1 November 2015 (better late than never!)
Charles and I return from Carcassonne to the boat which I now find too quiet – we don’t have any more visitors booked in this year so I am feeling at a bit of a loss – but not for long as we are invited over to John and Liz’s boat for early evening drinks with Maggie, Nigel from Gesina and Chris and Serena from Celestia. and then on Thursday night to CO bar for a get together with some of the permanent boaters and home owners – I am surprised how many English folk have houses here. There is also a gathering around Sunday lunch time over at Les Halles and these are great opportunities to get to know new people so really we don’t have too many quiet periods.
Having people stay has been a great excuse to ignore the boat but now its time to clean it inside and out. The starlings appear to use the nice white roof for target practice and I won’t begin to describe their diet but it appears to contain alot of berries, the spiders test my patience by building extremely impressive webs all over the boat and as soon as I remove them and turn my back they are at it again. Sorting out the clothes is quite difficult as its not cold enough to dig out all the thick jumpers yet as we keep waking up to lovely weather – it a bit like a good day in England in the middle of their summer.
We appear to be the only boat that has managed to get a satellite signal which may of course be due to the fact that we have an automatic satellite finder – yeah I know we are show offs!!! For many days we watch John and Nigel fiddling with their dishes, going off to the DIY shop only to return with a little gadget or tool to perfect the task and one or more of the men join to lend a hand – it takes a few days but eventually each boat has managed to get a signal so peace once again settles in our little community.
We invite Maggie and Nigel over on Saturday to watch the Rugby final between Australia and New Zealand followed by a homemade fish pie. Its a good match with a predictable result and the fish pie ain’t bad either.
On Wednesday Charles and I cycle back to Gruissan as its a lovely sunny day and are starving by the time we arrive. We start looking for a boulangerie but find Detours deVin a small tapas restaurant in the square. The proprietor is quite a character and very friendly providing fantastic food and a good choice of wines. There is only one other couple in the restaurant who are on holiday from Switzeland. The proprietor presents the plate to everyone before serving it to demonstrate how good everything is – its all quite quirky but works as both tables orders what the other is having. I order my usual coffee but he says ‘non’ and chooses a coffee for me and a different one for Charles which are both very nice and nothing like we have tasted before. He then plays Slade’s ‘Wish it could be Christmas Every Day’ because we are English and Christmas is not far away before we leave – a wonderful afternoon and we will definitely make a return visit.
The last week before our holiday to South Africa flies by. We enjoy a lovely meal on Gesina together with Maggie, Ni, John and Lizzie and then a few days later we are invited onto Serena and Christophers boat who manage to cater for all eight of us to celebrate Lizzies and Johns forthcoming birthdays. It really is about time we started hosting and inviting our neighbours over…..