Thursday, 6 December 2012

Encore France: Day 9 - Long to Picquigny

From the journal: 

It was a freezing cold morning in Long and there was a very heavy fog, making it impossible for us to set off as early as we had hoped.  We had to be like Robert the Bruce and learn patience. The fog did eventually lift, but most of the morning had passed by the time we were able to slip the lines and set off. It’s good to be able to be flexible with plans, and also to have time on our hands.
So, well rugged up against the cold, we eventually reached the town of Picquigny, our destination for the day, in mid-afternoon. We enquired of the lady lock-keeper as to the whereabouts of a store and she pointed out that the supermarket is on one side of the river, a few hundred metres down the road, but that the town itself is on the opposite side. We felt sure that the town must contain at least a small alimentation and so we set off to explore this interesting looking place.
And what an amazing little village full of higgledy-piggledy houses Picquigny proved to be. Wandering around its streets was just wonderful.

What stories do these walls hold?

We saw very few people, but those we did see were certainly friendly enough, with one young couple even offering to take our photo. We declined that kind offer but did ourselves take quite a few snaps of some of the fascinating houses we came across. 

How could you not photograph these wonderful Picquigny homes?

And, yes, the lock-keeper was right, we needed to head across the bridge to the opposite bank to visit the supermarket because we found no shops at all. I’m sure there would have been some hidden away in some little corner, but we didn’t see any.  The supermarket, which is just a short walk along the main road, is an excellent one, large and offering a great range of food, and so we were able to fill our basket with some delicious looking fare, including – confession time – some very innocuous looking lollies, the gummy party mix sort which I am so fond of.
I love the religious statue set into a niche in the corner of the building.

When we got back to the boat we got the heater running, settled down with our books and some nice background music, and feasted on chocolate, grapes, wine – and lots of those party lollies. Quite suddenly a feeling of total and absolute exhaustion came over me. I couldn’t even sit up and hold a book, couldn’t even raise my wine glass, and that really is serious. I had to just go and lay down, feeling that I needed a doze. Before long, however, some serious stomach pains started up, and then terrible backache, a blinding headache. Added to this I was feeling hot, then cold, and felt that my heart was racing. I took pain killers and put extra bedding, plus our coats, on the bed, and after a few hours I fell into a deep sleep. My sleep was so solid that I didn’t even hear the trains which apparently ran all night long on the track which was right next to where we were tied up.
And we adored this one, which somehow made us think of a boat -
and notice the little man and woman out the front. Fantastique, n'est pas?

My poor man had a solitary and worrying evening, fussing over me and keeping an eagle eye out for any signs that my condition may suddenly get any worse. Was it food poisoning from the lollies? Was it some strange bug I had picked up? Who knows what the cause was, but it didn’t bode well for the morrow that’s for sure. 

Something completely different, and somehow very British looking
I think, opposite the tie-up point. Quite lovely.

Well, I’ll be back soon to tell you what happened on “the morrow”.

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