Legends from our own lunchtimes

Sunday, August 08, 2010


We are in Nancy again and hanging out with the big boys.

The money men seem to have gone. We've all admired their ships, and marvelled at their perfect coiffure and shirts that look as they've been removed from cellophane packaging that very day, but they've never returned so much as a glance. According to our neighbours from Luxembourg on their million Euro cruiser, they are weekend show-ponies, not proper boat people, and we all chuckle at their blue striped shirts and white trousers that match the colour of their hair and and their golden ornaments and the tans that match the colour of their cigars and how the men are the same but the shirts are striped in red. They are members of a secret society who only acknowledge their fellow members. One of them is certain to be disciplined after waving to me this morning as I clipped my hair on the afterdeck, he may have been a double agent, or more likely he mistook my immaculate visage for something it may not be.

His boat was beautiful, or perhaps exquisite is a more appropriate word to describe it, trimmed in leather with moulded timber windows and glorious workmanship that said of the construction time; "years". But he was still one of "them" and a wave was more than we could expect, them with the club crown in the corner of their national flag, one of a select bunch.

There are "us" as well, the holiday makers in the hired bumper boats for whom partying hard and travelling too far and too fast is the order of the day, and the longer term cruisers who wander in, as do we, in all manner of craft from rubber dinghies and tents to commercial barges and Ikea kitchens with "quiet enjoyment" at the top of their minds.

"Us" are aboard for longer than it takes to soil a Lois Vuitton overnight bag full of underwear, and our burgees are often accompanied by a pair or two of Mr Bond's finest, flying in a very public manner. Our boats are often in a state of being cleaned or being dirtied, or fussed over, or neglected but no one seems to notice.

We don't have a uniform, but we do have aspirations.

Ours is to just once to present ourselves at a Tourist Office, without being told, "Oh, you've come by boat!".

Maybe we do look like "them" after all. Could it be that they have mistaken our tee shirts for "shabby chic", out of the cellophane this very morn?

1 comment

Joan Elizabeth said...

The boat uniform is just about the same one I smile at in chic country places in the Southern Highlands while I trudge about looking like I have just come in from feeding the chooks. It's not that I don't appreciate the quality and style of the uniform wearers I just can't get it to work for me.

I haven't seen many of them out here in the desert caravan parks though ... we are more like your touring boat people. Mind you everyone around here seems to have a 4WD and grey hair ... I think I beginning to morph into one of them and unsure if that is a good thing.

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