The Journey -
Unfortunately, this latter prevented me from seeing the fun-fair being erected in the park on the other side of the said hedge, the said fun-fair bursting into cheap loud French pop (?) music at about 19:00, which ceased some seven hours later at 2 am.
I awoke at 7 am, bleary-eyed and deaf.
We nipped into the town to visit the 'Huit à Huit' super market - a chain of high street shops open from 8 am to 8 pm - except in Paray le Monial on a Sunday when they transfigure into Huit et Demi à Huit - as a friendly native told me when I was rattling the doors at 8:15!!
At least we found a baker who made a particularly good Pain de Campagne - a bread that keeps well for three or four days (unlike the dreaded baguette which, apart from being all crust and precious little bread, is pretty in-edible when it is more than four or five hours old.
The day (Sunday 1st June) was hot and muggy, and when the rain finally broke we called it a day, and moored by the quay at Palinges. A few hours later the weather cleared, and we went for a lovely walk around the local fields.
We set off early the next day, and went by the nb Lady Christine moored outside a cottage. She has a '44......' Small Ships Register number (Rosy has an '89......') so Lady Christine has been over here a while. She looks a little tired, unkempt and unused.
We arrived at Genelard a mere hour or so after leaving Palinges, but moored there for the rest of the day. It was here that, having failed to find the launderette in Paray le Monial, I sorted out the dirty washing. TITS (That Is To Say) I sorted the washing out, refolded it and put it back on the 'To Wear' shelf. Problem solved!!
Tuesday 3rd June we were up, and heading for Monceau les Mines, and old coal mining town. On the way we came to the first automatic that we've had to deal with for quite a long while. This particular specimen had the control tower up at the head of the lock. Since one never knows the ferocity of a lock until it starts filling, I favour the back of a lock, where it is always much quieter. So, the trick was to lasso a bollard near the back of the lock, then motor up to the front (to the command post), a pull on the blue rope, and hope to reverse back to the back of the lock before the lock started filling. This I achieved (Hooray), but only because the automatic cycle had failed to start (Groan).
Coming into an empty lock, the automatic system needs to sense that a boat is in the lock before the cycle will start (to stop passing kids etc initiating the cycle for fun. This is generally done by an overhead sensor located on the centre-line of the lock. Rosy is a narrow boat, and I'd crept in close to the wall (to make the game of 'Lassoing the Bollard' a bit easier) so we hadn't been sensed. Un-moor. Back out. Come in centrally. Over to the lock wall. Lasso the bollard. Motor forward. Pull the blue rope. Reverse back down the lock. Pull the mooring line tight. And the gentlest lock in France started to fill.
One more lock, through the two automatic lift bridges and we arrived in the Port de Plaisance of Monceau les Mines. There are pontoon moorings, but only three spots where a longish narrow boat can safely moor, and each spot was taken. There is a wall, but with its sloping sides it's pretty much impossible to get a line ashore without resorting to swimming. So we backed up and tied onto the railings by the car park - which have the great advantage of being free of charge. However, much to Fanny's disgust, on that side of the canal there isn't a blade of grass to be seen. There are, however, TWO launderettes, so I recovered all the dirty clean laundry, and laundered and dried it.
Later, we crossed the canal, to find some bowel-and-bladder-relieving grass for the Faithful Hound.
On Wednesday 4th June we revisited the grass, and called into a D-I-Y store before a gentle voyage up to Blanzy, where Fanny met another dog. He/she was a totally black version of Boot (from 'The Perishers' cartoon strip), and they romped up and down the quay most of the day. Boot was Dutch, so they solved the language problem by not speaking, but relying wholly on body language.
The next day, we pottered up the flight of automatic locks to Montchanin, where we finally moored. We'll be here for a while (one or two months) whilst solving our engine problems.