Thursday 28 June - six basses, Rita to singing practice, Don and Laura, late

Today was the day we had agreed to see Isobella at La Maison to pick up the six basses and move them to the barge. Given their size, only two could fit in the Renault at any one time, so it involved three trips back and forth. But it was a good chance to say hello to her and Ginger several times. On one of the trips, I saw that Ginger hadn’t really learned his lesson, as I saw him hiding under the car. It would have been so easy to drive off with him still under there, if I had not seen him go under in the first place. In addition to Isobella and Ginger we also made friends again with some old friends from the 2016 Barge Artz Expo, when I saw one of Jackie’s galahs peaking at me from behind a post.

To fit the basses into the barge, we had to remove the dogbox hatch, and then take out a table from the loungreroom and store it at the house, then lower the basses though the dogbox opening.

It was a slow and laborious process in the hot sun going backwards and forwards to the house and barge, but eventually all were installed in the loungeroom and the dogbox was re-installed. They were now ready for practice sessions, which I am much more likely to do if they are there and in my face each day.

That evening Rita went to singing practice with a local teacher, and on the way home through Castelsarrasin she saw Don and Laura on board Fargo. So she rang me and said we had been invited to “leftover” dinner and drinks, and to get my arse over there. So I jumped in the car and headed over. It was great catching up with them for the first time this season, and the “leftovers” were better than most restaurant meals. We had a good time and sent this selfie to mutual friends Peter Vizzard and Judy Lynne, who are on their new shared-boat up north.

During the evening, Don and Laura described their “adventures” with the Montauban Prefecture this year. They have had Carte de Séjours for a few years and are just getting a renewal. They started the process in early-April, have made 7 trips to the Prefecture and still haven’t got their new cards!! So, I am now more confident than yesterday that we have a few surprises still in store for us. We may well take advantage of the offer of assistance from ex-Mayor Nunzi, who said he still has many colleagures in “high places” within the Prefecture - we may need him.

It was close to midnight when we finally dragged ourselves away and headed home.