Legends from our own lunchtimes

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Six Degrees of Separation
Revigny-sur-Ornain to Bar-le-Duc

Last evening, while rambling along the canal bank somewhere between picking plums and scavenging walnuts, Elaine spoke to a mother and daughter in her best French.   

It turns out that the blank stares she received in response weren’t for the reason that I receive blank stares.  It wasn’t that her French was unintelligible to a French speaking person rather that it was to someone used to conversing in Italian.   As is often the case English was the common denominator, and a lengthy conversation ensued.

It transpired that the two were part of a group, a pair of Italian families travelling in company on the same number of inflatable boats, having a proper adventure.  

We derive a great deal of inspiration from people like these when our paths cross. Not for them the “buts” that so often prevent dreams and ambitions from reaching reality.  They don’t stop to think of the obstacles, they just get on with it, crossing bridges, or going under them, as they come to them.  They carry little more than lifejackets for the kids and a couple of cheap tents (which they will find useful in separating themselves from the six degrees which is tonight's expected overnight minimum temperature.

Their singing and their smiles as they left the lock this morning, sadly for us headed in the other direction, remained with us as we climbed the remaining twelve or so locks to Bar-le-Duc.

We’ll be thinking of them as we reach for the heater switch in the wee small hours of the morning, and we will be comforted by the fact that that they’ll be in high spirits from their continuing adventure, although I suspect we may be more comforted by our extra doona and thermal bedsocks.

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