December 2006 Christmas New Year

Michael's move from Leeds to Manchester...

Happy to have his parents home to help with moving out of Conway Drive, into his new apartment in the centre of Manchester... Michael is starting a new job at key 103 radio station (3 minutes bed to his work desk, what planning).

We hire a van and soon have it stacked full of Mikes furniture. It was a good move with help from sister Teresa we all enjoyed helping... we had unpacked and finished by late afternoon. A well earned meal out in the centre of Manchester was enjoyed and deserved by us all what team work. We now have two children living and working in Manchester... He is now settled & happy.

Roundhay Park - My favourite place in the world.

It was soon back to work for us in Leeds, we now have two properties we are renovating and sprucing up. We needed to finish off sprucing our property in Roundhay Park as we have new tenants moving in. All went well - old tenants out, the new tenants soon settled ready for Xmas.

One day we will move into this property our selves when the time is right. We do enjoy renovating property and seeing the rewards from our hard work over the years... it helps fund our early retirement and our cruising in France. We are in fact living the dream we are being told, we feel lucky indeed as I keep saying.

Sisters Sharon, Kathy Marie, Jean, Mum and myself in Liverpool.

I spent a few wonderful days with my family, all making a fuss of me. The Xmas celebrations and many invitations keep coming. Enjoyed a wonderful early Xmas dinner at sister Sharon's house in Liverpool enjoying time with my three sisters and mum. Sharon worked so hard to make this day very special for us all, a merry time was had.

John telephoned and said "Irene I think I have found the house we would like to buy for our next project". John booked for a second viewing for when I got home. Needless to say it was just the right house for us and without hesitation... we put in our offer amongst others... ours was accepted and we bought the three bed semi ready for renovating in the new year, we are so excited.

Sold - Our new project for Jan & Feb 2007

We bought this house from our friend Mick who was selling on behalf of his family. We have been given the keys (since we are friends) and are just awaiting for exchange of contracts in a few weeks time.

We will start renovation work on our return from France early Jan. We can't help picking the kitchen and spending time on our idea's for renovating and up dating this lovely property which belonged to Mick's mum since it was built around 1950. Sadly she died and left it to the family who are selling it on to us. We have booked our electrician and a tiler for Feb so we will have to start work soon if it's to be completed and ready for them, and we wish to return to the boat middle March for our cruising season. We enjoyed many evenings out with friends and family before retuning to the boat for the Christmas holidays.

A warm sunny welcome aboard Suki the day we arrived in Carcassonne for Xmas.

We all met up in Liverpool airport on 19th Dec, daughter Louise flew in from Canada. I dare not speak of how much Ryanair charged us for excess baggage it was all the extra bags & presents we had all brought.

Renate was at the airport in Carcassonne with a big smile and welcome back, Louise & Mike got the local bus with all their luggage and guitar, we all arrived back in the port at the same time. Renate invited us all to share a wonderful goulash she had simmering away, David had the wine chilling and we all had a wonderful afternoon settling back into port life.. and catching up on all the port news.

Daughter Teresa's grand entrance into Carcassonne - I am here she shouted.

Daughter Teresa arrived on board two days later she could not finish work so early. It was good all of us back in the port again. We where invited from one boat to another for the rest of December, we had a few get together's on the Moet too ourselves, we do enjoying entertaining.

Louise complained it was colder here than Canada or England and she was right so we had to wrap up warm....xmas hats helped, and lots of hot mulled wine in the square after our walks (our car was back at home). Sheila kindly left her keys for us to use her car which helped with our big shop). We had lovely sunny days but it was very chilly in the cold wind that was around.

Xmas time with the family was so special & lots of fun too.

Xmas eve - the stockings hung by the fire full of wonderful presents from around the globe..

We had a good start to our two weeks of Xmas celebrations Christmas eve we all hung our stockings around the fire, several bottles of Moet Chandon on ice. Louise bought some special pink Moet champaign for breakfast which went down very well, hic hic...


I visited each boat with my bottle of port and wished everyone a merry xmas, it was I who was merry at the end of visiting the many boats here... but all was in hand aboard the Moet...

The turkey was cooking on the cob Bbq, Louise Teresa & Michael prepared the veg & potatoes... what a life... so many happy stories to tell and not enough room to fit all of them in. We has so many magic moments around the fire. A brisk cold walk to stop us getting too merry was in order at the end of Xmas day especially. Michael brought along his guitar and he & Louise entertained us with new songs learned.

A night aboard Hotel Barge Colibri

We all Sang David's Carcassonne song (the tune I am a lumber jack).

Fiona & Earl

Barge Colibri, have the space to kindly accommodate us all, many a party on board.

Moet & new xmas lights, present from my mum - most of the boats are looking very festive indeed.

Unfortunately we can't have everyone from the port on board the Moet together, (we might sink) but John & I managed to have everyone join us on board the Moet for Xmas food & drinks at some point in our stay over the holiday period, many a jolly night was had. We had some cold nights in the Port as Louise kept telling us, fire and central heating on full.

Mulled wine & food for us all outside Suki... A Barge cracks through the ice in the port.

We had the port freeze over once during our stay, but it did not stop this hand painted barge from passing through on his way to Toulouse.

All too soon our three children had to depart back to work for them.

When all the family are aboard we wish for more space sometimes an extra bedroom perhaps another bathroom. It's a real bonus for us that our children share the love of the Moet, fun we always have together. We also enjoyed time with Ursula, Mike and daughter Natalie before our family flew back to their own celebrations for New Year.


We were soon making preparations for New Year... A party in the port was being arranged by Sheila, but sadly at the 11th hour it was cancelled. John & I had turned down Fiona & Earl's offer off New Year with them, but they phoned again... come join us... so we did.

The Champagne & food just kept flowing in the village of Malras near Limoux.

John & I spent New Year with Fiona, Earl ( in their house) along with Di, Clive, Kathy, Danny - we all enjoyed sharing a very special New Year... John enjoyed his first taste of Oysters which slid down very well indeed, not so sure if he will eat them again. We had an afternoon walking the dogs in the hill's... we all shared in preparing the food... much time drinking, eating, playing games and chatting by the huge log fire... then a midnight walk around the village in a strange mist... then more champagne till the wee hours. An English breakfast with more champaign the following morning - cooked by Di what an end to a wonderful year!