Last night the bistro owners and some of their customers asked me to return tonight, so I agreed not to look for a boat today. This morning after a breakfast of voIkornbrot and cheese, I left the municipal motorhome park; a patch of gritty tarmac next to the main carpark, right next to the food oil refinery factory on one side and the set of massive church bells on the other and set off to the bistro to set up my PA system. I also put the Go Banana on Tour flag on the square outside so that the combination of equipment and flag will let people know there is something going on tonight. Good for the bistro and good for me as the more people I meet the more chance of a lucky break with getting a boat at some point.
I drove around to get a feel of the town. Emmerich seems to be unexceptional; but a nice place to live and work. The parade along the river is lovely with gardens and views of the ships passing overlooked by shops and apartments; but with gale blown hail and sleety rain coming at me at 30° to horizontal I didn’t stay long to admire the view. I found a place to park near the quay where I left the Banana and parked between the container yard and the dock, overlooking the small inlet from the Rhine. I can see ships and boats passing every minute or so, which makes me feel I should be getting on.
Today’s main task is to try to sort out the video and photos files. These have been stored on my computer, with the originals kept on the various SD cards. Each camera comes with its own program to compress and unzip the huge quantise of digital information that makes up the videos. Each program stores the files and I need to bring them all into one place, in order and titles so I will know what they contain. There are several problems for me in trying to do this. I got off to a bad start due to FNAC messing up the delivery of my main video camera which I did not get the chance to learn how to use before I got started.
This had the knock on effect that the files have either not been stored properly nor named or they are still compressed on their special SD type cards. I have bought 1 Go hard disks thinking the 64k cards could be easily loaded onto the hard disks. If I un zip (decompress) the files 64k becomes 5.5 Go and supprise supprise it won’t fit into the hard drive. Worse still, it takes a long time to move these files around, and I am not sure what I am doing with them and have many questions to ask. Also, If I don’t empty the big SD cards I won’t be able to film anymore.
I have no internet and have sit in café’s or bars and it is difficult to concentrate. Because I need to stay for a long time I end up explaining what I am doing and end up singing in the evening to say thank you for taking up space all morning / evening. The library is a great place to work but it only opens two hours in the morning and the same in the afternoon. All this to say, I had better get on with this and take advantage of knowing I am going nowhere today.
The problem is, there are two ships tied up at the quay just in front of me and I am tempted to go and have a chat, which is far more interesting than sitting here typing and trying to decide how to tackle the file problem. It is nice and warm here and I do have coffee; but the rain has stopped for a moment and I can see people in the ships.
I couldn’t resist the temptation to go down to the Banana and managed to get the security door open with the code formula given to me by the captain of the Tempore. I walked around a ship carrying 750t of cement powder and knocked on the door of the ship tied up next to it. I thought no one was at home but the cement ship captain open up the cabin door and I ended up speaking to him in French. His ship is going to Duisburg tomorrow morning a 5 am, and he didn’t say no to the idea of taking me with him; he will ask his partner.
Eelco sent me an email to say that his house boat and car has been covered with bananas…he asked if I had anything to do with it? I replied that no, not me but can he send me some photos? I wished him happy Kings Day and await the evidence of the first know banana attack in Europe.
So now, having eaten a pork sandwich, I will get on with the files and see if I can sort it all out before going to the Rathaus Life bistro.
I finished up after midnight there with the impromptu jam, so tonight may well go on a lot longer. If the boat is available for me, leaving at 5am which means I will have be there before, I should be able to get up to 3hrs sleep tonight. I shall have a nap a bit later, if I can get to sleep with the sound of hail beating on the roof and windows.