As you look about what you see are so many smiling faces, connecting briefly as ships pass by in the day, picking their way through available water-space. There is a lot of traffic now, with no set courses or prescribed routes, you move into a gap just vacated and watch for the next one. It takes all Nick’s skill and concentration to make sure our contact with other boats is only visual!
I am really grateful to Yann, who not only took many pictures of Aroona and her crew, but who processed them so rapidly that he could give me copies within an hour of reaching terra firma. I love it that so many show off our super-size Union Jack which we are proud to fly in French water-space. This flag has been in Light family possession for more than 60 years, ever since it was stolen by an American GI from the George Hotel in the market place in Frome, Somerset on VJ day. It was taken to satisfy a young girl’s request for a flag to wave, like her sister’s …… really!!
When all the boats are put to bed and we have had time to brush up for a soiree in the Poulet’s garden we cross the road to join assembled guests. A wonderful feast is enjoyed by all, it is an evening of joint Franglais effort with an array of savoury tarts and quiches cut into small wedges to nibble with drinks. We then sit down to oysters, seafood couscous, brochettes of chicken, chicken livers and cherry tomatoes, and wild boar and green pepper, followed by a green salad and cheese platters, then a choice of five desserts; a chocolate mousse and a lemon cake being added to the three desserts contributed by the English contingent. The night is still and mild after the heat of the day and people chat enthusiastically. At about midnight we retreat to the verandah for coffee and tisanes. It has been a very special day.
And what if it had rained?……… Well there you have it. It’s a gamble. Ten years ago it did rain, and crepe paper being colour-fast not at all, streaks of every hue on houses and boats had to be cleaned off afterwards.
And what of all those miles of garlands? Well there, you see, is the beauty of using crepe paper, fine wire and sisal string to make your decorations. These materials are biodegradable and will be carted off to the tip in a day or two. So much effort down the pan grieves an old hoarder like me. So I have my solution and box ours up to recycle for a celebratory event in England. Perhaps a retro house-warming?