday) but if it doesn't, we plan to make our way home early next week. We haven't been able to take the boat out yet which is a pity, but sitting around in the heat, unable to do any work (UV has been at 8 for the past 10 days) is taking its toll on all of us. MWNN gained some insight into my chest problems when he had the heavy cold in Italy. But there he could retreat to bed in the cool of the apartment and avoid the worst effects that heat has on congested loungs. He's proposed heading into the Jura for lunch today (Thursday), given that the temperature is already up to 28 degrees and it's not yet 9am.
We drove to Macon in the evening so that we could avail of the car's air conditioning. We had intended to do some shopping at the supermarket but couldn't find any shade in which to park the car with Loony GSD inside. so we drove to the park beside the river and sat in the shade for a couple of hours. Then we headed into town and parked outside a pizzeria for a late dinner. By the time we'd finished, the supermarket was closed (it closes at 22.00). Luckily we'd put up the mossie nets on the boat so as by the time we got back it was dark and past the time in which they swarm inside. It took the best part of the night for the boat to cool to a reasonable temperature and, having checked the meteo for the next 10 days, it looks as though we will be heading home after we drive jennylyle
to the station at 7 on Monday morning. It looks as though this will be the second year running that we will not get a decent cruise time.
In the meantime, I leave you with a selection of photos from Italy - Warning
- large files in slideshow format.
Views from the Lilac Apartment, Castello Bisticci, Chianti. views