Fading Memories

Legends from our own lunchtimes

Monday, May 01, 2017

Aweigh! - April 29
Lagarde to Einville-au-Jard

If ever one were in need of proof of the benefits of procrastination, today would have given that proof in buckets.

It was buckets of soap and warm water that were needed mostly, along with a scrubbing brush and a pressure cleaner.  While the temperature may not have quite made double figures, the glorious blue sky and brilliant sunshine made it seem like three times that once work got underway.   There were lots of things that could have been done, perhaps should have been done, but as the morning slowly turned into afternoon, our little “Joyeux” was starting to look a bit like his old self, and with that the urge to get underway started to take a fairly strong grasp on us all.

Some quick sums were done.   It seems we have two days of sunshine ahead of us, which is about half a day more than it will take us to get to Nancy, but exactly the same time remaining until the May Day holiday when everything closes.   After that there will be a few days of much needed rain, together with a not so much needed cooler change, during which time a small electric heater could be a comfort, which in turn would make an electrical supply quite useful.

After pressing the “equals” key, the answer came firm but clear - stop work, take the shiny clean boat to Nancy, leave straight after lunch.  So we did.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

We have ignition! - April 28

It’s as though Mr Perkins wants to join us in retirement.  Whenever we cross one metaphoric bridge, he tends to create another metaphoric chasm for us to negotiate, so really none of us were expecting miracles this morning, let alone things going like absolute clockwork.

We were barely game to look at one another as each nut came loose without trouble, and the injector came apart and went back together without the need for a visit to the specialist.   There was a slight hiccup on reassembly, but nothing a bit of undoing and redoing wouldn’t fix, and before one could say “Would you like another cup of tea Bill?” our Mr P burst once again into song.

We are only too aware that one swallow doth not a summer make, neither doth a few minutes of idle running give Mr Perkins a lot of time to unleash his bag of tricks on us, but we remain hopeful.  So hopeful that we spent the rest of the day happily bringing the washing up to date, and cleaning things, yes, cleaning things, or giving them a first lick and a promise at least.

Tomorrow, we may just mosey off through those distant fields into the wild blue (but often grey) yonder.  That will test his mettle (and perhaps given his recent behaviour, his metal as well.)


Friday, April 28, 2017

The Awakening - April 27

We think we are experiencing something akin to the feeling that hibernating animals feel when spring is on the way.   

Suddenly one morning one wipes the bleariness from one’s eyes, senses a patch of blue, peels back a curtain to get a glimpse of what the day might offer, gets the fixings out for the morning coffee and baguette and realises the Nutella isn’t frozen solid any more.   Something akin to excitement begins to rise in one’s being, then one realises that the reason it hasn’t frozen is that it was accidentally left in the refrigerator overnight so perhaps today isn’t the day to get out of bed after all.

Royal Post parcel tracking got out of bed first thing though.  It told us we might have a parcel to tomorrow, and then just before coffee it told us we already had it.  Later in the day it arrived, a day earlier than expected, catching us all unawares and pumping renewed enthusiasm through our veins.  We may have started work immediately too, but the thought of slipping spanners and skinned frozen knuckles sent another shiver down an already shivering spine!

This looks very much like a job for Bill.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Send in the clowns. - April 26

The cloud of lethargy that’s been hovering above us lowered itself to just above doona level today, descending almost to the point where it became apathy.  That would never do though, we have places to go and things to do.  Eventually.

When faced once again with the choice of in front of the heater all day watching drops of ice fall intermittently in the water around that poor little naked copse of trees opposite, or getting out there in the wet under a sky that maddeningly refused to go dark enough to be miserable and scrubbing the boat, the decision was easy.  

Besides, for a bit of a giggle we could phone Neil in England to see whether our now long awaited parts had turned up.  Except that Neil wasn’t in today, but John was and he seemed a bit puzzled really because Neil was new you see and didn’t know they didn’t ship stuff to the Continent any more, and now what would they do with these things they’d got in specially?  John then spoke with Allan in the workshop who said if we were in trouble, which we said we were a bit, they would ship them after all, but did we know the best postage price they could get was twice the value of the parts. 

A few phone calls later, and they were on their way, all without us having to leave the warmth of the cabin.  They will take two days by special delivery they said, which if all goes the way these things do, means we can expect them on Tuesday next week we suspect.   We did however get the front cabin curtains in, and filled the water tanks, and installed the new toner cartridge in the printer thereby ensuring we won’t need to print anything in the forseeable future, so the day wasn’t an entirely unproductive one.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The day we took the car back. - April 25

It may not have been quite bleak today, but it almost was.  There certainly wasn’t enough sunshine to lighten the countenance of the characters on the rubbish enclosures in the port.  They are curious figures, she and her mate who rather obscurely point the way to the bins within.  The building was intended to be a bathroom facility, but sometime between getting the outside finished and the signs done was repurposed, leaving some cheery but perhaps not entirely clear graphics to lighten our day.

Even then we had to borrow the sunshine from yesterday to provide that little light.  No word from Mr Perkins’ doctors on the state of play of his much needed vitals left us curiously unconcerned, although  a deliciously late response from Europcar (there I’ve named them!) to a request for assistance with an issue with the rental car may have left us with an expression a of bemusement not unlike that we may have were we destined to be a toilet but ended up as a refuse room.

In reply to our request on the thirteenth of this month, which at last count was exactly twelve days ago, the “customer service” person politely apologised for the delay in response, and suggested we get in touch with the “pick up station” as soon as possible.  Since that note arrived precisely eight hours after our rendezvous with the “drop-off” station, one suspects that a response may be drafted in tones as icy as the night that is still to come!

Not quite time to plant - April 24

If the forecasts weren’t promising a return to sub-zero temperatures for a day or two, we may even have been inspired to get out and start preparing the outside of the boat for a bit of actual use.   

Gardens all over the village are lying expectantly now, waiting for the end of the week when proper spring weather is forecast, the kind that is far more suited to people (and plants) from more temperate climes, and quite frankly so are we.  Lying that is, in a warm berth, reading, pottering about and generally staying unenthused about getting outside with a scrubbing brush and cold water, while the decks resemble more of a vegetable patch than anything vaguely resembling ship-shape.  

In a day or two we will either be better acclimatised and tired of looking at a dirty boat, or simply anxious to get underway and get on with it anyway, but until our little box of parts arrives from England, we may as well continue to feign enjoyment from all this inactivity.    

Joan and Peter on the other hand, having had a few days longer than us to contemplate their own cruising agenda, headed off into the wild blue yonder this morning in a cloud of steam and high spirits searching for a new bolt hole in which to hide from the coming few days of grey.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Blue Skies - April 23

Blue skies returned to Lagarde today, bringing a cheerier if not terribly warmer sort of disposition to things on this election day in France.

It seems if some commentaries are to be believed that the only choice open to the voters is whether should get worse slowly or catastrophically, which seems to be a nice summation of the world’s woes at the moment, but of course this is France, and there is nothing that can’t be fixed with a good lunch, followed by a restorative nap, and then a stroll around the village in which the lunch was partaken.

Since lunch was at Jacques and Maggie’s place, it was very good indeed and since the stroll was around Lagarde it was not terribly arduous, in fact, Sunday was so relaxing we decided there and then to do it again tomorrow.
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