Winter and Spring 2010/11 a few of our treasured moments

Renovations work took up many hours of our time, winter 2010/11 went by very quickly indeed.

David and John worked very well together this winter, it was wonderful having David's help. It was a joy to see the house take on so many changes inside and out during the winter, so pleased we are not living amongst this rubble.. inside and out. Many wall's came down, many wall's created,

John was fixed on doing the electrics himself, and as this takes a long time, the pleasure he has from learning and doing the work is very gratifying, we do some times do the lotto numbers in the hope we can get more help, but we are blessed with good friends who just turn up and offer their help too.

Tina's garden

Watching the birds during Autumn, winter is always amazing, she fill's their bellies

We spent a lot of time with Tina during the winter, both in our boat, house and up the hill at her home. We have so many magic times to remember, especially working in our garden together in Dec in tee shirts. Tina's r smile is returning, what a joy that smile is. She has experienced so much sadness over this last year, it's about time the wind blew in some happiness for her.

Aboard Blackbird fly - Montech, always welcome shared stories and meal's with friends

Jan, John, Jane and Hugh shared many a happy moment with us in Toulouse, Montech or Moissac, here we are celebrating an early Christmas gathering, captured a wonderful picture of the local kingfisher today.

Moulin Hotel, on the river Tarn - winter wonderland in Moissac

Out and about with my camera as the snow fell, capturing some really lovely photographs before the foot prints began.

Merry Christmas to all our friends and family thanks Willem for this lovely card.

We had a very good December in the port of Moissac, it was not as cold as we had thought it was going to be, but then again the fire was never switched off. Small paraffin heater kept us warm in the house, it's a wonderfully warm house, being south facing so we lucky indeed.

Early Christmas celebrations in Tina's - the snow fell especially for this day too.

We enjoyed a wonderful Christmas dinner and swapping of presents before we left for England.

Winter port Christmas lights competition, - John and I where thrilled to win first prize

The port was a wonderful picture box to photograph this year, I enjoyed all different weather conditions to practice night shots with my camera. Iain and Kaz have a new camera also - all trying to take good photographs for our showing later in the spring.

Our Winter group celebrating on one of the coldest nights.

Sixteen boats took part in the Christmas lights competition, much fun was had by all who made the effort. The Mayor presented the prizes, I think it was the snowman that helped us win first prize, a gift which was made by Iain and Kaz for the Moet. I think their boat was the best dressed, but sadly they could not take part. John and I drove home in some of the worse conditions France had know, the snow was incredible, we made the last ferry before all traffic and boats were stopped in. We made our journey just in time to be with family.

Mum and I opening our presents together, nice to find her on such a good day.

Mum experienced only some good days, she was very poorly this winter, being admitted to hospital again for many week's, a very scary time for all the family, I flew home many times to be with mum and the family.

Happily mum is back in the nursing home, her health returning slowly ( an improvement), sadly mum will never be in good health again. What a wonderful Christmas gift she gave to us all thanks mum xx Love you all the World.

We also had time to put a house we own in Leeds (one we have rented out for a long time), up for sale on our return. Our friend Phil helped us spruce her up, so a very busy time too, when we had visited John's family not much time for friends again, always same never enough time in the year.

Brother's and sisters all meet up on Christmas Eve in West Derby, Liverpool.

John and I met up with my family on Christmas eve, my 3 brother's, my 3 sisters, (sorry kathy you were not here too) and their partners also some of my nieces and nephews where in Liverpool for this event, we all swapped cards and presents, it was wonderful to be here sharing this day.

Christmas day was in front of the fire in Manchester with our family and their pets.

Michael and John's first Christmas in their new home, sharing this Christmas with us also was eldest daughter Teresa and partner Jo, special times with John's family too. We are very lucky parents indeed to have our family around, sadly daughter Louise and Allan were only with us in spirit, they enjoyed Christmas in Canada with Allan's family, next year who knows all our family in Moissac!

Cheshire canal's looked breath taking in the ice.

