May 2010 Sightseeing around Moissac

Abbey of Moissac (Romanesque masterpiece) listed in 1998 in UNESCO world inheritance.

I was thrilled with this photograph (son Michael captured), showing the cloister at it's best. This Benedictine Abbey of Saint-Pierre, founded at the beginning of the 7th century, began to expand after it became affiliated to Cluny (South Burgundy) in the middle of the 11th century.

This Romanesque cloister, was finished around 1100, retaining all of it's carvings of over 76 capitals. This cloister is the oldest historian cloister left. As you can imagine many visitors arrive here, though it's never too busy. No matter what time of day you come to visit you will always find something different to explore. I especially love to hear the nun's singing in the Abbey when sat having a coffee in the square, or stood outside.

Inside the Abbey - The doorway carved around 1130 A master piece from 12th century.

A very import stop on the pilgrims path to Santiago of Compostela, on the route from le Puy-en-Velay Moissac is midway, so it's an ideal place to rest body and soul here. People have time to see the Abbey, take in the timeless vision of the doorway. visit the cloister, the museum and the Romanesque art centre, then sit and enjoy the views from the square.

Two car rallies this month 21st Rally du Chasselas (grapes) + "Balade des Pains" (bread)

Balade des pains rally in Tarn-et-GaronneBalade des pains rally in Tarn-et-Garonne

Fascinating watching hundreds of cars arrive in Moissac in one day. Rally du Chasselas (is the crown jewel of grapes in this region, dating back to 1930) this rally ended down by the river Tarn. The bread Rally (Balade des pains) car's and van's rested outside the Abbey, thankfully we were having our coffee in the square - so many local bread van's on display all the cars and vans were in great conditions, John thoroughly enjoyed giving all this transport the once over, marveling at their condition.

Raising and presenting money to the local dogs home near Moissac

We visited the local dogs home which is the charity Iain and Kaz most support, they raise lots of money in the port during the year. I donated a painting for the raffle and this helped raise a little more for the fund. It was a nice feeling being with Iain and Kaz when they handed over the money, especially seeing the smiling faces of the volunteers whom all work so very hard, to maintain the health and happiness of the dogs boarded here.

Kingfisher on a boat in Moissac port with a fish he caught for supper

John was washing dishes (bless him) he shouted Irene quick bring your camera - I had little time to set up for this wonderful shot, wow a kingfisher going from one boat to another, then diving for a fish in the middle of the port, just outside the Moet I captured this photograph from inside the boat.

This was one of those lovely moments you get as the sun is going down, you are relaxing after dinner and a magic moment is upon us, and it is captured. We have never seen a Kingfisher in an open port before, this little fellow must of been very hungry indeed.

Views of both sides of Moissac Port thanks to son Mike and his new camera lens.

Capitainerie side of the port, you can see our mooring in the middle of the port.

Friends are now leaving for their summer cruising, always an exciting time seeing everyone spruce their boats, maintain the engine ready for the summer. Work in the port kept Kaz and Iain very busy, many friends are going north this year, sadly till my knee is ok we will stay put for now.

Evenings in bad weather aboard the Moet - reading time for the two John's and me computer time

Mike and Partner John flew into Carcassonne they came for a weeks stay, sadly it was the worse week's weather in a, long time. We called in to see friends Alan and Beate who were en route north with their boat, Mike John (young) and John started the holiday off well with coffee and brandies on another boat traveling with Alan and Beate, when we arrived back on the Moet they were all merry as you can see from John's face.

John (young) managed to get up early the following morning for a 10km run along the canal, he is running a half marathon when he returns home.

Mike getting out and about with his camera, I loved the tips he passed on.

Michael found an old video camera in the Moissac port's vide grenier (car boot) sale for 10 euros he's thrilled with the camera and hopes to buy some film on the internet and test out. Mike and I have always enjoyed our photography journey from his teens, especially this week we both love capturing the moment.

Mike and John's restaurant of the month was in this village of Bardigues this is on our list to return.

The small village of Bardigues which is perched high on a hill, we found Auberge de Bardigues, what a find this lovely modern (inside) restaurant is, most spectacular views from it's terrace. Our lunch above was 16 Euros including wine. We have added this restaurant to one of our gem of a restaurant and well worth a visit.

