December 2004 Christmas New Year

Saint Jean de Losne

Arrived back from Canada yesterday 3rd December after a really good trip, had a wonderful time... rested well on our return, time out to recover from the journey. Much going on all through December for boaters and the community. This will be our first Xmas without family and we are a little apprehensive as to what to expect. St Nicholas parade in the village was wonderful, all the children were so excited and all dressed up and enjoying every moment. St Nicholas arriving by boat. Then a candle light walk through the town with all the children. It was a delight to see their faces as they awaited the arrival of the boat, and waiting to begin the parade seen here.

Saint Nicolas

We where all getting ready for the Xmas decorations & best dressed competition for boats. The boats in the marina looked wonderful all dressed up with lights, and very festive too. Pam & David won second prize well done too. Can you see our small effort, tree on bow.

Frozen marina

December brought more oil slicks to the marina... we were all very concerned, especially the effect on the wild life. Help was brought in to clean up the marina. Here are some of the men with the big task of picking up the oil. They worked very hard too, it was a slow process, always with a smile.

13th December Fly home to Leeds/Liverpool

We decided last minute we wanted to go home for week... not an easy task last minute, took us longer to get back to England, than fly to Canada. Thankfully we managed it with the help of family and friends.

We totally surprised my mum by knocking on her door and saying happy Christmas mum. We then drove to Leeds, where Michael was waiting with one of his home cooked meal.

It was wonderful to see Michael, (seen here on his boat in Leeds Armouries moored outside our apartment).

Mike played us his new songs, one of which he wrote special for me, I was very moved. We felt much better for seeing and having time together as a family.

The welcome home, Xmas cards, presents and flowers which were all so un expected, brought tears to our eyes, it was so nice to see all our family and spend time with them all, yes we had another early Xmas. Our apartment in Leeds was empty which was very lucky for us indeed. Michael had got the apartment spruced and ready and filled the fridge with all our fav things, so we stayed there and had a party which was arranged spur of the moment.

We spent time with Teresa and Jo in Manchester, we had a great curry as usual, we miss our curry's in France, enjoyed breakfast in bed too before Tree and Jo left for work, we felt so looked after from our children, what a change and a pleasure to be waited on. Tree and Jo will be coming to France in the summer, hopefully when we are in Paris.

We had time in Liverpool with all my family, also attended a 21st birthday party at brother Frank's house, Frank seen here with son's Francis, John (his birthday too) and wife Denise.

We wanted to see everyone, that was impossible, just not enough time. Sorry if we missed seeing you, won't next time.

Our apartment filled with love. Thank you to you all,for a wonderful welcome home and for dropping every thing to come and see us last minute. One of the views from our apartment in Royal Armouries Leeds as a boat leaves Leeds Lock.

We met David and Pam in the canal basin (not seen in this photo but it's to the right) 18 months ago, when we where moored side by side, now we are together in Saint Jean de Losne, next boat but one, great neighbours too.

Gosh we have done some traveling in this last week, and some very late nights indeed... Need to go back to France for a rest. Arrived back in Paris airport, exhausted and I felt ill, my throat and chest felt dreadful... and I was so tearful, hard leaving family again. I was not looking forward to Xmas without family, never been on our own in 32 years so a new experience. Having rested a day we then went to the Marina's excellent Xmas party, were we all took a cooked dish along and had a wonderful time, many prizes to be won, of which John and I won two. Most tables won something which was so nice. Everyone worked hard to make the night special, especially Captain Bob and Peggy.

One of our prize's

I realized the next day I needed more than rest,I had to visit the doctor. We had no problem getting an appointment, (Our first experience of needing medical attention in France) The surgery was only a short walk from the boat, the doctor had a little English and John managed to tell him in French what the problem was, he had lots of time for us and thoroughly examined me, I had a trachea infection (very painful windpipe), and a chest infection, I coughed till I cried. A weeks rest at least, doctors orders. A carry bag of medication to take home from the chemist too. So off I went to rest. Then low and behold two days before Xmas John started, off to the doctors again, he was ordered to rest. Well we had to take doctors orders. Rest we did, everyone was there should we need help,via VHF at any time, lots of people popped in to visit.

Xmas and New Year

We had a magical Xmas day on our own and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves too in spite of being off colour, we had lots of gift's to open from family and friends and it all helped make the day special. John & I cooked a wonderful Xmas dinner. We watched TV we read we slept and we had a nice week just the two of us, it took being ill to slow down, and just enjoy. By New year we were ready to invite friends around so we did, we had a party New Years eve on the Moet... can't keep us down for long.

Fun and lot's of Champagne to bring in 2005 Happy sailing everyone.

John, Pat, Pam, Paul, Carol and Judy, I think I was singing!!!

Friends at our New Years eve bash... Havlock's fun masks they changed everyone's face.