It’s a canard life.

Hi hi 🙂


When JP and Ilse left for their extended holiday in Spain, I thought it a bit odd that they should leave their cat but take their dog (a little feather duster type thing)?¿! I must not have been paying attention (typical) whilst the reason for this was mentioned, it turns out that Blackie was nigh on feral until only recently, there was another cat, Feliou (excuse the spelling), and since his unfortunate demise (he didn’t survive the fourth stroke, but the vet said he’d be gone in six months… five years ago), Blackie has kinda had a personality transplant and become almost a caricature of every cuddly cartoon let-me-chase-that-wool cat in existence. Anyhoo, Feliou only passed on a few weeks before JP and Ilse left and there wasn’t time to make arrangements to move Blackie, something like that, it does make sense. A friend of JP’s, Roget was asked if he would come by once or twice a day to put some food down, which he does, without fail despite some health problems. I often wonder why he doesn’t take Blackie home, you should see them together they absolutely adore each other, as soon as Roget arrives Blackie is there for him, it’s not just cupboard love either. I guess he doesn’t for the obvious “not my cat to take” thang, and because of the exercise coming to see Blackie. We’re in a bit of a fix with the felines at the moment, the two big cats from next door have taken over Blackie’s turf, because they were eating her food we moved Blackie’s bowl into the cockpit of the boat, they also seem to have taken over the shed where she sleeps which means that she now sleeps in a basket on board the Adventurer. None of this is a problem…yet, I wonder what will happen next year when JP and Ilse return home.

Toasty warm bench-cosy

Toasty warm bench-cosy


Roget is a wonder, each weekend he drops a sack of bread off for us to give to the ducks (I got a bollocking the first week for not cutting the bread small enough), (I know you’re not supposed to give ducks bread “anymore”, but we do supplement it with peelings and whatever else is left over from the kitchen). A couple of weeks ago he brought us three dozen eggs as well, they were just within date so Vanessa had a huge egg pickling fest. Then a couple of days later he brought us some mushrooms that were just on the turn (Mushroom Jalfrezi say thankee), then, this morning… eight bottles of Heineken! Okay so it’s out of date by a few months but, seriously, do you think that’ll stop us. I have never actually understood how beer gets anywhere near its expiry date?¿! I don’t yet know where this stuff comes from, apparently I am now 58% fluent in French according to Duolingo, but I have no idea what Roget is saying, I’m actually starting to doubt it IS French.

Heidi says "make the bed later" affects Ratso accent, "I'm sleeping here".

Heidi says “make the bed later” affects Ratso accent, “I’m sleeping here”.

The boat is nearly insulated, (did I say that last week? I didn’t realise how big a job it is). I’ve just got to suss out how get under the floor. We bought a radiator this week, you see once upon a time if we got cold (yes it did happen in Spain), we’d put another layer on, be it a jumper or whatever, but now we have to think of the boat too (water tank, universe forbid it gets cold enough to start worrying about the diesel), so we bought a radiator to leave on a low temperature during the night. All good, Heidi and Lara share the bed with us, Felix has the spare room and Blackie sleeps by the back door, I guess eventually they’ll suss out the radiator and be fighting to get des-res. This week I finally got around to fitting the cat-flap, so now we can have the backdoor closed, I think you can guess that makes a big (HUGE) difference. I was shitting myself about fitting this myself, (something about cutting a hole in a perfectly good door), and tried to delegate it out, but time was moving on and temperatures started plummeting, I did a great job thankfully (and thanks JP for having a jig-saw in your shed).


Finally, work has started on the Alcyon. I said/wrote the other week that I am enjoying work, even the painting, but this particular job has so lost it’s flavour. What with being told the start was imminent at the beginning of September, then the postponement of putting it under cover, etc. Plus now the news that it has to be done asap so the job time has been halved, I’m a bit shagged off with the whole thing and it has now become “work”, bah!

Christian emailed last Sunday to say he safely made it and is moored in Toulouse. That’s a trip of about 450 kilometres cruised in I think about 5 weeks, not in my opinion the ideal cruise, whizzing by all those sights, but brilliant that he got to a warmer environ for the winter, (makes me wanna punch his jolly fat face 🙂 ).

Hotel barges being put to bed for the winter.

Hotel barges being put to bed for the winter.


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