We decided to walk into town this morning, leaving the boat underneath two large willow trees that will keep it in shade until about 12.30. We closed both front and rear doors to prevent loony GSD doing one of her escapology tricks.
The bridge over the Loire gives wonderful views of the old town, up through which we had climb to the Cathedral. There have been bishops in Nevers since the VIth Century, so I presume there has been a church on this site for a long time. I'd never noticed the translation of Christ's words, in Latin (did he really speak Latin?) to Peter, 'You are Peter (Petrus) and on this rock (Petram) I will build my church', are even better in French as the word for Peter (Pierre) and rock (pierre) are the same.
Spotted an embarrasing exhibit in the cathedral, before and after photos of the state of the building. In 1944, a 'mistake' by the RAF destroyed the roof, the choir, the baptistry, and tombs of some of the early bishops. I'd wondered, as we approached the cathedral, why all the glass looked modern. Now I know.
It took us some time to find St. Bernadette's chapel. It was unmarked, unlit, and closed off. The two stained glass windows (that seemed to have escaped the bombardment) showed her being received into the order and one of the apparitions at Lourdes. Perhaps we might make the long treck across town tomorrow morning to visit the official shrine, though I doubt it. We'll come back and do it by car 'cos we really have to get those relics we promised the Capitaine at Pont de Vaux, and a couple of Plenary Indulgences too. I'm sure we can get them 'at cost' with MWNN having been 'in the firm', as it were, what with him being on constant call to step into his shoes when the Pope finally pops his clogs.
After we'd shopped at the indoor market for fresh fruit and cold meats and cheese, we returned to the boat. A hire boat sporting 8 bicycles was moored beside us. Throughout the afternoon we met various members of a three generation family from Massachusettes (about 30 miles from you, Ceit). The 'old couple' were Phillippe and Alice, who celebrate their golden wedding anniversary next year. Their eldest (of five boys and one girl) Phillip, his wife, their 17 year old son and teenager daughter are with them. So too is their second son, Chris (coaches college soccer in his spare time) and his wife Cindy. Alice and Phillippe were both primary school teachers and Phillippe is also a carpenter in his spare time. He also proved very useful when, after plugging in the vacuum, I discovered that the hose was blocked. It was Phillippe who suggested using the hose pipe and forcing out the blockage with water pressure - it worked. The cause of the blockage? A massive fur ball!
Speaking of the provider of said fur, loony shephard knows a teenage boy when she sees one, and she knows one who will turn out to be a good chucker of the stick. Phillippe's son appeared late in the afternoon and, having watched me doing a little of the 'down, stay' training, I slipped the shepherd's lead and told her to go and play. She headed straight for him, bearing the gift of a twig. He spent about 20 minutes exhausing her and knew exactly when to stop. His father (ex-teacher), now responsible for educational technology somewhere in Arizona, took masses of photos on his Sony digital and it burning them onto CD for us.
Phillippe's daughter admitted to being a Buffy and Angel fan and bemoaned the fact that she'd missed the final episode of Angel as she was preparing for school exams. Bogwitch, you are not going to believe this but, four out of five of the CDs you sent are perfect. The fifth was all sound and no visuals. Of course it WOULD be episode 22, wouldn't it.
A thoroughly nice family, obviously very close. Christmas is spent 'en famille', six children, 18 grandchildren (9 boys, 9 girls, ranging from 22 years to 2 months.)