Summer has arrived, well for a few days anyway
The weather forecast said summer would arrive last Wednesday; it did not arrive until Friday but boy it was worth the wait with beautiful sunrises, and long sunny days, fabulous while it lasts
We left Meaux last Tuesday and spent the week on the Marne River to the lovely champagne village of Damery. The Marne is a specular river with increasing views of champagne vineyards and glorious château houses.
I had been threatening Gladys with a bath for some time and now the weather has changed it was time to carry out the threat, I think deep down she enjoyed the experience!! maybe.
The delightful stop at Damery, plenty of money around here and bundles of civic pride, unlike Ferte which has been wrecked by vandals
We stopped overnight on the summit after the Billy tunnel and planned to go on to Sillery early the following morning, however we arrived at the first lock on Monday morning and no lights showing. I called the number for the lock keeper but no reply, I phoned the regional office , no reply, luckily I had the national VNF number in Paris and they did answer and offered to contact the local office direct and ring me back.
They rang back after 10 minutes and said that the local office was sending someone. After 20 minutes the local office rang and said someone would arrive in 30 minutes. I asked what the problem was but they simply repeated that someone was coming. Sure enough a keeper arrived after 30 minutes and opened the lock without a word to me and then he drove off.
We continued to Sillery without further incident but when we arrived we were met with expressions of incredulity, how did you get through, don’t you know there is a strike on today and nobody has moved all day!!
Must be my charm or naivety for phoning the national number.
A reminder at Sillery military cemetery of why we are going to the Somme this year.
This post was written by Terry Barrett
Photographs by Tes