Once, I knew how to work out how long it would take a homing pigeon flying at a certain speed to travel between two trains travelling at different speeds in opposite directions. I must admit I had doubted the application to life of that particular part of my education until today.
Today was the day that the hire boat, first day out, failed to calculate that travelling at barely half a kilometre per hour faster than we were, he would easily pass us, but would be not quite abreast of George and Karen when the right-angled bend arrived with it’s oncoming traffic and the fisherman with his six lines set just where the factory loading bay stopped. Boats do not have brakes, but it is amazing just how quickly a hire boat can come to a standstill when the only choices its frightened skipper has are to do so or to hit a selection of objects in ascending order of weight and immobility, no doubt ruining the rest of his holiday in the process.
He wasn’t the only one of his ilk either. Summer fever was here in abundance. Boats seemed to leap out from behind bridges, executing u-turns without regard to oncoming traffic, racing to the narrow bits and while that may sound terrifying, at the six kilometres per hour at which we were travelling it was all pretty funny really. Funny in the “ I think I’ll need a stiff drink when this is over” kind of way. Of course it was Sunday so Niderviller was closed when eventually we got there, abandoned even, so we sat at a picnic table playing cards until the wee small…. well actually until the street lights were turned off at ten.