I got picked up in Nancy Ville by a couple of sailors.
No, it’s not the start of a George Formby song, I’ve a couple of friends living on an old sea barge, who collected me from the train station in Nancy, France. I’m looking forward to see what the French countryside has to offer. Nancy is very fancy, lots of white stone and gilded things, it’s like a big cake! We’re moored on the canal, and spend a night out on the cobbles of Nancy, drinking dark beers, the next day we sail eastwards along the canal at 6mph. I even got to steer the boat, although they call it sailing.
My job, this weekend, is ‘lock elf’, fending off the advances of the slippery lock walls and boatfulls of drunken German teens in sailor caps, with my big rubber fender. Although it sounds like the plot of a top-shelf title, it’s nice to be part of the crew After at least ten locks, very few scratches and no man overboards, we reach a convenient mooring next to the town of Crevîc, or Crevice, as we decide to call it, which sounds much more entertaining.
However, anyone who lives in this town must be hiding in a crevice, as there’s no one around, only one shop open, selling newspapers and a few bits and pieces. Not a pop-up cider bar in sight! Fortunately, my resourceful sea dog friends have stocked up on plonk, including a French cider, from Cave St Michel.
After robbing some blackberries from some French dude’s back garden, we settle in for the night, on the boat, and crack open le cidre. I can’t find out much about this one, but I’m told Cave St Michel is an island off the north of France. I’m not sure that’s true, or maybe I imagined it.
This cider was recommended to my friends, by a beer buff who runs the Sashuis Astene in Belgium. It’s a 5%, golden orange filtered cider, lightly sparkling. The smell is syrupy-smoky with sweet apples. The taste is strong with a smoky aftertaste, No so much the brut it suggested on the label, but it rather sweet. My seafaring ciderkicks also like it.
A good start to the holiday. I wonder if all the folks of the ghost town of Crevîc are all staying at home with a cidre on this Friday night. Or out wondering where their blackberries are.