Monday 3rd October - On Saturday afternoon, (eve of my birthday) I settled down to watch 'Return of the King' which was still in its celephone from when MWNN bought it for me last Christmas. The rain didn't let up so, with a break for dinner of steak carrots and peas and the remainder of yet more Champagne, and a short after dinner dog walk into town, I finished the second disc by about 10pm.
My birthday fell on the actual DAY this year (I'm a Sunday's Child) and we cruised the 4 hours down to Gergy in strong winds, steel grey, occassionally turning black skies with me at the helm most of the way. I brought the boat into moor with the wind still gusting strongly and was commended by MWNN for my use of current and wind to bring the boat alongside at _precisely_ the apppointed spot. Unfortunately the mooring cleats had been damaged since our last visit (less than a week ago?) and we had to tie the nose off on the ironwork of the gantry. The Germans who were with us at Seurre arrived some hours later and were appalled at the condition of the pontoon. We are so lucky to have all the time at our disposal and sympathise with folk who are taking their annual holiday hiring a river boat in what turns out to be the worst week for poor weather for the whole of September.
Received birthday phone greetings from TOTKAT and IRISHNODLES but no cards or pressies; MWNN is adamant that he is buying me a little water jug to prevent me taking the boat one home ( It was bought in the Morvan region in a little out of the way pottery on the way to knowhere where the shopkeeper took orders for provisions that she drove to the supermarket to provide. She also kept a barrel of fabulous saucission sec that MWNN calls 'Dracula's penis', they being kept in ashes for almost a year before they're sold. I really like my little water jug but no amount of arguing will persuade MWNN that I _don't_ want a different one for my birthday. I was so glad that I'd decided to buy my birthday meal to cook on board. The walk into Gergy revealed just one restaurant (closed, it being Sunday evening) and the birthday menu proved a great success; a starter of pate de fois with the wonderful bread bought from the baker in Seurre; main course of beuf borgignon, potatoes dauphinoise, petit pois; cheese course of goat's cheese, roquefort and pear; desert merengue and apple tart and coffee; two wines - my 2000 Alsace Gewurztraminer which was declared the best we'd ever had and at _just_ the right temperature, and a 2003 gold medal Gigondas. After all that, it was a real struggle to rouse ourselves to feed and walk the dogs. The rain had held off all day and the evening began with clear starry skies. On our way back through the village, Killer Terrier stopped to talk to two old 'dames' who were airing themselves at their window and were entranced with his challenge of a very large mastif-cross as he approached their apartment.
A tree, rows of which line the approach to the games area of the camp site beside which we were moored, has proved difficult to identify. It has large heart-shaped leaves (only _just_ turning autumnal and still mainly green, and seeds which look remarkably lilke green bean pods suspended along the length of its branches.
The weather forecast is wrong AGAIN for today; it _should_ be sunny periods but we've just set off in driving rain and a stiff following wind. Hopefully that will mean a faster time to Chalon - we MAY even make 8 km per hour if the wind remains strong. Will need to open another box of soup (vegetables poelle) to keep MWNN alive.