It’s practically three weeks since the last blog update and that must be a record gap between updates if we ignore breaks for holidays! Mind you, the routine has been pretty much the same every day with no real news: boat work first thing, a walk by the river, lunch, another walk then relaxing on the pontoon having drinks with the girls. At least that means it’s only a quick update 😉
|Morning view across the port|
The highlight was on 18th May when a lone swallowtail butterfly flew through the port. After saying that we didn’t expect to see many more species of butterfly here this year, that was a most unexpected visitor. It got us thinking about the pros and cons of remaining in one place for so long and we suddenly realised that this is the longest Buddy has lived in one place since we rescued him when he was a year old.
Like the UK, we’ve been having brilliant weather, but with such little rainfall this year the river levels are getting very low. The Marne through the town is now so shallow that bathers are seen wading across between the banks which would have been unimaginable a few months ago.
|Sunbathing platforms standing proud yesterday|
|The same platforms almost covered at the beginning of March|
Other than enjoying watching the juvenile herons learning to fish in groups the only other non virus related item of news relates to the decorated drain covers in town. Having previously thought there were only 100 we believed we’d found all but a dozen or so. It now transpires that there are 360 of these covers and even with our latest finds it only brings us up to finding a third of them!
With the lockdown in France beginning to be eased (déconfinement as it is called in French) the inland waterways are gradually opening to pleasure boaters. Unfortunately, a date for opening the canal we are currently on hasn’t been announced yet, but it is expected to be next week according to the VNF (the French equivalent of the Canal & River Trust). The people on the other four boats that are lived on in the port are all making plans to start cruising next week. Ironically, the same cannot be said for us.
When we were living on our friends’ narrowboat (Ceilidh) over winter back on the Kennet & Avon in the UK we decided we ought to buy a flat in Reading. We have got fed up with living like land gypsies on our trips back, staying with different people and constantly moving. I know many people think we live as water gypsies but that’s different as our home remains the same, if not the surroundings. Reading is the most central place to be near most of the children and it will also provide a good base for them especially those that live abroad when they return for UK trips.
Anyway, we looked at several flats and soon after arriving back in France decided to take the plunge and put an offer on one. This was accepted but nothing much could happen because of the lockdown. We exchanged contracts yesterday and will complete next Friday and will return to the UK on the Sunday to settle in. The plan is then to return to France to carry on cruising later on in the summer. Watch this space as they say!
|The Porte Ste Croix – one of the many buildings that will forever remind us of our happy times living in Châlons en Champagne|