Friday, August 11, 2017


Another slightly condensed   exclusive  from  Peter Burleigh under  his  topical  heading . It  is out of sequence , but then  this entire blog  is out  of  whack.  So as not to upset dog lovers , we  deleted   the part which  revealed  that  to sell  his house in Australia before  fleeing  to  France  , not  only did he throw in all the  furniture, fittings, pictures and  his  many  framed  glowing references from multi-national  corporations , he  included  faithful  fido . (No mention  was  made  to  the buyers  about   the   black  snakes  which  have   invaded  the  house  in  the  past .)  
House trained  French  snake  by  Pierre Roy

At last, contact from an alien (OK, me)! I haven’t written in weeks because I couldn’t think of an excuse why I haven’t written. So I gave up and am writing. My weeks of email silence have been dominated by the hot weather – at least three heatwaves have beaten us down.

Days of over-30 degree heat with the boat in the sun (it’s a lot harder to find a boat-friendly shady spot on a canal or riverbank than you might think, and you are moving en soleil  pretty much every day.) Our most recent onboard guest has returned to Lyon after a week of trying to improve Judi and my French with mixed results. I  did  learn  that the French word ‘salade’ means ‘lettuce’.
Our English BBQ (inherited with the boat) finally died  so we have imported one from Germany via the Internet. As you might expect, the German version works far better and now we can cook  Duck, Guinea Fowl and Lamb without the surrounding environment exploding  in   flames.
We have once again returned to our ‘home port’ of St Jean de Losne as our replacement stern thruster – one of the boat’s most vital sexual organs – has arrived from Holland.  It was originally delivered somewhere in the south of France.

They sent it back again, then re-sent it to  the same wrong address. No one knows where it's gone (true!) Our marina ordered another one. After a false alarm or two the new one has arrived, so we expect our boat to be craned out of the water tomorrow and  the  thruster fitted, ‘expect’ being the operative word. At least this location has Internet of a kind, crippled but still dragging itself along by the knuckles.
In a few days we hope all will be well, and we can head up the Doubs River to Dole and Besancon, both spectacular cities and meccas for good food and grog, and perhaps go as far east as Montpellier before we reach the edge of the world. We’ll meet friends from  London and Canberra and cruise for a couple of weeks. Lucky our livers have been in training. Besancon is the site of a spectacular military citadel perched on top of a rock similar to Rio de Janeiro’s Sugarloaf. Maybe I won’t send you an email about  it.