lundi 12 décembre 2011


Well it's John's birthday today, and the weather is shining for us!! We are going back to the uk later this week to see our respective families for Christmas but we just wanted to put on our seasonal photo .....

Lovely isnt it!!! Happy Christmas to all, see you next year!!!

mercredi 23 novembre 2011


Well, we had a busy week last week as it was my birthday, John took me out to lunch on Wednesday and then on Sunday night he gave me a dinner party. He cooked 'Coq au vin' for 8 and did really well!! We had smoked salmon on tomato herb bread (which John made himself) for starters and apple pie and cream for pudding! We had a lovely time and I had 3 lovely gifts from our french friends... thank you everyone once more!!
Today John is busy cutting up the 4 stares of wood that we have just had delivered to us. We ordered it too long as it is cheaper..... so now John  has to cut it before stacking it on top of our boat!!

John is teaching 2 people to play the guitar in exchange for french lessons, he will be better at french, than I am soon.........
We had quite a jolly weekend as we went out with 3 other boat owners on saturday night. Two of them are putting their boats to bed for the winter and we couldnt resist taking this photo of John doing his 'James Bond' imitation!!!

Well,  I think that is all our news for now, so I'll leave you with another fab photo of our little man.......

lundi 14 novembre 2011


We have been resident in our usual little spot in Auxerre for a week now, (having moved a week ago  to the exact spot we spent last winter,) and it feels like we have never left!! John is doing his usual trick of showing people over our home whenever people turn up for a stroll along the river bank.. so I'm trying to keep it clean and tidy most of the time!!
His penchant for trailing in the unsuspecting paid off last wednesday when a young lady called Elodie spent the evening with us. She was very sweet and when she left she invited us to dinner tonight so we shall report back sometime this week about that!!
Thursday we entertained again, this time a single chap who is living aboard his huge peniche the other side of the river, we spent a good evening and then Friday night we were invited to our old friends Marie-Jo and Michelle for dinner. We had 'Raclette' a kind of toasted cheese and potato dish (meat too if you want, but not for me...). It is lovely, everyone having a little non stick pan in which you toast your portion of cheese, on a little cooker on the table, and then pour over the small new potatoes, we ate sooooo much!! Then we were taught how to play 'Atout' a french card game. It was a bit confusing and when we left we were still not sure how to play it properly!!! it was 1.30am when we staggered back to the boat through a mysterious mist with only us awake...very romantic!!
Yesterday we watched the herons flying over us to their warmer climes making a huge noise and keeping perfect formation, a real natural wonder of the world!!

It was a lovely crisp sunny day so having hung out the washing (which dried outside despite it being the middle of November) we went for a walk down a lovely avenue of trees to see what was at the end....

What fantastic delights waited for us??


Yep a psychiatric hospital!!! Highly suitable for 2 adults taking a cat for a walk on a lead!!!!

But we both agreed we wouldn't mind being 'treated' in the chateau!!

There were signs everywhere saying 'no entry' but we walked around the garden looking as though we were meant to be there and no-one challenged us!!! In fact many people spoke to us and admired Patrice!!

When we got back we watched 'Frozen Planet' Patrice's favourite programme and as usual he tried to catch the penguins........!!!

Still we had had a lovely day, and I just have to show you my all-time favourite photo of Patrice which summons up all our thoughts of Autumn in this magical land......

Fab isn't it????!!!

vendredi 4 novembre 2011


Well we had a huge scare last night. The weather was awful with gusty winds and torrential rain... we were watching TV when there was a sudden crash above us and John went to see what had happened... As he didnt immediately return I followed him up to the wheelhouse to see part of the roof missing, torrential rain pouring down, a very scared kitten and John outside doing things with a boathook.....
I put Patrice downstairs, and opened the backdoor. John asked me to hang on to the middle section of the roof whilst he used his legs to get the roof out of the river. The wind was really howling and it was difficult to stand up, eventually he managed to get the roof on to the top of the boat and then very gingerly back into place on the wheelhouse roof. I was so scared he would fall as you know he doesn't swim too well......
Eventually it was done with the roof all covered in leaves and debris from the river- inside!!!
Meanwhile Patrice decided to try and make a run for it and then the TV died.... all in all NOT a good evening, we were both glad to go to sleep!!!!
 The remains of the leaves and debris still clinging to the roof of the wheelhouse this morning....Our Morroccan lantern was still clinging to the underside but is sadly rather smashed from the experience!!

Patrice defending his home from a red setter who thought he would like to visit, he hadnt taken our 'Guard-cat' into consideration!! The leaves and debris behind the boat where our roof landed!!

mercredi 2 novembre 2011


Well after our really busy summer, we are now back in Auxerre where we will stay until 1st April next year. We are not quite in the same position as last year, but we getting nicely bedded down again. It is strange not to be moving around any more and I have to say that I do miss it... Still we have managed to install the new computer (lets hope no more viruses for a few years....) and also a new satellite dish and freesat box with a recorder, all very technical and it took quite a while to do it while John disappeared as he is absolutely no use with anything technical!!!
We had some old friends round for dinner last saturday night, I cooked a huge chilli (which all went) and our guests felt so welcome that it was nearly 3am before they left us!! Still we had a great time though I suspect that there were a few headaches on Sunday......!!
Last night we had a couple round who are also staying the winter in Auxerre, and so I suppose you could call them our neighbours!! They said they would come for one drink  but 3 hours later said their goodbyes so I suppose that they felt welcome too!!
Today is sunny which makes a change from the last few rainy days and to celebrate I have a long washing line blowing in the gentle breeze.....

