Legends from our own lunchtimes

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Oh OH!

I said when we paid our deposit last year, that buying a thirty year old ex charter boat would be fraught with uncertainty, and that short of sinking, the worst thing that could possibly happen would be some sort of mechanical breakdown that we couldn't get repaired easily, which would result in us sitting for a certain period of time in the French countryside.

That didn't seem like a too terrible outcome, and despite being a little surprised that it had happened so soon, we found ourselves stranded today at the top of the ecluse de Rechicourt, at sixteen metres tall, apparently the largest lock in the French Canal system although the large rivers have taller.  After stopping for a hearty lunch, it seems our batteries had forgotten to charge themselves during the morning's run, which was a little inconsiderate of them as they can be quite handy when one wants to start the engine to continue on one's journey.

While this is France, the famous Irish chap Murphy works overtime here, and we found ourselves in precisely the right position to receive absolutely no mobile phone coverage.

With the assistance of a nice eclusier (lock-keeper) we managed to get a message through to the irrepressible Jacques at Navigfrance who had no hesitation on driving the 15 kilometres or so to find us, and with his expert eye he too confirmed that the batteries were perhaps not playing the game.  Sadly neither was the spare that he brought us, so he decided to call in the cavalry.

Since clearly we were going nowhere today, nor maybe tomorrow, nor perhaps even this year  we amused ourselves by walking in the bush, eating, and generally making merry over a deck of cards and some chocolate rations, until the galant Michel made it, well after our tea time, to examine everything in detail (twice, then once more for good measure) before announcing something in his native tongue, which we presumed to mean: "Your batteries aren't working".

He gave me a quick lesson in hot wiring a boat, before disappearing into the evening which by then was even more grey than his worried expression, with instructions that we presume meant "I'll have my jumper leads back on Monday please".

Suddenly we were alone, once again in stillness of the countryside, wondering what would dawn on the morrow.


Julie said...


My heart bleeds for you, brudda!

bitingmidge said...

Aww thanks!

My toe bleeds for the world, but that's today's story! It's all terrific here so do come!

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