Legends from our own lunchtimes

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Another Well-Deserved Day Off!
Monday 15th August - Antoing


When yesterday we had been told today was a holiday, we naturally assumed it was the sort of day where things like shops and cafes would be open for the convenience of selfish tourists like ourselves, but we were mistaken. It was a proper holiday, that kind of day where people stay at home and have fun with their families, even if they have supermarkets to work in or chandlery barges to open for passing trade.  

Which goes a long way to explaining why, when we arrived in Antoing after a not very taxing four kilometres and passing one large lock (shared with another pleasure boat as a water saving measure) the place was even more deserted than usual, and why there was no one to let us in to the supermarket or the boat supplies barge.

Having decided that what we wanted wasn’t so important that we had to wait here till tomorrow, we were in the middle of making our decision of the day; whether to move on after a cup of coffee, or maybe lunch, or perhaps after a bit of a post-luncheon nap, when we were interrupted by the arrival of another boat.  It became clear as we made our introductions that the crew were speaking with a vaguely familiar accent albeit one that we hadn’t heard for some time.

As it turned out Tim and Elaine were from West Australia, and if we thought we needed some time to catch up on a few years worth of news during our various re-unions this year, swapping the notes of a life time with people we’ve just met consumes even more!  We did stop to take a breather for a time in the mid afternoon, but that was only to gather strength for a much longer discussion that went well into the evening. 

What a curious place Antoing is.  The harbour is not exactly beautiful although the town itself is certainly in the process of some sort of renewal if not gentrification, and the new waterfront apartments overlooking kilometres of crushing plant are curious, but every time we have stayed here we’ve had a memorably good time!  


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