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The name describes my demeanour and voice! I love narrowboating and that is why this blog is mainly about the boat and our interaction with it. I have been keeping a log for Sonflower ever since we bought her and moved onto her as our main residence. Some incidents in our boating life have been hilarious, some scary and some down right dangerous. I cannot tell what will come in the future but you can now share them! The crew are an 'ordinary' couple. The Best Mate and I.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Learning the ropes (in France) Pt 4: Tipping is optional

All the guide books suggest that the lock keepers on the Canal du Midi do not expect to receive a tip. However, many of them have a little stall displaying Mon Mammon preserves and Vin de Table at highly inflated prices. Sometimes a purchase from these stalls might not speed your passage through this time but might do on the return. The lock keepers also have telephones. They might communicate with the next lock keeper if you are sypathetic to their wares, the next lock keeper might also expect you to be.

At one lock, the lock keeper displayed a large number of wood sculptures. Many were obviously fixtures but there were some smaller works of art that were definitely for sale. I must say that I am not a collector of sculpture and it didn't really interest me. This lock keeper also had a large yellow labrador dog. He was particularly fond of mooring ropes and would not let go of ours nor would he let us get to it to retrieve it, pulling the end with great strength and gusto, dropping it and then barking furiously before attaching himself to it again. This game went on for quite a time. Long enough for us to get a picture anyway.

I wondered whether he was trained to hold on to our rope until we had bought a sculpture or left a tip!

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