Legends from our own lunchtimes

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Wednesday 10th August - Ath to Ladeuze

During the course of the last fifteen years we have watched the mode of transport of the itinerate lock keepers progress from bicycles, to motor scooters, to little cars with the back seats taken out (a tax-saving device in France) to what has become the ubiquitous “camionnette” or little white van.

When the two young men charged with taking us through the first four locks and half dozen bridges ran past us this morning on their way to the first lock, we wondered if the Waterways Authority had taken away their cars in a round of cost-cutting. By the time we arrived they were involved in some sort of push-up competition, but they must have been tiring because they were only using one hand.

They did this for the entire five kilometres of our journey with them, winding every bridge winch and lock gate with what could only be called “gusto” and then presumably ran back from whence they had come.  Sadly we didn’t find out the name of their Rugby team, but as of today, we’re fans.

The next team were equally as efficient, with every bridge ready and waiting for us to pass, and who cares about the cars lined up waiting while we did.  Physically the difference was astonishing too and one must wonder if part of the reason for that is that everything on their watch was automated. While describing a person’s physical attributes in terms of circumference is no longer socially acceptable, we can only conclude that some sort of wizardry was used to insert them into their little car to move between obstacles.

After an hour or two of watching all this running, winding and in the latter case pushing of buttons on the automatic locks, and in the face of what must surely be the last few hot days of summer, we decided we’d do what we do best: We’d find a nice shady spot and take the rest of the day off.


Clive H said...

I really enjoy you posts Peter. Has anyone lately told you that you are a ‘funny bugger?’ This built in quirk you have even continues to you CCG print titles, well done!

bitingmidge said...

Thanks Clive! I rather enjoy being in a position to write them too! I am always pleased to share a bit of the fun we are having !

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