Saturday, 16 November 2013


Nov 13

The first week in Roanne was glorious weather up in the 20's so Peter had no excuse for not cleaning the exterior of the boat and doing some internal housework like cleaning rugs.  We are rafted on the town quai inside of 'Sable' a newish 20m Delta whose owners are back in Australia - why is it everyone else's barge has immaculate paintwork looking as if it is cleaned daily? Peter went to the 'Wintering Party' accompanied by Ruth off the the neighbouring barge - on his best behaviour so he stayed fairly quiet by his standards - at a guess about 25 couples present with the usual cross section of nationalities and background,  Angie returned the next day from the UK, in theory fully rebuilt with the body of a 30 year old - well would you believe ......

A week later Angie disappeared off to her sister in Germany to become German resident - the disadvantage of living on a barge is one has to administratively live somewhere! We now have bank accounts and phone numbers in three EU countries - does that make us good Europeans? In her absence Peter and Kes pottered on - the bargee 'Happy Hour' on Thursdays looks promising, though after paying for 6 months mooring fees and 400 litres of diesel Peter might need a loan from Angie to get the first round in.

The day she disappeared 30,000 CGT trade unionists assembled for a mass rally in the town  - 4 bands and lots of noise - streets closed - lots of CRS police. Peter put on a red fleece to show solidarity as he too is hoping to avoid 'Austerity'.

No 1 son got to the semi finals in the Combined Services Squash at which point the gaffer tape binding him together expired - pretty good for a 34 year old - which in a roundabout mode is better than Angie being Army No 1. Still, as Angie quickly pointed out, he hasn't played for three different Countries like her!   Just as well Peter isn't competitive :)

Bassin on a Winter's morning
The canal into the Bassin has been drained for maintenance so we are trapped, though there is a 'garde' type connection from the Bassin to a navigable bit of the River Loire. That at least provides an element of waterflow through the port (and apparently limits icing up). A bit of sleet mid Nov just to warn us that the current mild weather won't last.

The All Blacks play England today - if England win the wake will be held on 'Kotare' for the non-English bargees - though everyone will be bringing their own alcohol as Peter will be bankrupt!

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