Legends from our own lunchtimes

Sunday, August 07, 2022

Slow and steady
Saturday 6th August - Geraardsbergen to Lessines

We should have known better.

This morning, while poring over our charts to work out what we would do today, we came up with a plan for the rest of the week and indeed all was going very much in accordance with that plan for five kilometres or so, until we arrived at our first lock of the day.  

There we discovered unsurprisingly that a telephone was not the most effective means of communicating in French after a three year lay-off.   Three or four years ago I did a test in basic french literacy and discovered I was “sixty percent fluent” which came as quite a surprise until it dawned that it followed that I was “forty percent effluent”.  After today’s test it’s fair to assume that the eflluency score has increased substantially, yet we still managed to determine that:

a) The next lock, was not in operation and it would possibly be two hours before anyone can come to let us through this one so therefore this one is not in operation either. 

b) Perhaps it will not be four hours (which I think was the telephone equivalent of a Gallic shrug).

c) We can stay in the lock if we like while we wait.

The latter could have been left unsaid given the complete absence of alternatives. We happily read and had morning tea, and lunch to the sound of water cascading through the decaying gates, and over the course of the next few hours became intimately familiar with every brick in the lock. We had been for a few more hours when two knights in a shining little white van arrived to sort out our predicament and take us a little further towards achieving our plan.  

Eventually having settled us in to a nice little spot just three more kilometres further down the waterway, because by then we had run out of day, they assured us they’d be back at ten thirty tomorrow to raise the bridge for us.   We wait in hope.


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