Tuesday February 10th 2015 to La Chausée Sur Marne, about 21 km.

Today was a good day. The lady who’s going to receive me tonight seemed pleased with my coming, or rather, with my booking. Walking all day to a landlady who was nice at the phone makes walking more pleasant than if you had a bitch on the phone.
Dry weather was predicted, not too cold, so I could dress one layer of clothing less. Last night I stuffed myself, especially with crudités, main course was a large piece of chicken with peas, carrots and fries, bowl of salad, for desert cake and finally I filled my belly with a lot of bread and butter. I slept well, like always on this tour. From my arrivé around 4pm until dinner I usually leave Tosca outside in the cold, usually on a mat. If it rains, then under a cover. Around 20 h. she can go inside and last night even with permission in the bedroom. If I let her in earlier, then she immediately falls asleep but then at night some mucking will start. Then I tie her with a very short rope into a corner where she can’t destroy things with her teeth, in this case under the sink.
After breakfast, I thought it was abundant, I ate even the last crumb, like always, more than using just butter and jam. Next I went to pick up Leon: 20 min. walking up, 25 min. down, just like last night. That is 2 x 45 minutes, so 1.5 hours, as much as a quarter of my day hike. Are they trying to get a poor old man tired of living? Well, they failed then!
A large part of the route passed along a canal. That’s nice flat, no traffic on the path, so Tosca can run free and we advance fast. I came through a village where bars were open, strangely enough even 2. So I pimped myself up with caffeine. Well, that helps. Along the canal I paused at a grassy spot with grass for Leon and bread with cheese for me and bread with butter for Tosca. Along that channel was a jungle of bushes, but exactly at the place where I sat eating a car parked. The man chatted, went 100m. ahead into the bushes, but returned to me after 15 min. with a mysterious bottle of liquor. I imagined myself being Snow White of the fairy tale and the passer by being the wicked stepmother, though I do not have black hair (I always thought that was strange for a Snow White) and this was clearly not a stepmother. Luckily he first drank himself. Made from Mirabelles cherries, he said. The process was explained to me and seemed very ordinary destillation to me. But it tasted damn strong. I accepted decently half the bottle and studied, after stepfathers departure, the label: awfully toxic preservative concentrate! I thought if I will drink this I will not survive this adventure, though thanks to the preservative in it, my dead corpus might stay in good shape for at least several weeks or months when it finally would be found. To make matters worse I remembered that on this path I passed close to a few memorials for the deceased. So maybe this man was still a mysterious dangerous fool, intoxicating innocent pilgrims?
I made a picture of the canal with locks for brother Jack, who since long has been dreaming about sailing these canals in la douce France, probably sailing with an outboard engine?
Along the canal, and indeed in many places where I was walking, I saw a lot of chalk grassland. In the Netherlands, those exist mainly or only in my South-Limburg region and those are especially known for their very varied and abundant flora. But here are many of such slopes. Whether these slopes are also kept in a flower friendly way is questionable, but the potential is abundant here.
Today I’m thinking of making a planning for all visitors the next few weeks. If the visitors who are going to join me are reading this, please know that tonight and tomorrow I’m going to create a schedule for the next week or 10 days. Tomorrow I will be at least in Juvigny. For Thursday I still have to arrange something, but I think of Verzenay and Mailly-Champagne and Friday at Berméricourt or Pontgivart.
Meanwhile I’m sitting in the bar / hotel / restaurant where I also have shelter. Tosca is allowed inside tonight and Leon is housed at a goat farmer’s 100m. away. He has a meadow, shed, hay and water. A man at the bar, where I sit to write my blog, offered me to drive to the supermarket, 3 km. further. Everyone equally friendly. And rightly so!
And the biggest surprise: my 49 emails, all of which have not been sent in recent months, seem suddenly to be sent tonight. So, dear recipients, in case you might get an email from me, pay attention to the date, because it can be written in Nov. or Dec. 2014, so late in the afternoon or evening. But I don’t have my address book with me, so many people I can not reach. Too bad.
Tonight I had contact with a representative of my illustrious gym club, and en petit commitee they soon will come to join me walking for a few days. I’m not saying when, to prevent burglaries in their houses during their absence. The representative, in short W.v H.(any similarity to real people is mere coincidence), told about Johnny who tapped at the door of his pregnant mommy and questioned his mommy for her big belly. Mom, why? Mom told him about a stork, to which Johnny asks: why did you let in the stork, while there are so many beautiful men in the gym club? Well, so many?
Gods drink or poison? Gods drink or poison?   walked much along canal  beautiful church, beautiful town, lock beautiful church, beautiful town, lock in channel

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