D11 is a good route for finding hidden little villages, like the ones below + gem of restaurants

Auvillar is one of our favourite villages and we could not resist in taking Mike and John to visit, we never tire of the views, or the properties. I have mentioned this village many times in the past. I think John and Cheryl, from Canada live here in the summer they will be back shortly, we hope to catch up with them soon.

Tina, myself, Maria and Pauline we had a ball this month, Mike captured this photograph for us.

We enjoyed great car trips out, especially when discovering a new treasure site, we have not visited before. Some relaxing time on board also thanks to the weather. A big thank you too to all our friends Tina and Howell and Maria for lots of social evenings and days out this month.

I went shopping for a wedding outfit with Tina and Maria, we enjoyed a day out in the town of Agen. Sadly I did not find what I wanted. I went internet shopping in peace, no knee pain. I had the dress delivered to Mikes office in Manchester and he brought my outfit with him on the plane, wow it was made for me, I was so lucky. I Love internet shopping now.

Mike and John holidaying in the South of France - need more sun they shouted.

We celebrated an early birthday for John at Tina's - they enjoyed meeting some of our friends and sampling our life on the boat once again, we are so happy when this can be shared. All too soon we were driving them back to Carcassonne for their flight home. It was time for us to rest up for a day or two, but this was not meant to be.

Vent du Nuit cruise's into Moissac into the port then out on to the river Tarn.

The Mayor of Moissac looked relaxed and all his guests aboard, enjoyed this special day in the sunshine, it was not too hot for the crowds following the boat to the river Tarn. A real fun weekend, flowers were laid on the river for those who lost their lives at sea.

Fireworks on the Tarn river were spectacular - we had the best views from Tom's boat Easyvie

Tom invited John and I and our friends to join him and his friends on the river for the late evening firework display. The PentecĂ´te festival was a huge success with some wonderful weather for the weekend's celebrations.

I stood quietly with friends watching the fireworks in their splendour. I could not help feeling sadness at this time. Iain, Kaz, Tina, Maria and Howell were especially great support for us through a difficult time.

Sad news, my uncle Ernie has died, more sad news come's in everyday over the next two weeks.

My dearly beloved uncle (my dad's brother) Ernie was a big part of all our lives, he died today, our love and support go to his wife Theresa and all his children, sadly I could not make his funeral in Cornwall as I was ill at the time. My uncle Richard has had a stoke, thankfully he is on the mend with much help from his family.

John's mum, and younger brother have just been diagnosed with cancer, Kevin (57) with throat cancer, and his mum Olive (81) has been diagnosed with bowl cancer. I was also waiting for some tests + a liver scan, fearing the worse. I could not tell our family how difficult life was for us right now. John and I booked a flight home between my tests, our flight was cancelled last minute due to the Ash cloud, this was effecting so many people, heartbreaking news. We re-booked our flight again a few days later and managed to visit Kevin and John's mum, how cruel life can be. We visited my mum then visited my sister Marie, who has had a fire in her flat this week, she is also recovering from breast cancer, thankfully smoke damage to her home

We stayed in Manchester with Mike and John and had our eldest daughter and her partner Jo for support. It was lovely to see Mike and John's new home for the first time, we now have our own suite - dad can you just fix this leak, brought light relief to a sad time.

Mike captures a Sunset in the village of Bardou.

I wanted to split myself into a million pieces to help everyone, I did not have the energy in my body for myself, with all the traveling we had to do. Returning to France after our visit to England, I continued my own tests + my liver scan, (I thought I had liver cancer). I have good news my doctor said "you can go to your daughters wedding", it's not cancer, a fattie liver is the problem, we will deal with this on your return. John and I shed a million tears in a two week period, waiting for my and family tests results, waiting was hard to bear, so much grief surrounding us.

I was lucky I had the most wonderful GP and consultant (GP visited me on the boat), he rushed all my tests through in the hope I will be ok to fly to Canada. I imagined not being at my daughters wedding, heartbreaking is an understatement. First of all I had another wedding to attend.


I pronounce you man and wife, Claire and Richard's wedding in Leeds - so much happiness today.

Michael was the official photographer for Claire and Richards wedding here in Leeds, Mike asked me to be his spare camera and come along for support, I was more than happy. His first professional wedding, I enjoyed snapping away, sadly the rain never stopped on the day. Michael captured lots of stunning photographs.

I leave for Canada in a few days time - our daughter Louise is marrying Allan on Algonquin Island, Toronto. I am so excited I can't wait. I want to feel healthy for the wedding, we are also going on their Honeymoon.