Idiotically, we bowed to severe pressure from Felix on Saturday and let him out for a while. I have no clue what we were thinking, I thought he would just mosey around the boat, sniffing and rubbing himself against whatever he could, you know how cats are, this is mine, and this is mine, and this bit too, that’s mine. Oh no, bearing in mind while we’re on the hard and the deck is over two metres off the ground (which in hindsight is nothing for a cat), he made a beeline for the stern and disappeared over the side faster than you could say “cat overboard”. Behind the boat is a large field, but before the field is a ditch that is really quite deep and overgrown, there is also all manner of crap down there, (there’s a fender that I thought would be worth looking at, but it is almost impossible to get down there to see). Of course, Felix was in there like a shot. Cats are remarkably clever though, they know… It’s pointless finishing that sentence as, well, they just know. I know too, I know that he’s been here a month and his feline GPS has homed in and he knows exactly where he is. I know that no matter how stupid he acts, he isn’t, but when you see a cat high tail it away from you and leap with lemming abandon over the side of a boat, all this information disappears and you’re left wondering if you’ll ever see him again. We did briefly twenty minutes later after much meowing and Vanessa calling his name, he popped his head out of the undergrowth, you could almost see that he had sussed out that he really did know where he is, (testing testing 1-2-3), and then he was gone again. When we saw him next (two worrisome hours later), he was nonchalantly walking on the roof of a nearby hut without a care in the world. It’s then that all the stuff you know about cats comes back to mind and you wonder a) why you were so worried, and b) why you let the little bastard out in the first place.
For all my whingeing about the price of food here in France (6€ for a kilo of potatoes in the local store), we are doing very well, though becoming (almost) vegetarian wasn’t what I had in mind. I’ve had to learn a different way of cooking, (yes folks, I do all the cooking, how “new-man” of me), when we had a freezer I would make a big pot of stock and freeze it into portions. Also, instead of making one meal, I’d make ten, portion off and freeze. I can’t do that anymore, I did look at getting a small freezer for the boat, but with prices from €700, that idea’s going to have to wait a while, plus we’d need another solar panel to power it, and some sun, which is a sore point at the moment. Also, people’s kindness is going a long way to making the transition a little easier. The other day a lovely Australian couple were leaving after an extended stay on their boat and left us not only the contents of their pantry, but the contents of their drinks cabinet, yay! Thank you so much guys, and also a big thank you to Georgie and John for our super BBQ, I aspire to throw some meat on it, but for the moment it’s beanburgers, but hey, they’ll be washed down with a glass of Merlot.
A brief update on the prop shaft, two people came by this morning, sucked their teeth, shook their heads, and left. I am starting to wonder whether we’ve bought a static caravan instead of a boat.