A Mysterious Disappearance in Châtel-Censoir


One of the things I dislike about camping is the counting.  And there is a great deal of it when my brother James et Moi are preparing for one of our trips sur le continent.  One has to count all sorts of things.  Especially the underwear – to make sure one has enough and then I always add VAT for emergencies.

The river Yonne at Châtel-Censoir


But I also have to count the weetabix – James won’t eat anything else for breakfast. He never used to be this picky.  Well, not when I think back to the state of his bedroom when he was a teenager.  Must pause for a moment to let that ghastly thought dissipate.

Anyway, I count the cereal and this time around I packed a box of 72 and a single box of 12.  Exactly what we needed for this trip.  But after the first three weeks I couldn’t help noticing that the large box still had not made it to the breakfast table.  

‘That box of 12 is lasting well,’ I said. Rolled eyes and a tut were all that I received as a response.  When I mentioned it again about a week or so later, James very rudely got up from the breakfast table and buried his nose in his book.

Yesterday I thought I would investigate the matter and delved into the large cardboard box that he has in the boot of the car containing all the provisions.  I searched and searched.  I removed everything and, still unable to find the large box, I replaced it all.  The 72 pack of cereal was no-where, absolutely no-where to be seen.  So I came to the very logical conclusion that someone had stolen our cereal!

The port at Clamecy

Now, I don’t know if you know this but, the Nivernais canal runs alongside the river Yonne to Clamecy and we thought we would visit the museum there.  You see there’s a whole floor dedicated to ‘Les Flotteurs’. Apparently whole families of people scraped a living from the river and the canal. Les Flotteurs managed the vast barges made of ‘bûches’ – in effect long floating boons of lashed together tree trunks and logs – that had been cut in the Morvan and then floated down river, through to Clamecy for eventual delivery to households in Paris.

Anyway, after leaving the museum we strolled through the town and down to the port.  So I thought I would take the opportunity to mention my suspicions to James.  

‘Don’t be so ridiculous!’  He paused for a moment to take a photograph.  ‘I’ve given them all to the cat,’ he said and strode back to the car.

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