The Journey -
We plugged along the Canal du Nord, which is one of the major commercial routes. We were fortunate at the locks. Pleasure boats are second class citizens on these waters, and have to wait for a space to be found for them - our longest wait was 30 minutes. We had the pleasure (?) of passing through Panneterie tunnel, which is just over one km long, lit throughout and is one of the grottiest tunnels we've been through.
Below the tunnel, the canal follows a series of broad sweeps down to the junction with the Canal Lateral à l'Oise at Pont l'Evêque where we turned east. The locks on this stretch of canal are about the grottiest in France. They are doubled, and some work now seems to be going on to clean them up.
We then arrived at Abbecourt where we moored up for the weekend.
We paid a visit to St Quentin for Mike to collect his new glasses (the old ones fell into the cut at Cappy and could not be found), and for June to get to one of the HUGE supermarkets. Personally, I can never find what I want in them, and I tend to get lost in them. Mike and June have more success. Indeed, Mike found a suitable band to wear with his glasses that might stop them falling off in the first place, and which has enough buoyancy to stop them sinking if they DO fall off. We also visited the nearby town of Chauny, where, on the canal side, the maps show a 'fuel station'. It is next to a café that has a room in it devoted to selling boaty things - ropes and the like. AND they sell the rubber clogs that many boat people wear, but seem to be falling out of fashion - I've been trying for nearly a year to buy some. They are made in Germany, and are (thank goodness) '100% FCKW-frei'. My last pair lasted three years, so I bought two pairs. Clogs are useful on boats, as they are so easy to kick on and off as one enters and leaves the boat cabin. This is also the one redeeming feature of the otherwise lethal flip-flops.
Finally - A DEATH IS ANNOUNCED.
It happened after this wise.
Someone who shall be nameless (mainly 'cos I can't exactly remember who, though I have some severe suspicions) was banging on about so called 'identity theft' and about how one should be careful about personal information. This came after a litre or more of various alcoholic beverages per person had been imbibed, so, naturally we all agreed. I recalled that in my old Filofax, being a keen filer of information, I had two pages (four sides) of personal information. It had taken me some time to collect, but included:
Quite a collection, and a magnet for any identity thief. So, when I got home, I removed the offending pages, and put them in a really obvious (for me) and memorable (for me) safe place. And there, I believe, they still are. I cannot prove this latter point, as I now cannot now recall the whereabouts of this ultra safe place.
I am now a lost soul, floating in a numberless ether, with other dispossessed, numberless souls, in search of a lost memory guru who can guide me to my lost numbers, and who is honest enough not to nip over to it before me!!