Towpath de Santiago

Because Felix takes all the limelight.

Heidi (because Felix always grabs the limelight).

Did you know that there are a whole load of French words that are the same or similar in English. The word for single (unmarried) in French is cèlibataire. Maybe I need to grow up a bit, but I think that’s funny.

I have been donated another bike, which is a bit of a relief as the other was a bit of a nightmare, I think the frame was twisted a tad or something, as it was a bugger of a ride. This new bike, (an upgrade?) has all its faculties in order (gears AND brakes), and is actually a pleasure to ride, I never thought I’d say that about a bicycle. I went out the other morning and did fair ride up the canal and am considering now doing the 25 or so klicks to Dijon, (as I write this my ‘nads are screaming in terror, there is a downside). In Dijon there is a great open market and we need some spices and herbs, (I refuse to pay €2.80 for 100g of black pepper).

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The house is now done and dusted and in the past, I am relieved and happy. A part of me wants to be annoyed that I didn’t get a fat wedge out of it, but I can’t be arsed, it’s done. There is another get-together jam session this Sunday and I hope to have a go on the Taylor guitar again to make sure that she really is “the one”. If so, I will be playing again soon. (See Taylor Made).

We’ve been on the cut seven days now, apart from the incident with the batteries all is good. Ted the Kiwi, our nearest neighbour has gone off for a jaunt to Dole and then back down to Seurre for a week, so we really are quite alone. Hmm, that’s not quite right as even though Ted is but 50 metres away, he is on the other side of the canal so really he is a little over two kilometres away. We are still getting used to all the little noises that the boat makes, the thick cotton of the flag (that darn Red Ensign lol), makes a noise outside the bedroom window, barely a whisper but out here it’s loud. It is so quiet out here that I can now recognise each cat by the sound of their walk in the dark of night.

We saw the boat-yard manager to express our concerns about the bill the other day, before we’d even had a chance to sit down he asked if I’d be interested in painting the coach of his daughters boat, that kind’ve took the wind out of our sails being as we were there to complain a bit, but hey, it’s work! We kind of sorted the blown up borne, the invoice for that was put aside so hopefully it has been brushed under the mat. I forgot to mention in last weeks post, there was another discrepancy in the bill, we were charged for taking a less than twelve metre boat out of the water, but then charged for putting a more than twelve metre boat BACK in the water (Adventurer is 11.58 metres), a difference of 60€, that was easily sorted. Unfortunately, the test thing I got so irate about isn’t quite what I thought, (bad translation on the part of the office), and suffice to say we do have to pay it, bugger. BUT, there is work coming in, just dribs and drabs for the now, but we’ll not be on quite the budget this winter that doesn’t include beer, hopefully 🙂 Going back a bit to the coach painting on the daughters boat, I dunno, it’s a mystery. Why are they not doing it, well the schedule is full until January apparently, but I think it is because they are just so damned expensive?¿!

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Felix shading under a solar panel

My phone died the other day, well not the phone (that’s brand new, it’s a “festival” phone, it doesn’t take photos, just makes and takes phone calls, how strange) but the sim card. I was supposed to identify myself to the service provider, I tried to tell them that I am a good person and that I am not going to use the phone for nefarious purposes, but the line was engaged or at one time when I asked someone who speaks French to ring the number, there was no number to press in the automated robot recording, in the end it went by the by and I forgot, then they cut me off. So now, as we are living in the boondocks I have to wait for a new sim card (from a different company) to be delivered from Amazon.

There is so much wildlife here, more than ever we saw in Spain, maybe because it’s not so hot? Any hoo, hawks, and red kites and another, bigger bird of prey that I haven’t identified yet. Also huge herons and yesterday we watched a kingfisher swoop down and snatch a fish. We miss the ducks from the basin, and the fish too, there are fish here but not very big. I saw a crayfish the other day and Vanessa saw a Fox cub.

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Sardines

Christian is still here, yeah yeah, he’ll be here for Yule the same as us?¿! I cycled down to see him Friday evening for a beer (and to have a roll-up). Every time I go to the marina I am surprised at how quiet it is, even during the summer. I could not live in there, it’s like living in a block of flats with ultra thin walls, no thanks. But even so I am surprised, you see some boats having a dinner party and it seems that some one has pressed the mute button, maybe we’re different animals as all the dinner parties we’ve had have, (after a while) been quite loud. We want some peace and quiet, that’s why we’re out on the cut, I guess I don’t understand that if you want peace why you would pay to live in the marina, and be wedged in like tinned sardines, at least with a caravan park there is a fair amount of space between each plot. Any hoo, Christian spent his day fishing, he caught two fish that he then put back. I’m in two minds about this lark, the idea of sitting all day with a beer or five sounds quite good, with the added bonus of catching something to eat adds to the appeal, but doing all that to put the fish back?¿! Maybe I would do it out here on the cut where the water is fresher, there is no way I would eat anything caught in the marina or the basin though. Think, all those boats, all those people, all those toilet pump-outs. No ta.

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I was cycling back to the boat yesterday afternoon and I saw a familiar sign attached to a tree, it took me a while to realise that after four years I am back on the Camino de Santiago. I can’t find my Camino Passport (it’s funny that we have heaps less stuff but things are harder to find) which has a map of all the routes on it, but I would think this is the longest of the routes, from Rome to Santiago.

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