We thought we had come to Canada for Christmas not England, the weather over the holiday's was so very cold, especially on Boxing day, even all the tree's froze here. This photograph would have been breath taking if taken day before, sadly I had no camera, son Mike went back to this bridge following day, as we were back in Manchester. Thanks x

We spent Boxing day with Michael's in-law's, later in the evening we surprised my Auntie Pat and Terry, in Macclesfield. I experienced frozen fingers on our journey to Pat's just going from house to car so cold.

Happy New Year - A special New Year's eve party - in sister Kathy's house, South Wales

We had lots of fun in Dinas Powys with my family all ways up for having fun.

Fancy dress - sister Kathy's New Year's eve party with family, we all entered into the spirit of the evening, finishing off the night with chinese lanterns in the garden, sending up our wishes for the coming New Year - Happy New Year everyone.

January and Feb John and I spent a couple of busy months in the house working very hard, with the help of David too.

Moissac Port in January just as the canal started to freeze, I captured this photograph as the sun came up - ice did not last long on the canal, gone by the afternoon.

Moissac port in January - cold but nice blue skies

John's birthday celebrations were all held in our house with a party and some special meal's.

Rosie, David Polly and Eric worked hard to help me have this room ready and presentable for our friends arrival, all staying over in Moissac. It was certainly catch up time for us all, we are all wintering in different ports this year. We drank many bottles of wine and beer (me water - honest!) were drunk during this 7 day event, as we were also celebrating Beate's 50th birthday so it made it all the more special for us all to be together this month..

Oil painting by Rosie of the Moet Chandon in Moissac, my present to John for the house.

Rosey presented us with this wonderful painting of the Moet, canvas was still wet, but she finished it just in time for John's birthday. He so enjoyed, especially celebrating with all our friends.

Most of all John is happy putting all his talents (so many) and his idea's into renovating our house in Moissac, for us and our family and friends to enjoy holidays in. Working together during this winter has been a great experience - some times the odd word or two, mostly when we get over tired, but on the whole we whistle as we work.

Painting gatherings at Tina's - painting around the fire was always a pleasure.

March floods on the river Tarn in Moissac

The river Tarn rose very quickly over night, after lots of rain fall in the hill's, the river covered the moorings, also the electric stands were totally under water - The River Tarn is famous for its brutal floodings and loss of life and for the devastation the flooding caused this area, this river is the most dangerous in Europe along with the Danube River. The flooding of March 1930 saw the Tarn rise more than 17 metres (56 ft) above its normal level in Montauban in just 24 hours. Could it happen again? We just bought a house here!

Spring is back

Arriving back in the port of Moissac - enjoyed a wonderful full day cruising with Iain and Kaz

We helped Kaz and Iain take their boat Orca to Castelsarrasin to have their boat lifted out for painting and plating work, they worked very hard, and have put in new windows also. They are now looking for a bigger and newer boat, very soon Orca may be up for sale - are you looking for a new boat?

We lend a hand to also bring bateau 'Alceon' back into Moissac crewing for Iain and Kaz. We did enjoy some fantastic weather for cruising this spring, just not enough of the latter.

Moissac Port - aboard bateau Alceon

We cruised today from Castelsarrasin. So nice to blow the cob webs all away, and breath fresh air and not house dust and rubble, we had a picnic on board, good to catch up and time to chat. John's not had much time for cycling sadly, but he hopes in the summer he will, keeping fit with all the work in house, he had his electricians hat on this week.

Canal Garonne canal opens early - boats are on the move again,

We love the time when the weather changes, the ducks are born, and everyone is out cleaning or painting their boats, everyone is getting ready for the season ahead, the tree's are budding and green is all around again.

A very special birthday with Tina

Tina painted some pots and planted some herbs for my birthday, what a treasured gift to receive, she also baked this special cake, and made a meal with all my favourite goodies. Bless ya

Lots of flowers and cards delivered to boat - I just felt so special indeed this month.

