Friday, 23 July 2010

Just finished reading: Narrow Dog to Carcassonne

I've decided to dedicate today's post to Heidi, faithful friend, sailor of the seas and owner of a waterborne craft with a pink engine. Even though this book isn't about her particular type of boat, I think she'd appreciate this intrepid saga of adventure, disaster and of course, moments of sheer stupidity. Remember Heidi, when we were moored off St Martin's in the Scillys and we had to walk around 'Salty Dog' very slowly to avoid the boat being damaged because amazingly, we'd dropped anchor in a small horseshoe of rocks in an otherwise clear and sandy cove.  Or when we decided to tow the inflatable tender in high seas.  It quickly turned upside down and, as it had turned into the marine equivalent of a sink plunger, it was almost impossible to right.

Narrow Dog to Carcassonne was recommended to Mr Lovelygrey by a neighbour who is an upstanding member of society and jolly nice chap.  Its first few pages are awash with positive reviews from the likes of Saga Magazine and the Daily Mail.  So I was amazed at how much debauchery and heavy drinking there is in this book about a retired couple and their dog.   It tells the story of their journey on their narrowboat through the English canal system, across the Channel and then down the French waterways. The most wayward member of the party is, of course, Jim the Whippet  who, is my humble opinion as a non pet owner,  would be a far more virtuous creature if he had his nadders removed.  His owner, Terry, could questionably be a better behaved human being if he had the same treatment.  His wife, Monica might well agree.

For youngsters out there, this book contains substantial evidence that life does not end at twenty five.  And for the middle aged crowd, which unfortunately now includes myself and Mr Lovelygrey, this reinforces what we already know.  Those a few years ahead of us who've reached retirement age are often having more fun than we are.

This is a well written, often hilarious book that is well worth trying even for those who don't believe a salty sea saga is their cup of tea.  I finished the final pages which includes a handy guide to French in fifteen minutes last night.  But I'm looking to forward to including the sequel,  Narrow Dog to Indian River, to my pile of holiday reading when we return to the Loire next week.

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