Well, no more news for now......


Our 1st view of Auxerre on our return, the trees are such beautiful colours...

Patrice is not too sure about the swans and they HATE him!!!

 As you can see by the number of bottles, a good time was definitely being had!!! And no, they had to go outside for their cigarette.... its a NO SMOKING boat!!
The Puddle Stone in her winter moorings.!


mardi 11 octobre 2011

11.10.11 Tuesday

We spent 3 nights at Villeneuve and really explored this delightful town but the weather wasnt kind to us and it poured down most of the time!! We left last Sunday and moored sunday night at Joigny, and then yesterday we moored at Laroche St Cydroine where we have free water and electricity so we are staying here till tomorrow when we move to Migennes ready to go back to the UK for a week....
Ive crocheted a baby blanket for Patrice and he's humoured me by loving to sleep on it!! Makes it all worthwhile!! His latest craze is tearing up paper, John is learning very quickly not to leave his guitar music out now....!!!!!

For some reason the text is messing up on this blog entry, Ive tried to put it right but it just keeps on doing it, so I havent suddenly forgotten how to spell, its the computer doing its own thing!!

jeudi 6 octobre 2011

06.10.11 Thursday

We left Migennes on Tuesday and headed to Joigny where we moored for the night by the market place. it wasnt too bad a mooring except dogs are walked there by irresponsible owners who dont pick up their rubbish and guess who trod in it??? Oh well walked it off on their pavements!! We went to market yesterday and then having got John a new hat to replace the old one buried at sea (!!??!!) we headed off again. The scenery was quite wild and we loved the wide stretches of river but we werent too happy with the vast 94metre locks with only us in them!! Last night we moored at Villeneuve sur Yonne and by a stroke of good luck we have discovered free electricity so depite the rain the inside of the boat isnt gloomy today! Tomorrow we are doing the market here and then we are going to make our way slowly back to Migennes as we go back to the UK on the 14th for a week, leaving Patrice in a cattery, I know he is going to hate us for that.....
 You really would think that there were better places to sleep than on the curled up electricity shore line?? Patrice found it most comfortable!!
 Huge lock shared with 'bumper' boats, they couldnt wait to get in front of us when we left the lock though.....!!!
A submerged lock on the Yonne, you can see the wall to the right of it, could be nasty if you hit that!!

samedi 1 octobre 2011

01.10.11. saturday

We have left Auxerre again and this time we are going slowly up the Yonne River. We had a delightful cruise yesterday in sweltering temperatures, 36 degrees registering on the thermometer in the wheelhouse (with the windows open and the roof off !!) We are moored at Gurgy by the commodities but of course neither the water nor the electricity appears to be functioning.... As it is so hot again today we are just staying put and soaking up the soothing vibes of being one with nature!!!!!
 I fed these large, but still infant, swans who were quite tame, but Patrice hated them!!!

John chilling and washing his feet at the same time!!

mardi 27 septembre 2011

Monday 26.09.11

We are now back in our home town of Auxerre. We have reversed our trip since the last blog entry and done Mailly-le-Chateau, Mailly-la-Ville, Vincelles, and now Auxerre.
We've had a leisurely time and really enjoyed our time staying 2-3 nights in each place. We've had problems with our electricity banks not charging, and found that the belt had gone on the alternator so we had to hitail back to Auxerre to replace it today!! We'd also completely run out of food so had some really strange meals from our tinned supplies, however we are topped up now.
 Patrice made friends with these donkeys..
 Patrice tried walking on water- it didnt work!!
Strange rock formations at le sassoirs.

dimanche 18 septembre 2011

Sunday 18.09.11

We have been ubable to add to our blog as the internet connections have been so poor it has not been possible but heres a quick resume of where we have been!!
We left Auxerre on the 5th September and headed up the Nivernais canal again, but gently this time!! We spent a night at Champs sur Yonne where Patrice got stuck up a tree and we had to beg a long ladder so John could get him.... really he's worse than a child sometimes!!! We then moved to Vincelles for a couple of nights, on to Vermonton canal where we stayed one night in Vermonton and one in Accolay. Then on to Mailly la ville for 2 nights and we met up with old friends on'Wietske', Joseph and Madeleine. We spent a lovely evening putting the world to rights in a really summery evening, but we havent had any of those since, having been told that this is now Autumn!! We moved on to Mailly-le-Chateau for 2 nights (unintentionally but I wasnt feeling too good) before we returned to Chatel-Censoir for another 2 nights. We had wanted to explore Coulanges as we thought that it had looked interesting before so we went there for a night but it was very disappointing.... except we went scrumping and got wonderful peaches and walnuts! Ive never scrumped anything but apples before!! Coulanges having been very disappointing we returned to Chatel-Censoir yesterday, and spent a lovely day today exploring this beautiful old town.
 vermonton canal - unusual to see me in a photo!!
 Scrumping peaches and walnuts!
 You buy your petrol at the restaurant......

