For a few days we have been travelling in company more or less with an English couple with whom we'd arranged to catch up at this evening's stopover. They'd left earlier than us, and even suggested we could moor alongside them if space was at a premium. The bounders (that’s what they would have called us if we’d done the same thing to them) weren’t at the next stop when we arrived after all. We guessed they’d been enjoying themselves so much they just kept going. It's disappointing really, when someone makes an arrangement then doesn't stick with it.
It had been another perfect morning until we realised we'd been stood up, except for having to navigate for a few lengthy spells through the weed growing in the canal. Weed in the clear waters is a wonderful thing behold, particularly with the numbers of fish and animals we see among it, bit it is also our achilles heel, wrapping itself around our propeller and rudder and limiting forward progress to the point where we have to stop and remove it every so often through the conveniently located and aptly named weed hatch over the propeller. Mr Perkin’s coolant leak even stemmed to a mere sniffle in sympathy.
But we arrived and determined to have a good time by ourselves anyway. It was only after visiting each of the town’s sixteen fountains, and the baker of course, having failed to find the “best butcher in France” open at the time of our passing, when were quietly relaxing in the heat of the midday sun, without mad dogs or Englishmen, that I glanced at the chart to have a think about what tomorrow may bring.
There I noted that we had travelled ten kilometres yet again, and a further ten kilometres beyond where we had stopped was the town that I may have inadvertently mentioned as our next port of call when making our informal arrangements last evening. We fear that somewhere a few locks downstream from here, there is a boat with an English crew, who have just confirmed their suspicions about the reliability of we Antipodeans.