There’s not much happening at the moment, so just a brief update on life in St-Jean de Losne. The guy that was supposed to be coming along to train and test Vee for the ICC, (International Competence Course) has had to cancel due to ill health. This isn’t a great problem, in fact now that we know that we are definitely spending the winter here there is no great rush at all, it can be done next year. Yes technically we need it if we are in charge of the boat, but ya know, the chances of being boarded by the river Police is slim and, if you don’t have a licence there is no fine or anything, they just say to get one?¿! This may be a blessing in disguise, as we may have the money for both of us to do the course early next year.
I had one of those mornings on Saturday. We were given two bikes the other week, which was very kind. They need a bit of TLC, they’ve been sitting out in the elements for the last year and have become a little rusty and stiff in the joints. I decided to start with the tyres which are all flat, we have a cycle pump on board but it is the wrong size, so I walked the three klick round trip to get one from the supermarche. Within a few pumps the new one failed, the tube wasn’t crimped into the valve correctly, so I took it back, another three klicks and got them to replace it. I got one wheel inflated but the next wouldn’t take any air at all, with a puncture that big I was sure I would hear the air escaping, it was Vanessa that pointed out that the second pump had broken in the same way as the first. I wasn’t expecting that, so off I walk to the supermarche, again but this time to get my money back, fool me once and all that. Any way I had heard that cycling was good for getting you fit, but I thought you are supposed to ride them?¿! Anyhoo, they are sitting next to the boat at the moment looking sadder than when they arrived.
That’s it really, not much is going on but here’s a few bits and bobs that you may find interesting.
The streetlights in the other side of the basin shine on the water and cast beautiful reflections on the walls of our boat at night.
Despite Vee’s course being postponed, we are moving up the canal a bit this weekend, we will be on the cut for a week or so (sans shore power and convenient water), before settling into our mooring for the winter. We won’t be able to use the lights for too long as they take way too much power (I haven’t got the lower power LED bulbs yet), we’ll have to remember to turn the fridge off at night and generally be really aware of our power and water use.
Last Saturday was the final concert of the summer festival, the Pink Floyd tribute band, French Floyd were brilliant. They played the usual big hits but also played some of the more lesser known songs, On the Turning Away, Pigs on the Wing, Mother and The Division Bell which (I don’t think) Pink Floyd themselves ever played live. They totally nailed Have a Cigar! (It was during this show that we decided Comfortably Numb would be an awesome name for a boat?¿!).
French Floyd’s support act was a guy called A Coux Stick, (good name). He was really good fun, he played really well but doesn’t really understand the (English language) songs he sings. Put it this way, he had us in hysterics with his lyrics to Wonderwall, ♪ the baked beans marching down the street, ♪ ♪ don’t know what it’s got to do with you ♫
I’m currently spending about five hours a day learning French via Duolingo and Michel Thomas. There are some “Franglish” sessions during the winter, I don’t actually know what these are yet but I have signed up for them. I am determined to be speaking French to a high standard by the end of winter, (gotta do something when we’re snowed in). Always we have learned enough to get by of the local language and then figured that would do, not this time.
Enforced semi-vegetarianism (the price of meat here is ridiculous), is easier to get used to than I thought. Mushrooms are the new meat. We have tinned tuna and I use pieces of chorizzo to richen sauces, so we’re not totally meat free.
We have the occasional firefly in the grass outside of the boat. the cats are weirded out by the ducks but find the frogs fascinating, Lara finally managed to catch one last night and brought it to bed for us to see, how lovely. We feed the fish and the ducks. The other day I saw a metre long fish swim by quite deep, the hackles rose on my neck this thing was so huge, it turns out they have a name (which I have forgotten) but grow to two metres long. Now my mind-stereo plays the Jaws theme when we feed the fish, disconcerting.