29 June 2018

Fête de la Musique, Snail Farms and Paella Parties. Friends on the Canals!

One of the coolest parts about living on this boat - is the great community we've got going here. 

It's so easy to wander by someone's boat. 
Get involved in a conversation. 

If they're up for it, a glass of wine or a cup of coffee. 
Or one of Stan's famous salads. 

And - it's also easy to say no - come by later. 
It's all so close. And casual.

Ron came by with a kilo of shrimp.

"They had a 2-for-1 sale at Intermarché.
-Want a kilo of shrimp?"

Patrick brought us a sack of freshly picked green beans.

Luc brought sweet onions from his garden.
And then invited us to a towpath paella party.

So many of them are talented musicians, artists, writers. 
They aren't all French - we have a wide variety of nationalities.

There's always a lively discussion going. 

They aren't all "boat people".
They're also from the village itself. 

Hugues called down to us from his terrace: 
"Isn't it time for an apéro? Yes? Okay, I'll bring the wine!"

And he clambers down the canal bank with a chilled bottle of good rosé.

Turns out, he's a wine distributor, who's become a friend. 
Lives in the house where his grandmother grew up. 

A friend with a LOT of good wines, right next to our mooring.
This is very handy.

The owner of the local top restaurant came by. 
Would Stan consider playing guitar for the National Fête de la Musique? 

Bien sûr. Of course.

We wound up dancing - again.
And other, regular village festivals and occasions.

Plus - people come visit us. 
And that inspires us to explore even further.

Wolfgang and Monica came from their ranch in New Mexico. 

We visited the Fonserranes locks. 
An incredible engineering feat!
Just down the canal from us. 

A row of 9 stone locks, built in the 1600's.

(more on THAT another time-)

We tried to visit the 2500 year old village on the hill above our town. 
It was closed for lunch.

This IS France, and EVERYTHING closes for lunch.

If you look carefully, you can see the canal on the right - passing over the river, which flows underneath.  
Bob and Sharon visited from Albuquerque.
Oddly enough, we even went to a snail farm (!) during their visit.

And last year, Chris and Tim. Charlene. 
All the kids. It's great.

Yes, some of the people on boats take off.
They throw off their lines and go up the canal for a week or a month.

But eventually - they usually return. 

Each boat needs to have its official mooring spot, a place where it belongs.

Ron and Fiona pass by us on "The Swan".
I don't think I've had this good of a social life since college.
Can that be true? Whatever it is, it's fun. 

The connection with people - it's one of the very best things about being here. 

-Or maybe - that's true anywhere.


  1. Hi Trish and Stan. Your life looks like one big adventure. Great to see people like you guys living life to the full. Life's to short to sit by and watch it pass. I need an adventure.

    1. Karen, looks to me like you're doing ok on the adventure front! But - if you make it up this way, I know a boat you could visit...