There’s very little privacy at the cottage. The path out front belongs to the VNF (Voies Navigables de France –Navigable Waterways of France); in years past, it was the towpath used by horses to pull boats and barges along the canal. Now, it’s used for recreation – mainly casual walkers and bicyclists but some equestrians, too.
It can be rather disconcerting to have so many passers-by intruding into our “private” space. Some people think nothing of coming up on the patio for a closer look at the cottage. Some have even come up the stairs and knocked at the door. One woman was curious to know if anyone was living here. Another asked if she could refill her water bottle. When Craig’s outside, he’ll often be stopped and asked for directions….after it becomes apparent that he isn’t bilingual, English becomes the universal language, but the towpath is well-travelled and the questions start out in many different languages….French, German, Spanish, Italian.
Fearing that I’d be unable to get out easily should there be a problem, Craig has always left the front door unlocked when he’s out and about. This didn’t concern me until today when he was working in the backyard and there was a knock at the door. Anyone who knows we’re here also knows that I’m unable to answer the door and would either go looking for Craig or announce themselves and wait for an invitation to enter. Not so in this case, after repeated knocks on the door, someone opened the mail slot and peeked inside. Our eyes met and I quickly called Craig on the cell phone to tell him someone was at the door. By the time he rounded the corner, the porch was empty and two bicyclists were heading down the path toward town.
Perhaps I’m being overly paranoid but from now on, when Craig’s not at the cottage, the door will be locked.