March 2007 Renovating our house

Army 40th Bowling competition, Leeds - Nephew Paul's team.

We had a family gathering - lunch at our house in Leeds, before meeting up with nephew Paul and his team at the town centre bowling alley, Paul's team drove over from Germany for this three day event.

My sister Marie, Paul's mum, my brother Philip & family arrived from Liverpool. We all had a good time catching up. I also booked this bowling venue for my birthday.

Marie stayed over with us in Leeds for a few days enjoying much shopping together, and catching up we always have fun together, Marie enjoyed seeing the renovation work we have done over the winter.

Renovation on Stanks House is coming along very well.

Vaughn did a wonderful job with all our tiling over the winter - bathrooms, wc room, and kitchen, we shopped together for the kitchen tiles - I managed to get a wonderful deal, on some kitchen stone tiles for Stank's house, Vaughn ordered stone floor tiles, for a very big job he was doing later in the month, all at cost- it's an amazing place just out of Leeds that supplies hotels.

Painting - different from this time last year, when I was painting for fun in South West France.

We were thrilled with the way the house was taking shape, though it was hard work at times for us both. I did get very tired on occasions, as I was not sleeping well, we had too much on this month.

The staff of our local BBQ thought I was part of the team - I spent so much time looking for supplies - often in my orange jacket, nothing was ever too much trouble, I presented the most helpful staff with chocolates and deserved a big thank you.

BBQ staff on York Road, Leeds - good team here.

John worked away for a few days in Elsmere Port, though he had so much on at home trying to get Stank's finished. Family & friends in Leeds and Liverpool all needed his help, i.e. boilers, radiators, plumbing, all breaking down at the same time. It was a really busy time for John - dreaming of France.

We enjoyed catching up with our friends and family, and taking time out to call for coffee, dinner or just a drink. We did miss out on seeing some friends due to time and commitments.

Special Anniversary - Dinner in Liverpool

We spent a great deal of time this month traveling the M62 across the Pennies either traveling to & from Leeds, Manchester or Liverpool - visiting son Michael, and daughter Teresa (who is so camera shy - it is why she hardly appears on the web site, she hides from my camera).

Anniversary celebrations for Sharon & Tommy, they cooked a very special meal for us & sister Marie - great wine, good company, some wonderful memories of their wedding day - also they were telling us more tales about their adventures of the River Mersey aboard "Charisma" their sailing boat, moored near the Albert Dock in Liverpool, they may be looking for a canal & river boat, so John & I will enjoy looking around for them on our travels.

Centre of Manchester

Narrow boats in canal basin, we enjoyed some really good weather.

We always try to visit the canal or water for a walk, it helps us unwind.... being water gypsies, we can't seem to stay away from water for long. Back home in Leeds it was time for more celebrations - so many this month.

A champagne breakfast in Leeds a wonderful start for a special mothers day & my birthday.

I enjoyed lots of wonderful surprises all week thank you all so very much, especially all the lovely cards, many hand made - one of my many surprise's was daughter Louise in Canada had a special delivery of Roses sent in a pink hat box - my roses arrived at 8am on Mothering Sunday, Daughter Teresa & Michael arrived with special gifts too - being home to celebrated was special. Louise herself had just celebrated her birthday in Canada. We have many family birthdays in March.

Ten pin bowling was a supper way to celebrate

John's mum is an excellent bowler.

The Leeds bowling party I arranged when Paul was over turned out to be a great success - especially with the younger members of the bowling team, it was a good way of celebrating together, especially since my birthday fell on mothers day, we all had such a good laugh and it was a little different, a grand day from start to finish.

Hanging up my painting clothes for now - after adding the finishing touches to the new kitchen.

I had a planned operation to release a trapped nerve in my right hand on 20th March - I had been suffering from "carpel tunnel syndrome" keeping me awake at night - I was also losing the feeling in my right hand. My operation was a success. I was pleased to have the operation over and done with - no work for at least two weeks, till all the stitches are out and my hand is healed. Hand is well strapped up, incase I should forget... I could not find John's chef's hat, John says he has forgotten how to cook and not to hold my breath!

Welcome back to France - nice to be back in Carcassonne again.

We traveled back to France and Jan was at the airport to greet us, we later enjoyed dinner with her & John on blackbirdfly - we had to be back to move our boat from the port - Hotel boat convention weekend, held in the port - meant we all had to move our boats out of the port and into the canal for a few days, since the Mayor had doubled booked the port... the Port needed to accommodate 11 of the 13 hotel boats attending.

Earl (Barge Colibri) held a BBQ for us all then the following morning with many hangovers we moved out of the port. A few days celebrating more birthdays.

With hand bandaged I still managed to cook dinner for 9 people - we all had a merry time it was good to be back, though weather was wonderful one day, then freezing the next. Eviction Party BBQ held by Earl on Hotel Barge Colibri - enjoyed a great evening together again.

The end of March came very quickly indeed, two boats Argo & Harvink (below middle picture) started the season early and headed off. It was nice to see everyone getting jobs done and preparing the boats for cruising. Sheila was getting her self fit again after her hip operation, and has now bought a new cycle, she is doing very well.

Boats on the move from the port one lock down onto the canal - it's like moving home.

I felt very frustrated being a one handed crew member, though my hand was healing very well. I organised a day out for everyone away from the port - train & coach journey to my favourite Spa village up in the mountains. We had a wonderful day out all 14 of us we enjoyed tasting the new Limoux wine of the season and enjoyed all the festival had to offer, though it was a very cold day, so unlike last years festival, held in April.

Alet-Les-Bains - Toques et Clochers wine festival 31st March fitting end to the month

Alet-les-Bains 30k from Carcassonne is situated at the entrance of the upper valley of the Aude, it offers a historic and architectural heritage, set in superb surroundings and it usually benefits from a warm and relaxing "micro climate", except for today. A wonderful house for sale here, we looked at it last year, but it's too expensive, what a shame, and it's still up for sale.

The Abbey of Alet les Bains built during the 1X century is a testimony to the splendour and importance of it's Bishops. the hamlet of Saint Salvayre, is 6km above Alet, and has unique panorama of the Pyrenees and the Corbieres.

Our stranded group - no trains after 6pm IRENE they all shouted...

Op's I nearly had everyone stranded in Limoux.

LAST TRAIN - No it was a bus "said so on ticket" the French often put on a bus instead of a train. I miss understood what I was being told when buying everyone's tickets, thankfully the bus was a little late. It was thanks to Beate who noticed we needed a bus, thankfully it stopped the other side of this shelter, we thoroughly enjoyed the bus ride back through the country side singing our heads off, we made it in time for a Pizza in the Port to finish the month off.