mardi 11 décembre 2012


Well we cant believe that christmas is only 2 weeks away and we leave for the UK on friday! The time is going so quickly, John and I have been making presents for our respective families and at times the boat has resembled a factory, but we have finally finished in time for John's birthday today.

We were invited to a french couple's home here in Auxerre last night for an 'aperitif'. We thought they meant just a drink with nibbles but no, we were treated to a miniature banquet with the most amazing courses.... Not at all english but we are in France so...... we even had one course that looked like pudding  (with whipped cream on top) but which was in fact celeriac and blue cheese soup....!! We had a lovely evening, but my brain was frazzled by the time we said our goodbyes as I had been talking french for 3 hours and translating everything for John!!!

Last sunday we had lunch with another french couple and their 3 children. We had 'Raclette', which is melted cheese with various cold meats and salad and boiled potatoes. One cooks the cheese in a little dish on an electric hotplate which is placed on the table, great fun and very delicious!

Last saturday night we had dinner on some english friends' boat which is here with us in the port. That was a wonderful meal too so the Christmas overeating has really begun in earnest!!

So finally, it just remains to wish all our friends a very Merry Christmas, and we hope to see as many as possible of you next year!!

Patrice also wishes you all the greetings of the season and he wanted to show you all his early Christmas out fit.......As a reindeer!!!!!!

mardi 30 octobre 2012


We finally made it to Auxerre last wednesday 24thOctober. We arrived at the free side in Auxerre to find that they have dug it all up and are laying out new concrete paths and flower beds!! We managed to stay there for 2 nights but being awoken by a huge digger right outside our bedroom, meant that we had to swallow our pride and ask the Port de Plaissance to make space for us early in our winter moorings. ( we have to pay summer rates until 1st november, but at least we have electricity and peace and quiet!!)
 The sluices had been opened up wide which made our entries into the locks quite difficult!

There are definite signs of Autumn now with the leaves turning into a myriad of colour!

 This photo is taken from the Bow of The Puddle Stone and shows how far away John is when steering !
The reflection as we entered Auxerre, just made this interesting effect, but sadly I didn't quite centre it properly, still I think it looks good!
John sitting in the glorious, but cold, sunlight practising his new songs that he has written.
Here's The Puddle Stone in her winter moorings, as usual the view is fabulous and we dont even have anyone alongside us - thank goodness!!

Just as I was finishing off this entry John called me outside as there were some people dancing in national dress. I took these photos, they were actually filming for a french equivalent of "Come dine with me" which is to be shown tonight. The music was  pleasant, and the dancing entertaining but it was a pity that there were no young people involved, so this is something that is going to die out, a real shame.
Finishing with Patrice as usual, this is his favourite place to sit when we are travelling, poor John has to stand!

lundi 22 octobre 2012


We spent a couple of nights at Sens, and had a good time but it rained all the time! We filled the boat up with water, and got talking to a residential bargee who calmly told us we had 3 days to get off the Yonne as it was then closing until the end of November! So we battened down the hatches and set off at full speed, we got to Laroche St Cydroine on 13th october with the river behind us closing on the 15th! So we were saved! We have now been here for 10 days with free water and electricity but tomorrow we leave to go to Auxerre. We will probably get there Wednesday and there we stay for the winter until the end of march 2013!
Our moorings at the moment
 Today we went for a lovely walk in the sunshine with Patrice

Two lovely sunsets!

Usual cute photo of Patrice to finish!!!

mercredi 10 octobre 2012


Eventually I made the long return journey and got back from the UK late on the evening of 28.09.12 tired but pleased that it had all gone well with good news!
 Our lovely moorings at Moret sur Loing. It suited us all, electricity, water, woodlands for Patrice, a nearby supermarket plus a Lidyl, what more could we ask?
The very early mornings made the river look as though it were boiling!
  We meant to move off the next day but I felt very tired so we decided to stay another couple of days, by which time it was obvious that I had returned from the UK with a nasty virus! So, we eventually left our moorings at Moret on 5.10.12 with a lovely sending off from new found friends!
 Thr trip onto the Seine was much as it had been before, dicing with death with those dratted commercials! We were rather bemused by the 'half a commercial' in this picture!

 The internet is being difficult and I cant delete this sideways picture, but it shows another lovely old ship left to rot on its moorings in the Seine.
 Good old Napoleon signifying that we were about to leave the Seine (Goodee, until the next time, you can pick on someone else now!!!!!)
 We waited ages for this lock to empty of its commercial, seems like we were still being persued! We finally had to moor for the night against grey pylons put in the river for boats to wait for the lock as were 5 minutes too late to go through.  We settled for the night and I was cooking dinner about 8pm when suddenly a huge commercial demanded that we must move for him as he wanted our space!! There was plenty of space behind us for him, there were loads of pylons, so he tried to bully us into movingby pretending to squash against us....! We stayed put and a strange argument followed in half french, half english, and he eventually capitulated..... Oh Commercials!!!!!
 The next day we made for the moorings we had been aiming for the night before and had a peaceful night in the wild outside a disused silo but we were disturbed Sunday morning by....yep more commercials demanding our space so we moved on again.

 We waited ages for this lock and then this beast turned up leaving us nowhere to moor in the lock so we had to tie to the big boat......for once the commercial was pleasant to us but we were glad to get out of that lock! We continued on to Pont sur Yonne where we moored on pontoons meant for us and not for the commercials. The weather was terrible with the rain coming in sideways and even a thunderstorm on monday night so tuesday we moved on and now we are moored at the minicipal halt at Sens where the good people donate us free water and electricity, but sadly the weather is still very wet!
I finish with the cute photo of Patrice who, now the colder weather has arrived, prefers to be protected from the elements by John's bottom!!


We left Nemours on 19.09.12 and returned slowly to Moret sur Loing staying in the same places as we had on the way up. The weather stayed good for us until we moored back in Moret just above the lock on the 21.09.12, when the heavens opened as we cycled around to the port to make sure that she had kept us a place for the week as I was returning to the UK for hospital tests and appointments. There was no room so we moved on 22.09.12 and moored alongside ' Hendrika' for a couple of nights and John slotted the Puddle Stone into her moorings on the following Monday. On 22.09.12 Moret held a 1900 wedding, everyone dressed up and there was a procession to the church where two young people got 'married' and also two dogs got hitched too....!! All a bit surreal but will show you how in pictures of the day!

It was a lovely day and we were pleased that it was a nice way to spend the day before my long trek back to the UK via local trains, Metro and Eurostar....alone!

mardi 18 septembre 2012


We left Samois after a lovely stay there on the 11.09.12 (Happy Birthday Dominy!!) and moored at Moret sur Loing. They were doing 3 nights for the price of 2, so we took full advantage of having water and electricity! The weather was lovely although there is now a 'nip' in the air showing us that autumn is on its way! The leaves are beginning to change colour too. We saw some strangley coloured boats on our trip to Moret but we were both glad to see the back of the Seine.....
What were they thinking of painting the boat this colour??

Moret sur Loing is a beautiful medieval walled town with some absolutely wonderful buildings...

Would be great to have your hair done in this hairdressers?

The above is part of the town hall!

Just look at that woodwork!

Another door into town...

The above two photos show that autumn is on its way, although the sun is still very warm during the day, the relection of the sky in the first picture is just edible!

The church organ is the oldest in this part of France and dates from the 12th century!It has recently been restored.
Our moorings in Moret sur Loing

We had one of our rare meals out in this lovely bistro. The food was just great and all done by one lady who did all the serving too. We had to forgive her her miseries as the food was so good....!!

Part of the town is placed on little island connected by walkways.
We moved on from Moret to Nemours on the 15th September. This is another walled city with some lovely buildings but the moorings were not very attractive although they did give us FREE water and electricity, sadly it was impossible to get TV reception......
This must be quite old but is now no longer one house but split into flats.

 The stained glass windows in the 12th century church were magnificent again, with one depicting the Turin shroud!
 Nemours Castle, it was open day on the 16th september so we were able to go round it.

 The outside of the same church as above.

The housesa alongside the river (top photo) and one street in town which has part of the canal through it (bottom photo). We moved on Sunday early evening as we had had a large stone thrown at us saturday night which fortunately didnt break the window but it was a close thing. Shame the yobs hadnt anything better to do at 1am!!
 We moored outside this enormous factory, as it was the only place which had enough depth for the boat, we spent an hour trying several different places in the canal but it was just too shallow! This factory used to belong to Volkswagen cars and made all the glass used in their cars, but the german company shut it down and moved the business to Poland, removing 220 jobs from this town which has subsequently died because of it. There are no shops or restaurants and the streets are largely full of out of work men, a very sad sight to behold.

 The workers built a wooden graveyard, with a wooden shrine and on each cross are the name of the man and his family signifying the loss to each of them, a very sobering sight.

 We thought this poster said how they felt quite graphically!
Everyone we spoke to was very friendly to us so we stayed two nights, the weather was beautiful and we went for some really good bike rides. Well usually i finish with a cute photo of Patrice.... He decided to go crayfish fishing last night and spent some time hanging over the edge of the canal where we could see some crayfish very clearly. Sadly he got overexcited, and overbalanced and fell into the canal, he looked like a drowned rat! John put on a wood fire in the burner to warm up our shivery morsel!!!!!