Sunday, 22 April 2012

Mind the bumps

My inner housewife breaks out....again

I won't pretend we've had a smooth entry into Port Napoleon. For a couple of days we've been glaring at each other, like cats with their fur blown the wrong way. For me, the diagnosis is simple - like a cat, I hate leaving home, and for a while afterwards I'm tender to the touch, scratchy even. Eventually I adjust. Today is better than yesterday. We've been pottering on Enki, I making small corners of order in places I understand (first, the galley, needless to say), and Alex contemplating the enormity of the chaos both below and above decks (Enki has no mast... and that's the manageable part). He's been printing labels (shower drain, watermaker out) on his nifty label-making machine. I think that helps.

Thinking about which engine spares he needs

He's been pretty disappointed to discover how much work hasn't been done since he left Enki in the hands of the Port Napoleon tradies at the beginning of December. So much for the slow months.  Promises, promises....This place runs on them. The regimental lines of giant wind generators which are such a striking feature of the mouth-of-the-Rhone landscape - the mistral doesn't blow for nothing - suggest that the south of France is a go-ahead, efficient, pacy kind of place. It isn't. 

More mussels than you can eat at the Josephine cafe
Today's Sunday. Nothing happens on a Sunday, which when you've become used to commerce never sleeping brings you up short.  I can get used to Sunday being quiet (in my childhood, nothing happened on Sunday  - nor on Saturday for that matter). The trouble is that not a lot happens on other days of the week either. The English-speaking world's angst over work/life balance simply isn't an issue here. It's all about life. Isn't that why people want to spend a year in Provence? 

We'll come right. We'll stop worrying about how to recharge our iPad on a website which has been down since this morning. We'll stop expecting Paul the electrician to reply to Alex's 8.45 am text message (on a Sunday?). We might consider closing the jobs list and figuring what we can leave port without (there's always Turkey). We'll slow down. We'll start noticing the weather, over and above the fact that the wind never stops howling and another 5 degrees of heat would go down well. We'll start talking about the places we want to go in this boat of ours. I'll order the cruising pilots today. I think we can do better than a 1993 guide to Turkish waters (was that really how long ago Alex began planning this trip?). But then again, I could just read a book. This apartment is really very comfortable, and unlike Enki, it doesn't need a thing doing to it. 

For relaxation, he washes dishes

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