an impressive view of Mailly-le-Chateau from the canal..

samedi 3 septembre 2011

Saturday 03.09.11

We are still in Auxerre, the weather has been sweltering the last couple of days but we have been sorting out a cattery and Patrice's injections, ready for our next visit to the UK in October.  Today we drove in the car over to see our good friends, the Two Terry's on 'Rennaissance' in Clamecy. We had arranged a rendezvous with them there in our boats but as we are still moored in Auxerre we thought it only fair to drive to them! We had a lovely afternoon with them, putting the world to rights and taking Terry to get his deisel in our car. Gladys and Patrice had met before and didnt think much of each other, but today they were very good with each other with no spitting or snarling (from either Terry....hahaha). Patrice has taken driving in the car with his usual attitude that if he is with us he doesn't mind what he is doing and sat quite happily on our laps, without having to be restrained in a box! He really thinks he's human and even sat happily on the floor whilst we had our first ever meal out in a french restaurant!! Everyone laughs when we say his name is 'Patrice', I dont think they go in for 'human' names for pets here but hey we are crazy enough to carry this off!!! We visited the fabulous church and greatly admired the beautiful stained glass windows.
We said goodbye to the two terrys and returned to our berth, but think we are going to get a thunder storm tonight, it is really hot and sticky......
 Patrice and me at the lovely restaurant in Clamecy
 Lovely stained glass windows at Clemecy
Saying goodbye to Terry

mardi 30 août 2011


Well, Im sure that you must have wondered if we have sunk with no survivors but Im happy to report that the lack of blog is not down to our demise!!!!  We realised that we were in the canal de centre with only 15 days until my daughter visited, and that we had arranged to meet her in Auxerre!! So we commenced a mission of travelling 8 hours a day and not staying over anywhere so we could make our rendevous.We travelled the canal de centre to Digoin, the canal lateral et Loire to Decize and then the Canal de Nivernais back to Auxerre. I have to say it felt like we had come home when we arrived back on to the River frontage, although we are not paying for our stay here (at 17.90 euros per night!!!) so we are on the 'free' side but without water or electricity.... John has worked out a devious way to get water from the water fountain which involves ropes and a dead fender to keep the button pressed down!! We took photos and I was going to update the blog when we got some pick up on the dongle, but sadly the computer died with all the photos on it and so this is being written on my gas powered laptop....... We made it here in time and have had a lovely time over the last long weekend with them all here!! The girls loved the life and Darcey (4yrs) and Yvie (2yrs) settled into life afloat very well!
 Darcey driving the boat better than John!!!

 Darcey (left) and Yvie (right) sporting their snazzy life jackets!!

 The girls loved Patrice and wrapped him up in one of their 'blankie's'

 Ross wearing Yvie's sunglasses, Dominy and Yvie enjoying the sun...

and finally Patrice with his new friend 'horsey', he takes him everywhere with him.....

We are still in Auxerre and going to move on sometime this week, but we are at least back in contact with the world and the internet as long as the laptop keeps going!!!!

dimanche 7 août 2011

Sunday 07.08.11

Well we are now at a little place called Ciry le noble which is 3 hours away from Montceau les Mines. We spent 2 nights there, but the moorings were not good, one night we were 3 rafted away from the shore, the 2nd night 2 barges away, it didnt stop raining and our neighbours definitely not good!! The market however is even better than Chagny, it happens on saturday mornings and is HUGE. The food part was excellent too and we stocked up on really cheap fruit and vegetables. Getting out of the Port de Plaissance was not quick or easy, best to show you in pictures.....
 The first of the bridges blocking our way... took ages for them to realise we were there....
 Eventually it shot up in the air and we were through the first,
 Next a swing bridge.....
 Gosh so high, made us feel very important although it took them 10 minutes to notice us, probably eating again.....
 the 3rd lift bridge at last we were on open waterways again!!!
 Crazy caravan on a boat base........

Two really cute pictures of Patrice, sorry folks....That's all for now!!

jeudi 4 août 2011


We finally left Chagny on 2nd August, having made some lovely friends there, Sue and George and Ernest and Rosemary who have a fantastic barge called Imponderabilia and we had some lovely social times. The market was all we expected of it (and more ) at Chagny so if you are in the region it is well worth going. I got a new watch for 5 euros as mine packed up Sunday morning....(Timing was perfect!!)
 Ernest alongside his boat
 Rosemary and 'Luxe Mo'
 Scotsmen looking for halfpennies? No some weird sculptures someone had in their garden!!!
The view behind us when we moored at St Leger sur Dheune
There is a festival on 6th August at St Julien and all we can presume is that this is a float for it. They had a bath tub behind it and a princess carriage in front of it, being pulled by some skeletal plastic swans......

The most tremendous horns on these cattle sadly they havent come out all that well......
Our moorings just before Ecluse 1 on the other side of the canal de centre towards Decize