We do enjoy getting the boat ready for the winter months each season holds something special, though a little sad the end of cruising, and perhaps my cycling as this empty cycling path shows, I am unfortunately a fair weather cyclist. John will continue road cycling when he can.
We had work to do on the Moet, all those jobs you put off - as we are not spending all winter on the Moet, so needed to press on, many jobs to complete in a short time before we left for England. We need to install a new hot water cylinder at some point in time (still in Fiona & Earl's garage waiting). Our central heating system needed attention, the engine to service, generator needs a general overhaul... We packed for our journey driving home, we will be working over the winter months renovating property. car groaned with the weight of John's tools and the kitchen sink.
Friends Renate and David are moored next to us in Carcassonne, always a meal and a welcome waiting for our return. We left the Moet in their hands as we set off for England on the 3rd Nov not knowing our return date or plans for xmas as yet.
David & Reneta had a real scare while we were away, David was rushed into hospital with a suspected heart attack - thankfully he was given a clean bill of health a few days later and is now recovering from the shock this caused them both. We have a really good port doctor with a sense of humour and he's a big help to us all in the Port. We all creak a bit right now... winter!
Our first stop was visiting friends Moira & Peter. It was some 18 months since our last visit here - the work they have completed over the last 9 years in their Chantemerle-les-Grignan home is amazing, you step inside and you feel so comfortable (leg lamb cooking helped). Peters parents were also staying, we all enjoyed time together, nice walks (7 miles for a coffee, Peters mum Connie leading the way). I enjoyed picking olive's in the garden with Moira not the right time but we gave it a go.
Moira & Peter are excited about booking a two week cruise on the waterways of France. They are hiring a boat from Saint Jean de Losne next summer. So looking forward to cruising France's waterways and the possibility of us cruising together for part of the holiday. Hopefully we will bring the boat north again next year.
I enjoyed taking this photo of Peters parents who are celebrating 60 yrs of marriage soon. We enjoyed this view of the river Rhone on a visit to a well preserved Troglodyte village at Site du Barry, we enjoyed being transported back in time in two ways - memories of our traveling the Mighty Rhone River the previous year & how people used to live in this Troglodyte village.
It was very foggy when we arrived at Willem's boat in Chagny and very cold too, so different to the weather we had left in Carcassonne, we had a lot of fog on the journey and noticed a change in temperature the further north we traveled.
We booked into a local hotel in Chagny, Willem found a nice place for dinner, it had a huge open fire with sizzling steaks being cooked - oh boy were they good, we had fine wine and sat and chatted. Next morning back on Willem's boat for web up date and some lessons on the new dream weaver programme he has installed. "I think he worked through the night". Willem also up dated my new lap top, what would I do without him... he has developed a love of our stories and inspires me to keep it going. My web guru Willem & I do enjoy working together. John learns more French on each visit too and they share the same taste in music too (and Brandy).
We thoroughly enjoyed our drive through France with an over night stay in the old town of Boulogne before catching the early ferry back to Dover it was a smooth crossing with no problems. A steady drive back to Yorkshire roads were very busy.
Within 24 hours of being home our work began here in this street... stripping all the old carpets, wallpaper, cupboards, bathroom suite, repairing & mending wood work, some new skirting boards, plaster boarding wall's & ceilings where necessary. We also arranged for work to be done on the roof since we had a leak, it was all systems go. It was 10yrs ago we bought this property and it has been rented out. Our son Michael moved in during the summer and is now helping us after work.
Our plan to finish this property and be back in Carcassonne for 2nd week in Dec as our three children are joining us for Christmas on the 19th Dec for 10 days.
John soon had a new bathroom suite & shower installed helped by Joanne his apprentice for a day, they had fun and a good laugh before her tutor arrived to see her testing out the job in hand. What an asset she is to her dad. My life revolved around DIY shops....and running around for supplies food or paint.
We were invited by Peter & Moira to join them and friends for a fundraising event - raising money for children with Cancer & Research UK. The venue was Rendezvous Hotel in Skipton. 'Putting on the Ritz' was a very well organised event by the White Rose & Ribble Valley Ladies who raised a massive £24,000.00. It was a glamorous night, with good entertainment and dancing till late, we water gypsies had a ball at the ball...
My winning a magnum of champagne helped the night go well. We stayed with Peter & Moira in Leeds what a wonderful weekend we had.
Back to work renovating our property was hard at times as we also had a busy social life too especially all the Xmas functions and meals we had been invited to, we some how managed both work & play, though we ran out of steam some days. John very much enjoyed the banter of being back with the boys working together having a laugh and joke his face tell's all in this photo.
I enjoyed taking some photos of Amelia (my sister Jean's first granddaughter) born a few days after my mum's birthday in August. Amelia now makes a total of 48 in our immediate family ( my sister Kathleen is investigating our family tree, guess it will be a big one with much hard work collecting all the information)... birthdays are almost each week in our big family, good job I make cards to send. we have 100's of close relatives we also keep in touch with, this web site helps me keep in touch with family & friends. We had over 1900 visitors to our site in October alone.
I have made myself a much needed birthday calendar,we are away for many special occasions, the ones we do attend are all the more special.
A pleasure to see this wonderful display giant screens of animal photographs in the centre of Leeds... felt I was with the photographer on his journey, some outstanding animal photographs. This tiger is how I felt running around from shop to shop looking for paint, tiles, bathroom suites, wood, light fittings, kitchen's, carpets and xmas shopping, most of the time enjoying the chase against time.
The changing sky line in Leeds was good to see apartments and more apartments being built they just get higher. The manic roads or shops we did not enjoy now the Christmas mania has started, though we are enjoying being back in our home town again.
Our work renovating our property overlooking Roundhay Park lake is progressing well and we are viewing another house, so who knows watch this space.