Fra(i)ncia V – Castling II

Castling on the kingside is sometimes called ‘castling short’ while castling on the queenside is called castling long

Andy came and picked me up and it was really really good to see him again. It also felt like we’ve never really been apart that much although we only met a few times in person briefly, 5 years ago. His uncle, Bob is the one who taught me most about wild camping in France and as a personal development thing, I could say that meeting Andy (and Bob) was really a breaking point in how I did things.

Being recently divorced from his wife, the guy bought a fucking mansion in downtown Sézanne, its a smallish town with everything you could want or need, without really turning into a big, impersonal, city. A big Liverpool fan, the first night was going to be pizza with his 3 sons and I welcomed the normalcy of the situation. His sons spoke English very well and Liverpool won the game of some spaghetti cup that I cant remember the name of, against Arsenal. Leading up to that we had to drive back 10min to the town where I forgot my walking stick! OF ALL THINGS, you must be kidding. I did buy a small St. Anton (patron saint of lost things) pendant thingy to hang from my shell necklace so at least I got some divine help going on or something. We drove back and the walking stick was still there, leaning against a bench in the middle of town, Anton be blessed. Even though it seemed enticing, we decided not to go for a 4 € tea at Cheval Blanc..

The game was weird as it was good, 5-5 and finally Liverpool winning on penalties. I must say I didnt care too much but it was nice to have a “normal” family setting life with pizza and beer. Which both tasted dangerously good. Yea it was good to have some R&R and its also good to see the team win for which everybody in the room was rooting, even if it was by the skin of their teeth.

The house was a mansion, old building converted to office space and then converted to living space. It had a bit of rustic look about it, with crypts under the entire building, 3 stories high. More rooms than you can count but since it was an office space before, it did need some well deserved ‘homely’ renovations. Looks like my job was cut out for me while I was waiting on a package that I ordered. At least I didnt lose my walking stick. Lucy took a liking to the whole family right away and reserved herself a nice spot on the couch for the next 3 weeks and I had reserved myself some weed left from the first Castling.

Andy and me chilled most of the time, I went for bread in the morning and we cooked together in the evening. All the while renovating his place here and there. Small subtle touches to make the place more like a place thats being lived in rather than an office space. Also changed the Wifi code to something a little bit more suitable and yea, pretty cool reunion all in all. Just to mention a few adventures; we went to visit his parents who lived close by.

The meals we cooked were pretty impressive. Ow and at some point I feared for Lucy’s life!


No like literally, no poop whatsoever, she put her best effort in but it was all to no avail. I suspect its something she ate from a trashcan when I walked her in the 2nd week, she didnt respond to my whistle and when I walked back I could see her munching on something. Normally shes a tank and anything from bones to sticks to mice is no problem at all, this time however it was like somebody just put a cork in her colon.. The first day was fine when this happened and Ive seen it before but the 2nd day, she was getting very frail and just slept all day. I really feared for her because Ive never seen her like this. I made her a little mock up hospital bed on the couch and since this was in the evening I took her to a veterinarian right away in the morning. Andy by my side translating. The vet couldnt see what was up, no obstruction that she could feel. A little blood from the pooper but thats normal since she tried to poop so hard, it probably rekt some arteries (this can also happen to humans).. The vet gave her antibiotics and we got some paste that she needed to eat 2 times per day to help with her stomach lining. I thought the price was going to be through the roof and indeed it fucking well was! 12 daily budgets down the shitter, I must admit though – I would have paid a 100 daily budgets without hesitation, if it meant for her to be be well again!

Sick puppy

After a week of turning the living room into a 1942 shower in Auschwitz, she finally started eating normal again. Her poop didnt really come yet but there was only one way to go and that followed a day or so later. Im joking about it but I would have never forgave myself if something happened to her, even though its her own stupid fault for being a garbage muncher. I still have no idea what she ate.

Andy throughout this was a saint, very chill and relaxed and I met his daughter and his parents somewhere along the way, and we watched more Liverpool as well (nice going van Dijk). I made Andy a stick at some point since he is an Aikido practitioner. I saw his son kill at least 500 people in Fortnite and I even got to hold the controller myself for a night or 2. Also somewhere along the way I decided to lay off the alcohol. Not only did I write some horrible pages in my diary (horrible in the sense like, dude-I-didnt-know-you-wrote-Cyrillic-bad), I also displaced several glass objects that would have probably been spared if it werent for that damn ethanol. The alcohol did put me into gear when it comes to my website however as now I was able to turn all those sweet sugars and ethanol into creative, writing-frenzies. 

Besides resting up I fixed my boots, made some tough decisions about my gear (like leaving one of my pants behind since I now ordered a new, lighter and more stylish pants suited for my needs). I watched The Boys on Amazon Prime (can recommend) as well as Fargo season 3 on Netflix (can also definitely recommend).

Andy took me to one of his Djembe lessons that he teaches in the town, which was slightly awkward but still very fun and impressive to see.

By the time my packages finally arrived I was ready to head out again. The temperature now having dropped by 10 degrees, it was a price I was willing to pay for the luxurious life I had for the last several weeks. Also Lucy still alive and well made continuing easy. It wasnt that far anymore to Vezelay, which is where my preliminary route book stopped. Being on the road is only good when you have time to recuperate any losses every now and again. Andy was so nice as to open his home and his heart to me and sick Lucy, for that I am forever in his debt. 

Thank you Andy! A 1000 blessings upon ye!