Mosquitoes on the attack

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Flag of Belgium  , Flanders,
Saturday, May 26, 2012

26th May 2012

Morning everyone, the bird's are singing, the sky is blue and the sun is shining and hovering around the 80F 27C. Isi thinks it is a good day to keep on top of the washing after a continental breakfast with some of our Belgian "velvet textured" brown bread.  Isi started to convert John’s rants from paper to computer and John started to rebuild a broken fairlead with new screws and some plastic padding. For those landlubbers who don’t know, it is the centre fixing where the ropes go through and gets a lot of use, as with sailing short-handed, the centre line is always the one you put on first.

The festival starts at 14.00, lots of fun in the park and street theatre to see, big bands and opera later.

After lunch we went to see what was happening and it seemed strange that nothing was really happening except preparations.  Someone had not read the timetable correctly and what we were expecting is tomorrow, today’s events start this evening!  Oh well, we might have to stay another night!  Boats have arrived and we were asked to move up close to the one in front, and now there is one close behind us, so it will be difficult to get out of here even if we want to especially as there is a flow to this river.

We spoke to family on Skype which was lovely and quickly published our blog and newsletter before coming back to the boat so John could have a power nap as he did not sleep very well last night.  He is complaining about all the mosquito bites he has got and of course they are much worse than the ones Isi has, like man flu! We have to agree he does have the most bites, but Isi has the largest ones.  He is not used to getting bitten, and don’t we know it!

When we arrived back, the temperature down below was 39C 101F as all windows and hatches had been closed, so rather hot!

After dinner outside, we went to the festival gardens and watched a great Swing band with double bass, slide  (Hawaiian) guitar and lead guitar.  The girl singer was excellent like the rest of the band, no weak link.  John went off to collect jumper and cardigan and when he arrived back a couple of guys started doing street theatre badly, Diablo and commentary, very strange.  It was to fill in the gap whilst the next band was setting up, but we sensed that they were not going to be as good and not our style either.  The tuning up was bad enough.  John said “they will be booked for all the best funerals”.

We walked into the town centre and all the bars were doing well, most of them with families and very quiet with no drunkenness, except for one street (which we saw coming back from the train) where there were 2 bars, one decorated with sand outside as a beach and the other a snow covered log cabin and they were full of teenagers, loud beat music and broken glass again.  In UK we are used to no glass outside, so it seemed strange now to be allowed.

 We then we went round to the opera stage and there was a full orchestra and a choir of at least  40 with solo singers performing.  There must have been an audience of 1500 people at least.  We listened for a while then started heading back to Spring Tide and as we came back through the park, the band were no better, so a good decision not to have stayed.  The audience of 150 still there, but most seemed to be using the strange music as a back drop for their conversations.

To have ventilation in the boat at night, we have rigged up an umbrella which we put through our hatch and fasten so it doesn’t take off like Mary Poppins.  It gives us the ventilation and it is there in case of any rain or unwanted debris blowing in.  We can’t say it stops the midges though!
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Pamela on

Sorry about the midges and the painful bites. Reminds me of camping round the shores of Scottish Lochs; you just don't! Like the umbrella idea. Maybe you could rig up some kind of net curtain around it! The heat continues here too! Too hot for dancing but we still go!
Pamela x

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