Flotsam and Jetsam

Wow, after a few months of learning and doing new things, life is starting to calm down a little and settle into a (sort of) routine, which isn’t a bad thing at all really, I think we could both do with a rest 🙂 Unfortunately it doesn’t provide much to fill a paragraph with, so I’ll do it with bullet points, because bullet points are cool.

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Tante Hanni under wraps to protect her new super structure.

  • I have been painting the inside of the new super structure on the Tante Hanni this week with Monica. Monica is German but speaks English perfectly, but does not understand innuendo. This week she was explaining that a wall was removed in the boat that gave her an extra 10cm in the bedroom, you would think that would have been followed up with a boomtish, or at least a wry smile, nope, nothing. Then later when my jacket and hat were in the way of her painting she said that she would have to remove my clothes, which nearly made me fall off my ladder.
  • We spent a lovely ten minutes on Friday watching an otter frolic in the canal, the first both of us have seen in the wild. Wonderful. We were so mesmerised that we forgot to any photos, hopefully this may be its home for a while and there’ll be more opportunities.
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Alcyon

  • Work finally starts on the Alcyon this week, I was worried that I would have trouble as there is still lots of work to do on the Tante Hanni, but Monica has to go back to Germany for ten days, so it has worked out perfectly. I didn’t realise earlier, but the Alcyon is one of the boats that I looked at when I was up here a year ago. I hated it, she is so top-heavy that she dropped a good 40cm when I stepped on board, no thank you.
Alcyon

Alcyon

  • JP has lent us a petrol heater for the winter, erm, we are grateful, but this thing is probably going back into the shed once JP and Ilse have left for Spain. Yes it’s lovely and toasty hot, but it’s also a tremendous fire hazard on a small wooden framed boat, plus the fumes in such a small room. We will bring it out again if the weather really turns bad, but only then.
  • Working on the Tante Hanni has been brilliant, while stripping the small room in the bow I exhumed ten bags of unwanted glass fibre insulation and some thick foam that will now be used to help keep the Adventurer warmer.
A (very bad) photo of the crayfish that lives under our boat.

A (very bad) photo of the crayfish that lives under our boat.

  • Everybody is leaving, in the last week most of the Aussies and Kiwis have left for their southern summer, leaving us with the contents of their larders. Cheeses and pastas and pulses and cans (including a six-pack of Heineken, woo hoo), galore, seriously some of this stuff wouldn’t go off over the winter, but who are we to refuse. The Brits start leaving in the next few weeks, they’re mostly going to Spain and Portugal.
  • I have some work looking after Ted the Kiwi’s boat (ship, she’s huge), Renaissance for the winter, a hose down once a month and make sure everything is tickety-boo (and his tender doesn’t fill with water once the rains come), for his return next May.
  • I signed on for the Franglish thing on Monday, I still have no real idea what it’s all about (the “glish” part has me stumped being that it is a French course). It is over twenty weeks, 1½ hours a week starting the 17th October. I am still doing about an hour of French a day on Duolingo, though now I really need to start speaking it and get into the habit of speaking, at the moment I am still constructing a sentence long after I needed it?¿!
  • I have said before that people throw away stuff to the marina bins, mostly it’s crap but sometimes we find stuff that is brilliant and useful. Vee found a bundle of boat curtains this week, we now have started easing away from the “tea-room” (blue and white check) decor of the boat into a new and slightly more modern design.
  • And finally, it has started to get cold here. I will try (really hard) to keep away from two subjects from now on, the often ridiculous prices in France that make me want to get on my soapbox and rant, and the other being the cold weather that we are unused to. Honestly I will try not to bore you (sandpaper literally doubled in price this last week, doubled ffs) and the last three days it has been 0º when I got up. As much as I love this new way of life, there are times when we both ask ourselves wtf have we done, 15 years is a long time without a “proper” winter. Luckily I got my new beanie from Last Exit to Nowhere in the post this week 🙂
Urgh, what's that Thing

Urgh, what’s that Thing

  • One last thing, I sometimes question my priorities. There is a pair of slippers (you old fuddy-duddy) at the local Intermarche, 20€, now we are more acclimatised to the prices here in France I still think this is extortionate. There is a bottle of Jack Daniels Fire for 22€. I would buy the Fire in an instant but the slippers, at those prices only when I can’t feel my feet?¿!
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