We left Piedaleau in mid August at Port aux Cerises, south of Paris, to go home and help Adrian’s kids get sorted. The house sale / flat purchase and move were finally completed at the end of September. All taken longer than we had aimed or hoped for. But finally it was done! Adrian has therefore spent a great deal of time, energy and money sorting out all the important bits and pieces needed to get the flat running satisfactorily for Liam and William. Finally we were able to plan to return to spend some time on the boat again. Three weeks in November doesn’t sound particularly exhilarating but we both needed some ‘us’ time. The first couple of days we slept an awful lot! We are also using the time to visit Paris out of season and go to museums etc.
However, Paris doesn’t really have an out of season time – there’s loads of people everywhere!
We went to the Musee d’Orsay the other day (I just love this museum) to see the ‘Splendid Second Empire’ & ‘The Impressionists’ exhibitions. Both extremely good and we rewarded ourselves with lunch in the museum restaurant which is situated in a ballroom. Food was OK but the décor is superb!
Then yesterday we took ourselves off to the Chateau de Fontainbleau – only about 25 miles from here by car. We didn’t realise that yesterday was a ‘jour de ferrier’ (nat holiday). But, of course, it was the 11th day of the 11th month – Armistice Day – holds greater importance when your country has been occupied. So everywhere was packed – especially as the Chateau was hosting some form of chocolate exhibition! We didn’t queue to get into that part but otherwise enjoyed the splendid rooms and I gave me mum’s respects to Napoleon’s rooms!
Unfortunately it has become very clear just how poor the internet connection is here at Port aux Cerises. There are a lot more people living on board their boats here than we saw in Pont de Vaux so demand for the net is high. Certainly people on the pontoon here are friendly. One guy even commented hat he had seen my blog!! Just goes to show how important it is to take care of what you write! Bonjour a tous!
I have to mention the bird life. Every morning I open the curtains to see Cormorants fishing between the pontoons. This morning I counted 5 – then more arrived until there were 8! They rest in the trees along the river bank with their wings drying before swooping down again. There are also swans, ducks, gulls & I have seen a rather chubby looking Kingfisher going backwards and forwards between the boats.
Never having seen so many cormorants at one time or so close on the river got me wondering ……what is the group name for cormorants? I was intrigued by group names for birds some years ago when Is & I were amazed by starlings flocking in at night at Tournus.
So here at Port aux Cerises, from our windows and on our walks, I have seen :
a ‘gulp’ of cormorants (how descriptive of their fishing habit);
a ‘murmuration’ of starlings (how evocative of the noise they make as they congregate in their thousands);
a ‘convocation’ of ducks;
a ‘cover’ of coots;
a ‘colony’ of gulls;
a ‘gaggle’ of geese;
a ‘murder’ of crows;
even a ‘tidings’ of magpies!
But only the one kingfisher – not that I have found a group name for kingfishers! A ‘streak’ might be appropriate as they fly so low and so fast over the water.
Adrian does not share my interest in these groups names – he thinks it a real abomination of the English language to use a verb as a noun! I simply find them intriguing. And certainly more interesting than the president-elect in the States!!!
So, our sojourn is nearly done – we’ve visited various museums and galleries but not done an awful lot – certainly not as much as we intended! The weather hasn’t been suitable for the painting touch ups we promised Piedaleau so these will have to await the spring. Our intention is to return for Christmas with family in tow – Lisa, Liam and Freddie decided that Christmas on the boat would be fun so we will all return just before Christmas and hope I can conjure up Christmas dinner on board!