This thought was prompted by the reality that we no longer have large bicycles. The small ones with their infinitely adjustable geometry did prove to be a perfect means of retracing our journey of a few days past, along the tow path by the lock staircase, where this being Monday morning, almost every shopkeeper in Nancy was out walking, cycling or simply sitting fishing, except perhaps for the one community minded soul who was content planting a little patch near one of the bikeway entry points.
The girls in our number, perhaps not giving a thought to the time of week, decided to seek solace in our absence, in one or perhaps three of the patchwork shops in the centre of the village. Given that patchwork shopkeepers are no different to any other kind, the solace seeking mission was singularly unsuccessful and apparently morphed into a coffee seeking mission instead.
But whatever the case, solace was found, bicycle adventures completed, a long luncheon had and once again farewells bade and the silence that comes with departure descended on the boat once again.
Or was, we wondered, that muffled sound approaching in the distance that of a recently installed air conditioning unit?