Fish Chips, lots of friends, lanterns, flowers and treasured birthday moments. Health and happiness wishes are sent off in the skies from the port in Moissac at the end of my birthday, what a fab month March was. I thank all my family and friends for this day and all special gifts too.

Willem and his photoshop painting of me and son Mike, great having family here for my birthday

We had a wonderful week together with the boys, visiting new place. Loved showing them the house.

Mike took some great photographs as always, and they helped with all the food for our guests the day of the party.

Mike is doing well this year with his wedding photography bookings - do you need a photographer? - Mike Plunkett photography

Iain and Kaz made me not one but two birthday cakes to go around all the visitors we had.

Many friends and neighbours turned up especially loved son Michael and partner John helping me celebrated my birthday and the end of season party in the port of Moissac, the English fish and chip van which came, everyone enjoying a fab supper.

Fish and Chip Van in Moissac

The fish and chip van will now call into Moissac outside office in the port on the 1st Monday of the month, the Mayor joined in the first Monday too.

Cod-en-Bleu Fish and Chips - Traditional Fish and Chips, in the Tarn et Garonne and the Lot. Cod and Chips, Pukka Pies, Battered Sausages, Scampi, Battered Haggis and Battered Black Pudding are all available from any of our venues.

Special birthday lunch out with our friends from Carcassonne

Breakfast for us all in our house, then Pont Napoleon's restaurant for a birthday lunch, with our friends who had traveled a long way to be with us this week - Mike and Jane, (Drumsara) Fiona, Earl and Harry, (Colibri), Clive and Di, (Harvink) son Mike and John, and my John (bless him he works so hard). We then enjoyed drinks later in afternoon in Moissac square, so the boys could watch match (girls just caught up on gossip). Then John I, Mike and John went onto dinner at Maria and Howell's another very late night with drinks later on Moet.

Le Pont Napoléon - Hôtel, Restaurant, Traiteur et Cours de cuisine on the Tarn River bank in Moissac.

Dinner at Maria and Howell's with Nick and John also

Maria, Howell, have just arrived back home after a winter away from Moissac, they invited us over for dinner, (all our waists expanded to day with so many meals out). It is so nice to have Maria and Howell back again, I look forward to spending time with them this summer, and shopping for the house too.

We are all very excited Moissac has been awarded fund's from UNESCO (I think) to spend on the town especially around the Abbey, we look forward to hearing news on forth coming work and seeing the town given a boost with these funds.

March our Picnic cruise on the Canal-de-Garonne aboard Tara with Tina and Tony

A spring picnic cruise for the four of us, Captain John was testing out Tina's boat Tara, she had not cruised the canal's for some time, so Tina felt blowing the cobs webs away felt so good especially sharing it with Tony.

Tara with her big engine's cruised well indeed, just a little hick, which captain John put right. Tina and Tony are looking forward to spending more time cruising this summer on Tara and the Moet, we have promised them a gathering on the Tarn on Moet.

Moissac bridge, river Tarn priceless sunsets - a joy to photograph this part of the world.

The boaters all decided on a photographic showing of our best winter prints and painting, so everyone was out and about with their camera's. Not sure when this showing will happen, but flying back and forth to England has held up this showing will happen perhaps before the year is out. Painting time continue on Tues at Tina's.

Moissac town in the spring - flowers were planted on every corner in Feb and March

We even had our first daffodil bulbs bloom amongst the rubble in our garden.

Fresh flowers bought a wonderful aroma around the town - this put a spring in everyone's step.

Moissac flower showing throughout the spring was wonderful, I look forward to their summer showing.

Bathroom in the loft is now completed wow what a day that was, time off for hard work done.

House renovations going well, with lots of time off when visitors arrive.

I have added (with lots help from Willem) a photo album to our web site ( albums ), so we can all enjoy our progress, any tips happily received.

House renovations, mean not much cruising and not a lot of time for web site, so hopefully you will understand when lots of delays.

Happy Spring to all our family and friends, I will add more photo's and stories when time allows.