Saturday, July 22, 2006


We have been experiencing a heat wave, a rare thing in the north of France. For the last week, we have had temperatures from 33-42C! A couple of days ago, it felt just like Arizona in the summer, but then we had a rainstorm one night, and the humidity set in. Today, after an all-night storm, it is muggy and sticky, more like Miami or Brazil. They say that it will last for another week, at least.

The work continues on the boat. Bill built some new boxes for the top deck to make them look like a cargo bay on a commercial peniche. They are beautiful and very useful for his tools, paint and other materials he needs to have. They are going to be covered by canvas which we will be getting on Monday. The wheelhouse is almost done, only the area around the windows has to be finished. We ordered some shades for the windows, and they are supposed to be ready the last week of August or first week in September. France and Belgium go on vacation in August, so most factories and businesses are closed for 3 weeks.

Earl, Bill's friend from N.Y. arrived yesterday to stay with us for the weekend. We picked him up in Brussels and drove to Anthwerp to look for a few things for the boat, not knowing that it was their National Holiday and everything was closed. We decided to stay and walk around the main part of town, the gorgeous Main Square surrounded by gilded gables. We had a lovely lunch and drove back to Cambrai. It was 38C, not too conducive to walking around. In the evening, we went to The Petit Chef, the restaurant by the port, had a fabulous shrimp dinner and sat on our deck until past midnight talking and listening to music. Today we are going to walk up to the open market which takes place every Saturday, and where very fresh produce, cheese and food specialties are found. Right now it is sprinkling, but it is still warm.

Next Thursday we take the car to Drive to Monaco and St. Tropez, where we will be meeting our friends, the Christensens. Ken is exhibiting some of his paintings in St. Tropez. On the way down, we will be stopping near Cannes to see our friends Ana Ines and Jacques who are having a "Weird hat Party." Somehow, I have to get creative and make some kind of original hats to wear. We are planning to be back on the August 6 to get ready for our departure on the 11. We have several ideas for our itinerary, but nothing concrete yet. We do know that we will not be coming back to Cambrai, and that we will leave the boat somewhere in the South for the winter.

No comments: