lundi 30 janvier 2012


Well, what a week for us!!! We have spent last week either entertaining or being entertained every day and so were really glad to have last weekend to ourselves to recuperate......

We had the folk from Philosophe and Oonderneming to dinner on Tuesday night, a good time was had by all and we staggered to bed at about 2am....

Wednesday we went to dinner with one of John's guitar pupils, Elodie, where we had a lovely evening too.... her husband is a vet (they had come to dinner the saturday before with us) and he gave Patrice a "tunnel" cat-toy to play with, it has become his favourite toy and if he isnt playing with it he is sleeping inside it!!!
The weather here has become much colder, and we are expecting -10 this week, I had better hurry up and finish our rainbow 'Dr Who' scarves to keep us warm!!!  John installed an extra layer to our double glazed 'dogbox', giving us triple glazing there as we are suffering with rain inside the living area !!

lundi 23 janvier 2012


We have been quite busy with the start of the new year once we got over the awful 'flu that we brought back to France from the UK!!!

A few of the little repair jobs have been done but we still have many more jobs to do before we set off again in April, not least the cleaning up of the barge!!!

At epiphany the french have a tradition with a special pie that they cook. The youngest person in the family sits under the table where he cant see and then dictates who gets each slice. There is a small pottery model in one of the pieces and the person who gets this is 'king' for the day and gets a golden crown to wear...It is generally the youngest person..... Of course Patrice won it with us.....

We have been capturing the odd tree that has floated down the river and John has been cutting them into the right size logs for our fire and storing them on the roof, it is now looking quite healthy again and we are hopeful that we wont have to buy any more wood this winter.....

Patrice has found a new place to sit outside, but I'm not sure that it is a very safe one, he seems to be rather close to the swans.....there is still a standoff there!!!


We have been watching 'Earthflight' on BBC1, and Patrice as usual has been watching it with us.... I do wonder whether he needs specs as he sits so close to the TV.... Hahaha!!!!

Sorry but I cant get the computer to put this picture the right way up!!!!

Last weekend we had a manic weekend entertaining a french couple who are friends of ours on Saturday night when a huge chilli was sunk between us!! Then on Sunday night another of our french friends came to dinner with their 3 children (stuffed peppers for the adults and cottage pie for the children). It is the first time I have cooked for french children, (aged 6, 3 and 1) and a great deal of angst went into the choice of food for them but I need'nt have worried as two of them cleared their plates with great satisfaction, and the 3rd one didnt do too badly.  Amusing 3 children on the boat was quite difficult but we had a music session and they all shook their 'shaker' eggs with great gusto! Thank goodness we had 3 of those but we only had one sound box ( a xmas present of John's which makes scary sounds:- creaking door, witch howling , psycho music.....) and this was squabbled over however child No 2 managed to win the battle and he loved it!!)

I cant get him the right way up either, the computer is being really difficult at the moment!!

Tonight I have an evening off but tomorrow we are entertaining 3 more people who live on their boats in Auxerre at the moment and by then I think that I will be totally 'cooked out'!!!!

mardi 10 janvier 2012



Well, Christmas has been and gone and after our 16 days in the UK we returned to our boat on 28th December, very late at night.  We tried the Eurotunnel this time and were impressed by their efficiency of service but disappointed about the state of their trains.... Still it cut a sizeable lump off our travelling time and at Christmas was no more expensive than the ferry. We had used Sea France last time, and the service and boat were grim so it was no surprise to hear last night that they have now gone bust!!

Sadly I brought an unwanted Christmas present back in the shape of some nasty flu bug which struck me down all over New Year, and which John is now suffering with. It leaves you feeling so very washed out and I also coughed my back 'out', and although it is now, very slowly getting better, we did wonder whether we were going to need to use the french health service......

Father Christmas brought Patrice a very natty hat and coat which I knitted for him and in which he was very proud to pose for all our readers!!!!

This shows his french beret off very well but we had to take another to show off the coat properly

It is a sleeveless one and he appeared to take to wearing it OK but sadly it isnt cold enough yet.... However, if and when the snow strikes he will be well prepared, unlike the less fortunate local cats!!!!

We both had a lovely Christmas with our respective families and Darcey and Yvie looked wonderful in their beautiful christmas frocks.

We picked up Patrice from the cattery and as usual he went beserk when he saw us and now keeps one of us in his vision all the time. However he has got his passport ( a french one!!) so we will be able to take him with us in the future.

The weather here has been terrible with dull day after dull day, liberally interspersed with rain bucketing down like there is no tomorrow.... but we are warm and snug inside the boat so we are just patiently waiting out the time when we can move off on our travels again.

Patrice had a new cardboard box for Christmas too, so he has his own comfy place to snuggle up in, however he seems to be taking a liking for the hindu religion...........