Saturday, September 14, 2013

Friday the Thirteenth

Happy 69th birthday Michael! I wish you many more boating years.

We left our mooring spot in Champagne in style; a mechanic from Paris came out to repair the ongoing engine concerns on Zonder Zorg and seems to have corrected its problem.

We retraced our path through the broken locks and found most repaired, only the swing bridge needed some help.

We arrived at Châlons-en-Champagne at 16:30 and the lock master came to help with this very high lock. It is the end of the season and there was no problem finding a mooring spot.

We celebrated the evening with a home cooked meal of St Jacques seared with mushrooms in an Armagnac-butter reduction and toasted with a bottle of Champagne Canard-Duchêne. We received several birthday wishes from friends and family.

Friday the 13th has been considered bad luck throughout history for no apparent reason. There is a superstition, thought by some to derive from the Last Supper, that having thirteen people seated at a table results in death of one of the diners. 

Friday is also the day Jesus Christ was crucified, according to the gospels and adding the day's unpopularity.

On Friday the 13th of October 1307, a date linked to the origin of Friday-the-Thirteen superstition, hundreds of the Knights Templar were simultaneously arrested in France. This action was motivated to increase the prestige of the crown. King Philip IV, deeply in debt to the Templars, was the behind the ruthless move and pressured the newly appointed Pope Clement V, who was based at Avignon. Both falsely charged the Knights with heresy, immorality and abuses. Many of the order's members in France were arrested, tortured into giving false confessions and then burned at the stake. 

In 2008 the Dutch Centre for Insurance Statistics stated that fewer accidents and reports of fire and theft occur when the 13th of the month falls on a Friday, than on any other Friday.

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