Under Cover (of the Night).


So, you may think that I go on and on (and on) about it, (please remember that we haven’t been in a cold winter for a long, long time), but winter has arrived here in Saint-Usage*. We woke to a thin layer of ice on the canal Monday morning (5/Dec), which mostly disappeared during the course of the day, the same happened Tuesday morning, but the day didn’t heat up enough for it to thaw and so today (7/Dec) we have a fairly thick layer, enough that the ducks will not be breaking through on landing, though I’d like to see them try but they are wise ducks, they seem to be walking/skating everywhere at the moment.


Adventurer now has her winter coat on, we covered her in a massive 5 x 8 metre tarpaulin yesterday, the idea being that the gap between it and the roof acts as a buffer between us and the cold. It also adds a little extra protection from the rain, snow, ice and whatever else Mother Nature intends to throw at us in the coming months. The Adventurer came with five large hand-made flower troughs that conveniently made a back bone to rest the tarp on, and then various empty containers (water, anti-freeze, wine bags from boxes that we saved and/or scavenged from the bins), including unused fenders, to keep the tarp off of the roof. It’s a lot darker inside now, which is a mild annoyance as I find it very difficult cooking under these very dim lights (yeah yeah, I still haven’t got the LEDs yet), it does cut out heaps of that awful orange street light we have over the boat though, ree-sult.


I laid some carpet that we wombled from the Hotel Barge company the other weekend, just down the corridor/galley. I have a thing about carpet, with three/four cats and my “throw it around” cooking methods, I think it’s incredibly unhygienic, yeah yeah we have a Hoover but nothing is perfect. Wait, I hear you say, you had rugs in Spain wherever you went, yes but with a rug you can take it outside and beat the living crap out of it. Whatever, the point here is to say that I am incredibly grateful for the carpet, unhygienic or not it makes the floor a lot warmer, and quieter too. I haven’t a clue where we’re going to store all this “winter kit” in the summer months.



The water situation is still a slight concern, our water tank is empty (considering the current freeze this may be a good thing), so we are buying water for drinking and cooking, and using the canal water for washing up and flushing the loo. Oh wait, the canal has frozen over, luckily at the moment it’s still quite thin ice and later I’ll be going out with an axe to beat it into submission and fill our buckets and what-not, but later when the ice is thick…. We have lived in Spain for many years, we’re experts at water conservation, from stopping the water when we soap/shampoo up in the shower to re-using washing up water to water plants or even flushing the toilet, but this is weird, in a few months we’ll be in the biggest drought we’ll ever have experienced, while living on a boat?¿!

Random Hotel Barges

Random Hotel Barges

Talking about Spain, there has been some wicked rain out there in Andalusia in the last few days, some people have lost their lives, people camping out on their rooves (roofs?), cars and even trucks being washed away. Any hoo, while I’ve been watching the horrors, I couldn’t help but have a selfish thought or two about how lucky we are having sold that house, the roof was very ready to be replaced (no saving yourself from a suddenly new river up on that one) and unless the new owner has had it done already, I doubt it is still where it should be, more than likely sitting in pieces in the bedroom and bathroom.

Lazy Sunday Afternoon

Lazy Sunday Afternoon

I was given a wonderful compliment the other day. I am listening to heaps of music at the moment (Jack White acoustic album, The Rolling Stones’ Blue and Lonesome, Kate Bush’s Before the Dawn) and so have nearly always got ear buds in wherever I walk. I was told only 16 year olds do that sort of thing and not grey bearded old gits like me. Say thank ya.

I opened my mouth too wide again, when I went to sign up for the Franglish I happened to mention that I play the guitar ( a bit), now I have to take my guitar and play (of all things) We Wish You A Merry Christmas at next weeks Franglish afternoon, wonderful, I’ve been trying to fire it up into a punk version, but on an acoustic?¿!

Food is so expensive here that it seems that to show a child what a roast chicken looks like, you have to buy them one as a toy?¿! So now you really can play with your food.

Food is so expensive here it seems that to show a child what a roast chicken looks like, you have to buy them one as a toy?¿! So now you really can play with your food.

*We live in Saint-Usage, our location is approximately 30 metres from St-Jean de Losne, Saint-Usage actually wraps around St-Jean. Just a snippet of information that I’m sure you’re more the happier for knowing.


2 thoughts on “Under Cover (of the Night).

  1. I think the ducks on ice is my fav, although you and Vanessa also look fab and ready for the winter months.

    We continue in our little caravan (28ft with condensation issues on the inside) with the benefits of running water, functioning sewer, and electricity—very thankful, yes.

    Our ice showed up yesterday, just a frosty morning, thank goodness. A big ice storm north of us here in Oregon, but did not reach this sheltered river valley.

    Happy Christmas!

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