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Water flowing underground
same as it ever was
Sorry for the length. Forgotten how to lj cut. Bloody French keyboard. Grumble. 
15th-Jul-2004 10:55 am
knitting sketch
Thursday 8th - Friday 9th July. Decize to Gannay sur Loire to Boulon.

The return journey to Decize was uneventful, despite the couple of storms and panic phone call from our 'conscierge' informing MWNN that the DVLC (car road tax bods) were out for his blood as he hadn't renewed the Volvo's road tax. Pity that, he'd remembered to have jennylyle added to the insurance for their visit to our place AND have its MOT done.

The weather has taken a decided downward turn and we motored through showers yesterday from Decize to Gannay sur Loire. Of course, everytime we headed into a lock, the heavens opened while we worked the ropes. As soon as we were through, the sun appeared. Talking of working the ropes, I'd forgotten what hard work it is, like a mini workout every time, does wonders for the upper arms.

Ate a fair meal at the café beside the canal. We both had the beuf Bourgignon frites. The chips were great big fat ones, not the usual thin sticks, crispy and golden on the outside and soft and fluffy inside. The beuf Borginon wasn't bad, big chunks of beef in a tasty sauce, with the odd piece of carrot lurking in the background.

Stopped at the goat farm MWNN spotted on our way down this stretch. Bought some goat's cheese (demi-sec), honey, and a bottle of what looks remarkably like mead, from the old farmer who came out to greet us. Couldn't understand 95% of what he said but he seemed to understand us. Winkled a couple of duck eggs out of him too.

Bloody Germans! (sorry irishnoodles, you know I love your other half to bits but you have to admit they are so impossible at times most of the time. We tried mooring in the space between a German barge and a French cruiser. We were too long by about 6inches because the German had two sea anchors out over his front bows. Would he get up off his fat arse and move backwards 6ins? Not bloody likely. He watched MWNN struggle on the tiller and me hauling on the front ropes with the help of the lone Frenchman from the cruiser, and sent his missus out to investigate any damage we might have done to his bows only after we'd admitted defeat and moored round the corner, on the outside of the basin, too far from the facilities to be able to hook up to shore power or take on water. Then the Brit owned Nos Reves arrived. She's a good 4 metres longer than us and when the skipper heard what the German had failed to do, he very wickedly tried to do the same thing we had done. MWNN suggested Nos Reves tried to breast alongside the German, who'd put out his dingy to prevent such a thing. It's very rude to moor on the facilities, particularly the water point, and refuse to allow a boat to breast alongside to take on water (it's a basic need, you see, unlike electricity which is considered a luxury. The German immediately jumped up and explained that he couldn't move back because there were shallows behind him. (There were indeed, they were marked, the nearest marker being about 10 ruckfeet behind his boat.)So, Herman the German refused to move and struck another blow to Anglo/German relations (which are uneasy at the best of times.)

Saturday Boulon to Pierrefitte sur Loire

Met another Brit owned barge Jazz which pulled in shortly after us declaring the intention to eat at the Hotel du Port beside the mooring. MWNN and I walked up mid-afternoon to check the menu, very basic but acceptable. At 7.30, we all strolled up only to discover a Complet sign over the Menu board. The restaurant had a wedding reception booked and had only just git round to putting up the sign. So, back to the boat, where I rustled up a hot goat's cheese salad starter and a duck egg omlette with fried potatoes and petit pois. Roquefort to finish for MWNN and fresh fruit for mois. We then adjourned to Jazz for apres diner drinks which lasted until 01.30.

The skipper of Jazz is a jazz musician (retired) who used to play with Ronnie Scott. His wife worked for the foreign office. They now spend 6 weeks aboard and 2 weeks at home, keeping their publication (something to do with off-course betting) going from their house in Woodbridge, Suffolk. They let the main house to a Lord, who uses it as his country retreat, and when they are home, they live in the annexe. Have I said before how many interesting bods one can meet boating? One of the curious things about our encounters is that MWNN and I come away from such one-off meetings knowing virtually the life stories of the other boaters, while they know very little about us. In the main, other people tend not to ask us questions about our lives and family, prefering to tell us about themselves. What does that tell us about other folk?

Sunday - Pierrefitte to Degoin

This past week, the weather has been very poor indeed. The Madame at the café at Gannay said that the season had been very very quiet and I really feel for the farmers and wine producers who were looking to June and July for the sun required for their crops. Sunday night it bucketted down again for most of the night and this morning, I felt the need to light the solid fuel stove to dry out the damp atmosphere.

We are aiming to be at Paray le Monial for the celebrations of the night of 13th and the 14th itself, but all will depend on the weather clearing a little to cruise down tomorrow. Then it will be Montchanin by the 8th or 19th and home in Angleterre by 23rd.

bogwitch I've mailed you chapter 9 of Family but don't expect any action on it until August. I'm just off now in search of the replacment Nougat and some chockie truffles.

qkellie A very belated congratulations on the new job.
Comments 
15th-Jul-2004 04:45 am (UTC)
Got it. I will have a good look over it.
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