lundi 20 août 2012


The friday market was not as good as the previous one, so after just one night we moved on to St Jean les Deux Jumeau, where we were in a heat wave with the temperature reaching the low 40's! We made friends with a lovely family who lived there, and they invited us to their house for a coffee and so we reciprocated with a trip on our boat yesterday morning.
From left to right Jean-Louis (Papa) with Anatole (4) on his knee, then Theotime (10) Soline (9) Baby Titouam (2) Neomie (Maman) and finally Celestin (6). Neomie assured us that she would not have any more but we shall see.......

We left St Jean les Deux Jumeau at 13.40 hours having left behind our passengers but they were a delightfully well behaved set of children and a credit to their parents' upbringing.

Last night we moored just upstream of Ecluse No 11, in a space meant for large commercials, as the pontoon we had stayed at before was occupied by several dozen yobboes. They were jumping off the bridge into the water and then partied until the wee small hours on the pontoon with copious supplies of booze, so we definitely made the right decision!

We set out this morning in yet another boiling hot day with the heat shimmering on the water when we saw a speck in the distance comning towards us at a tremendous rate of knots.....It was the GENDARMERIE in a speedboat! They promptly boarded us and asked to see Passports, ICC licences, and VNF licence for the boat but declined to inspect Patrice's passport though I did offer it to them!  I think they were rather disappointed that we had it all, but rather an overkill of 4 policemen in a speedboat just to inspect us!!!

 Now we are back at Meaux for the night before we move on tomorrow, probably back to the Esbly pontoon if available!!


We left La Ferte and spent a night moored in the rough just beyond Lock No 8 'Mery'.
 We had automatic lock sensor handpiece in the boat , but in this lock we couldnt get to the lever to make the lock work. I had to climb along the boat against the mucky wall in order to pull it!!....UGHHH!!
 We were in Champagne country at last, these pipes syphon the water up to the tops of the fields of vines.
Beautiful tiling was evident in this quaint house near to 'Nogent l'Arthaud', where we had hoped to stay the night, but the only mooring place was in use by another boat so we turned around and went back to 'Charly'

Our peaceful mooring at Charly, sadly no power or water, but a lovely spot! It was quiet until about 40 Liebevitch Jews turned up for a picnic! The french had shut the bridge so they persuaded another boat to bring them over to our pontoon and climbed over our boat to their picnic!!!!
Charly was a beautiful town and we spent an afternoon cycling round it and looking at the sights.
 A manual winepress made to look very attractive with the plants.
 Oh, how we would love to live here although it was right on the main thoroughfare through the town!!
 Pretty firebacks, just left leaning up against the walls!... We found they had been secured in place though.....!!?!!
 Charly cemetary, made famous by it's box hedges cut in the shape of the tops of champagne bottles!

 We cycled to the top of the hill and looked down into the valley through the vines, for miles.
Our boat from the other side of the river.

We left here this morning and returned to La Ferte this evening, in time for their friday market tomorrow.


We moved on from St Jean and made for La Ferte sous Jouarre, which took us about 4 hours of slow motoring to get there. We moored in the municipal Halte, another free mooring with free electricity and water, the only downside was that we couldnt receive the TV there!!
 We went for a lovely bike ride one afternoon along the side of the Marne (no, I didnt fall off.....) and through some wonderful woods, the mixture of greens was almost majical!
 We watched this boat lock through and when we cycled back found they had rafted behind us to the boat behind. We forgave them that, but didnt forgive them for blowing up the elctrics so our last night here was without power!!
 First World War Memorial at La Ferte, was absolutely tremendous and all four sides were inscribed with the names of the men lost. This town was in the Battle of the Marne, resulting in 100's of thousands of lives lost including british and french forces. It was the turning point of WW1 and stopped the germans invading France and resulted in 4 years of trench warfare.
Patrice found this was the best place to hide from the unfriendly dog in the german boat behind.....


We moved on to St Jean les Deux Jumeau where we found a wonderful pontoon with free water and electricity. Sadly the town was virtually shut down for August and the only thing open was an epicerie which was also a bread depot......

 A swan family had tought their children how to beg and we were frequently mobbed by this pair of swans with their brood of SEVEN babies!!! There six brown cygnets and one white one!
Patrice approved of this stay as he had lovely bushes to hang about in but you really cant beat the comfort of the sofa!!!!


We spent a couple of lovely nights at our favourite spot in Esbly (where we went with Dominy and family) and then moved on to Meaux. We moored in the port for the first time and were able to have a good look around this wonderful old town.

 Our boat looked good from the bridge nearbye and we were amused to see another boater looking through our windows.......we called to him that it was our boat but he said he didnt believe us......great blushes from him when we turned up a little later!!!!
 Tha saturday market in Meaux is well worth a look!!

 Two photos of the lovely buildings to be found out the back of the cathedral, there was even a lovely laid out formal garden!

A really picturesque epicerie

We left Meaux this afternoon and moored tonight at a 12metre pontoon downstream of Ecluse number 11 after 4 hours of travelling.

vendredi 3 août 2012

31.07.12 ON THE MOVE!!!!!!

At last, my bloods were ok so off we went to continue our summer cruising! We said our goodbyes to All, including Jackie and Ketty (from the tourist office) and got the Puddle Stone under way again! You can see the pleasure in John's face.....

We had made friends with a duck at Lagny ( we nicknamed him 'Rubber Ducky') who had obviously come from an ornamental pond and who believed he was a swan, he always hung out with the swans!!!
As we went along the river towards Meaux we discovered the place that I had fallen in, the towpath was about the top level of greenery so you can see how far I dropped!
We moored at our favourite pontoon at Esbly, and last night when we returned from a supermarket it was to see a huge boat turning right where we were moored!!!

We were amused to see the duck equivalent of totally detatched housing for ducks......!

I'll finish with the normal cute one of Patrice, just to show how he loves to travel in the wheelhouse right in front of John!

Sunday 29.07.12

Well we are moving shortly from Lagny so a quick catch up on the last 2 weeks.  We spent a day in Paris, we left the boat at Lagny and went on the train to see the sights. We walked miles, saw Eiffel tower, Notre Dame, Palais de Justice, Paris beach, French river police, and made our way back to the boat....I was totally exhausted!!
 Palais de Justice

 Paris Beach, Eiffel Tower in the background
Paris River Police.......
We made many friends in Lagny, and we were moored outside a ladies' house who was called Jackie. She invited us to dinner in her house where we were treated to a large meal cooked in the Brittany style as this was where she originated. We had a fab time and the next day we invited everyone to the boat for a drink, heres their photo....
Jackie, her friend and Julie (l to r)
We also visited Meaux First World War museum, also travelling by train and bus...not boat! It was a whole day excursion but really well worth the visit, and we would recommend it to anyone in this area.
 Mobile pidgeon loft WW1
 Early aeroplane WW1
Fantastic sculpture prented by USA to Meaux at WW1 museum

Patrice posing at the Sculpture Park......he just loved it here!!