Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Farewell parties

The weather in Paris is unpredictable. After a very mild winter full of cold sunshine, the weather has become unsettled. You can wake up in the morning to blue skies, eat breakfast during a rain storm and leave the house dressed for the cold and rain, only to find the sun has returned and you are overdressed. Pas de souci, you only have to wait 30 minutes before it rains again.

A few weeks ago, we were riding our bikes and almost got blown over by a violent storm that came and went before we knew what hit us. It snowed the other night just as we were heading off to bed, and a couple of days ago, there was a hailstorm in the middle of an otherwise mild day. It is difficult to know how to dress.

The only way that we know Spring is here is that boats are moving again. "Elisabeth", Henk and Jacqueline's beautiful barge cruised out of port recently. They had a week here without too much rain, so they were able to leave as planned. But that morning, their barge only descended half the normal level in the lock and once they hit the river they disappeared from sight twice as fast as a boat going down river would under normal conditions. Wherever they were planning to go that day, they probably arrived much earlier than expected.

From the day that "Elisabeth" left until yesterday, it has rained cats and dogs. It has done nothing but pour rain, the sky has been gray or black, and it has been cold. This year, April in Paris would not inspire any songs, movies or plays.

Mike and Jane, our charming Australian neighbors on Drumsara, picked up their newly built barge last fall and cruised for six days directly into Paris. They are now ready to start their first cruising season, and we said goodbye to them over dinner a few nights ago, and over a glass of Champagne last night, but so far they have only made it down to the end of the port.

While moored in front of the Captain's office in preparation for an early start this morning, they learned that the Seine is near flood level, so they have to wait to see what tomorrow brings. Maybe it's time for another farewell party.

2 comments:

Visit ToDay said...

Wew, I never see barge in my Country
Is it the same as live in a house?

Bill and Nancy on "Eclaircie" said...

Yes, it is the same as living in a house. But, since it is a boat, we can cruise away easily when we go on vacation. It is a nice way of life.