Legends from our own lunchtimes

Sunday, August 22, 2010

And then we were just two again, alone once more with our happy guilt at not voting for the first time in our lives.

This morning was one of those awkward waiting for one's guests to leave mornings. We didn't want them to leave of course, and we'll be seeing them again in a few short weeks, but their departure was inevitable and that made it even more awkward, so they packed their bags with contraband, well sausisson and pickles and cassoulet at least, and had coffee and waited for the interminable minutes to tick off until 10:17 when we saw them off waving handkerchiefs from Platform 1 as the train moved off precisely on time.

Less than fifteen minutes later, we too had left Saverne in our wake, choosing not to visit the car show at the chateau opposite, and heading very firmly in direction Strasbourg behind a monster peniche, a huge commercial barge. Our destiny for the day was set unless we chose to change our direction or stay a while; we would be waiting at every lock for the barge to go through, for it the lock to refill after taking a load of boats coming upstream, before repeating the process to carry us down and on our merry way. Commercial barges have absolute right of way, so there was no question of overtaking it even if we had the desire and the horespower, neither was there to be an opportunity, but wandering through the Alsace region doesn't make one prone to wanting to go any faster anyway.

Fourteen locks and twenty eight kilometres is not a huge tally for an eight hour day, but we didn't stop until the midst of the Brumath Forest, and here we will stay in complete silence, just the two of us and one or two mosquitos, miles from anywhere if we don't count the two hundred metres to the restaurant carpark, till the morrow morn.

By then of course, they will be back at work and we'll all be wondering where the last week went.


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