Thawing, Check Out and Drumpf

Woo hoo, everything has started to defrost and the average temperature for today (1st/Feb) is a balmy 13º. Vanessa seems to think that that is it for the winter, I’m not sure if she’s deluded or has an incurable case of optimism as we still have February and March to get through yet. Or maybe I have been listening to the “alternative facts” of the locals concerning the “ice age” winters in this area?¿!

There’s definitely a bit of acclimatising going on with us two though, in Spain we lit the fire if the temperature went below seventeen, now we sit quite comfortably (albeit with a cat in each of our laps) in twelves and thirteens, eleven is the new seventeen.

ballast.jpg

One of the boats that one of the local workshops working on had all of it’s ballast taken out the other day. I had no idea that these barges carried so much concrete, I have no clue of the tonnage but I do know that the barge now sits a great deal higher in the water, about 70cm. I have no before and after images but you can see from the (normally underwater) weed on the hull how much it has raised up.

Felix the Brave wandering on the ice.

I nearly got caught out the other day, I always thought that the more of something you buy, the cheaper it is?¿! I was shopping for some spices online the other day, I saw 50g of cumin for 1.20 with a little tag to say that it came in 100g packs too, I chose this size as I use heaps. When I got to the checkout I noticed that the 100g pack was 3.20, that’s a huge 50% extra. It turns out that this is going on in a few places, I don’t know, maybe people don’t check their baskets as much anymore and vendors are cashing in on this. Be warned.

Courtesy of Monika Doser

We were recommended to Casino, the local (pricey) supermarket by some friends last week, they said that on Sunday, between 10am and noon all booze is 50% off, no kidding! One part of me was thinking like a kid in a sweet shop, woo hoo what am I going to buy, whereas another – more cynical – part was thinking that this was too good to be true and so possibly cannot be, my spidey-sense was well and truly tingling. After much head scratching we chose a bottle of Jack Daniels Fire for me, a single malt for Vee and a bottle of generic brandy for coffee, (yes very conservative, the “offer” didn’t apply to beer or wine or we’d have taken a trolley in there). While we were choosing, a customer came back to the aisle and put a couple of bottles back on the shelf, that should have set off the alarm bells. All was revealed at the checkout when our bill should have been 35€ but – of course – was 70€. It turns out that yes, there is 50% discount BUT, you get the other half back as a voucher that has to be spent all in one go and all on a particular day, in a shop that is a good bit pricier than average. Yeah yeah, don’t get me wrong, it is a good deal but the way prices fluctuate in this particular shop (this is the place I saw potatoes at 6€ a kilo). I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a tremendous price hike on the day you get to spend your voucher. Too good to be true.

Borrowed from Gramomania.com

So I feel a bit bad about expressing some political opinions in my last post, I hate politics, I try to follow a simple guideline to never discuss politics or religion with friends and family, which on reflection basically means, just don’t. Let me side track a moment, there was something I never understood as a child, we were taught about the “great” wars in school, I spoke to grand parents and read books, but I never could really understand how, if they were so vile did the nazis rise to power in the ’20s and ’30s??? I think I am now beginning to understand, because it has happened before and is happening again, (let’s be honest folks, after the events of this last weekend, that comparison isn’t a stretch of the imagination). It’s all lies and alternative facts, it is people that blindly follow orders, because  they feel the have to because it’s their job??? I still find it odd that considering just under half of the US are all for this idiot, that I have to search for something in his favour, but there is heaps of people laughing at him, condemning him and basically roasting him. But then I think it’s great that I have to search for the pro, it shows that in my circle of friends and family, we can all see through the bullshit that is heaped around this detestable man. So do I feel bad about writing about politics again this week? I feel bad that I have spent so much time online reading what the Drumpf has got up to since the 20th of January, this seems to be the most grown up I have been in years and yearn to go back to my blissful ignorance, but as J.K. Rowling says, “When a man this ignorant & easy to manipulate gets within sniffing distance of the nuclear codes, it’s everyone’s business.” No I don’t feel bad, I am one more voice protesting the stupidity and insanity that is happening over the pond at the moment, and has a bearing on each and every one of us the longer he progresses into what is starting to look like a dictatorship.

Vanessa has gone back to the UK for a bit to visit her Folks (hi hi x), which leaves me with the whole boat to myself and several things that I want to do, like read, play (guitar) and watch movies. The list of daily chores is a bit longer living on a boat, but boy am I glad that the canal has stopped freezing, breaking the ice around the boat as well as all the other stuff wouldn’t have left much time left over to be. It’s probably a good thing that Vee is away for a bit though, I have just finished Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography, Born to Run and have dug out his discography from the darkest reaches of the hard drive and I’m playing and caterwauling to it continuously.

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