The journey begins . . . here.
Saturday 14th July 2018
Sjoe, so many choices in a small town – on a Saturday – and a Public Holiday – in rural France! Firstly many places were actually open for the first time ever. The local supermarket was offering a €10 discount off every €60 spent on Bastille Day. Secondly it was Bastille Day and a procession down the streets and fireworks was planned. And thirdly it was the day before the Soccer World Cup 2018 finals – France vs Croatia. Everyone and their dog was feeling festive. Red, white and blue flags abounded. I even saw a car spray painted red, white and blue! That’s commitment.
My job for the day was to give the boat a big fat clean. Again. After all the drama on our way to St-Jean-de-Losne the boat needed yet another Spring Clean. My better half got stuck into outside jobs like putting new rope in the davits, polishing steel bits and washing down awnings. Seems so pointless cleaning outside as there are always spiders making sticky webs all over. Have never understood why a spider will choose to live on a boat when they can live on terra firma. They love nooks and crannies and hide in the tightest of knots and smallest of spaces. I suspect it’s them that bit us at night as every day we woke up with itchy red spots on our bodies. Everyone on the waterways has those exact same spots. I’ve tried making a raw garlic sauce with a whole head of garlic and placing it liberally over our food. No human could miss our garlic smell but these spiders are undeterred. As much as I try to live a vegan ahimsa (no harm) lifestyle, I don’t allow spider webs on our boat.
After a hot sweaty day of cleaning and tidying, we showered and headed to the centre ville (town centre). Not very big after all. I heard a frantic family of ducks squawking in the river and saw someone’s dog swimming after them having a wonderful time. Luckily they could fly away so the dog’s attempts were thwarted. It was another hot, hot, hot day. Not a breath of wind. Just being still in shade is enough to cause a person to sweat. We had an ice cold beer and then went to watch one of the bands playing in a back street. A mixture of punk and thrash. Next we heard fireworks across the river. We watched the display from afar. I love fireworks but am aware they cause immense distress to animals. Can’t wait for noiseless ones to be invented. We both crashed at the boat and despite the heat – slept well.
Sunday 15th July 2018
The day France won 2018 Soccer World Cup
Our last day in St-Jean-de-Losne for a bit. We had plans to explore the south of France, learn more about organic farming in Cornwall and attend a hands-on vegan cooking school in Bath before returning to our boat for a last month on the waterways. Fingers crossed we might have had some interest from a potential buyer. I always clean the drains with a mix of bicarbonate of soda, vinegar and hot water before we leave so any possible residue doesn’t harden and set hard constricting the outlets. It’s highly effective and eco friendly.
I made us a last supper of leftovers. Bean burgers with herbs and spices. Yet more garlic sauce but with 1 + 1/2 heads of garlic and a cucumber salad. My other half desperately needed a repsite from whatever was munching him. He was covered in big raised red bumps. How much more garlic would do the trick? The we went off to town to watch the game. I suspected France would win as all the predictions were for a French victory. We arrived at Brasserie de Port 20 minutes into the game and the score was one 1 – 1.
I freely admit to being a novice expert at soccer. And rubbish at supporting teams. I vascilate between wanting a team to win and feeling pity for the losers. When my team of choice is way down I bargain with the universe. I should not watch sport.
A few minues after we arrived and settled into our drinks France scored a goal bringing the score to 2 – 1. The game was remarkably free of dramatics and penalties. Croatia had excellent ball control for most of the game but France took more chances and scored yet another goal. as we neared the end of the game I wished Croatia one last goal, not to win, but they were so brave and played so hard. They were the underdog. But I also wanted France to win. As the game ended the crowd erupted into whoops and cheers. It was bedlam. People were running around the bar cheering and hugging each other. Then the festivities split out onto the street. People were hanging out of hooting cars, waving flags and generally beside themselves with happiness. It went on for hours afterwards.
Back at the boat we packed away valuables or what is precious to us and geared up for an early start to get to Dijon and then Avignon.
The journey continues . . . . . . right here.