Legends from our own lunchtimes

Friday, August 06, 2010


We daren't go ashore this morning lest we should find an excuse not to leave. By the time we'd watered and chatted and had a cup of tea we had almost wasted sufficient time to justify staying anyway, but tenacity prevailed and we slipped quietly but smokily out of Metz and back onto the river.

Many canal cruisers avoid the rivers for their lack of intimacy with the surroundings and for the commercial traffic and the reality that there are few places to stay except for harbours which at this time of the year are busy if not crowded, but for now we beg to differ.

Navigation, while a little more complex than on the canals, is fairly simple. If one bumps into something solid, theres' a fair chance that it's the bank, so one should turn through 90° and try again, unless of course it's a ship, in which case one probably doesn't get the opportunity to try again.

We found ourselves occupying ten of the last twenty metres of a one hundred and thirty metre lock today. The forward part was packed solid with a solitary ship, and we were invited to slot between two cruisers who were already clinging to the walls like limpets, within spitting distance of the monster transom. This is not really something I'd considered trying before; sitting tied between two other boats directly behind a six metre propellor pushing a three thousand ton vessel out of a bathtub, but to our great surprise, we all survived and can now tell jaunty tales of bravado in the nearest yacht club bar, leaving out the bit about the lock keeper who perhaps had a fair idea that all would be ok when he signalled us in.

Now there is just starvation to ward off and it won't have been an entirely bad day at all. Exactly why one of us thinks that the marauding swans are more deserving than I of the baguette that was aside to lash with garlic for dinner I am not sure. I thought for a second about crying out; "let them eat cake!", but given the rather generous serving of flan that we have sitting on our bench from one of the many excellent patissiers in Pont-a-Mousson, I didn't dare chance my luck for the second time today.



Julie said...

Oh, she's a trojan that Jo when smitten.

See that boat-thingy in your photie there ... with all those round things on it ... it reminds me of counting pennies in the Bank of NSW into rolls back in the daze afore 14th February 1966 ... now try to get that little advertisinbg ditty out of yer head for the next hour or so!!

Julie said...

I had one of those 'bing' moments yesterday.

I am not widely travelled. Not been to the Americas nor Africa. And only selectively in Europe and SE Asia.

But ...

I am tossing up tossing out 'le agenda grand' which I had projected pour moi over the next 20 years or however long the legs (and money) would last. I might just concentrate on France. In batches of 4 weeks and maybe even biannual instead of the current biennial.

bitingmidge said...

Sounds like a good bing moment to me. Will converse more at length!

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