Time out

So we left Avalon on Sunday chock full of stuff including our tender which we’ve decided will never be used.  On the way to Calais we stopped off to see Graham and Jill (Matilda Rose) in Jussy which was a barren little town. We had lots of laughs and Herbie wandered into some mud so got a quick al fresco shower …

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Ho hum.

Jill cooked us a lovely dinner albeit a little dry … eh Jill?! It was fab catching up with them again.

We stopped off at Amiens so I could do some retail therapy … you know how it is.  I spied an inland beach in the town centre with umbrellas over it …

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Just in time for the incoming downpour!

One pair of shoes, one sweater, a jacket and a scarf later and we headed off to Calais. Stopping overnight at Le Touquet for a night.  

The lorries are still being stacked as you can see …

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And some new fencing has been installed to prevent refugees reaching the port …

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There were no refugees in sight so the barriers must be working.

Now I am sitting at Dover with a tummy full of Kentucky Fried Chicken and rose wine and the boys are exhausted by the travelling. ..

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Tomorrow is home time!

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Return to Portheirry

With a little sadness it was time to leave Paris.  Herbie said his farewells to Monty by chasing up and down the pathway frantically … I am sure they will miss each other for a while.  Once out on the Seine and with a breeze blowing it was like I could breathe again and I realised that despite Paris having the excitement and the sights, it also had noise – lots of it.  Sirens sounding at all hours, the Metro just above us, people sitting on the wall chatting … noise.  It was wonderful just to have the sound of the engine chugging along and nothing else.

I couldn’t live full time in a city.

I forgot to mention that we bumped into the lovely Oliver in Paris plus Peter and Lucy who we met in Belgium last year. It’s lovely to bump into familiar faces and catch up.

We moored up for the night where we did before (still no idea where that is) with two commercial barges for company and the dogs took their first sniff of real grass for a few weeks.  Then yesterday (Thursday) we tied up in Porthierry with a warm welcome from David whose head popped up as soon as we entered the marina.

After a long much – needed walk in the woods David treated us to a delicious dinner at a restaurant he knew.  The lamb was incredible.  Today was spent (after a very decent lie in) visiting the bank and SFR to update our online banking and wifi connection stuff.  All pretty tedious until I found a patisserie that sold extra large doughnuts!

Tomorrow will be spent doing boat work … that is, getting everything ship shape for us to leave for the UK.

Until mid August!

A bit of a treat

Last night we treated ourselves to a delicious dinner at a restaurant recommended by Peter from Gillian B.  It was only around 500 metres away so I braved it in high heels for once. 

What a great evening we had at Bofingers! It was nearly as good as Maxim’s for about one quarter of the price.  Kevin started off with the highly recommended onion soup while I chose a delicious crab and avocado salad.  For main Kevin chose the lamb while I had my favourite …

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Lobster which was flambéd in whiskey.  It was delicious.

For dessert Kevin chose a trio of samples while I asked the waiter for a translation and was presented with a huge choux bun filled with nutty cream.  While delicious, it took alot of hard work to get through!

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The interior was a close second to Maxim’s.

Time with friends

This weekend we had the pleasure of our dear friends Claire and Colin coming over from England to spend a few days with us.  We decided to take them on a little cruise under Paris which was a lot of fun – with a lot of locks!

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A bit spooky in places.

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We came back then went for a quick jaunt down the Seine past the Eiffel Tower And past the Statue of Liberty  (the original).

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The river side was full of people enjoying themselves.  Groups were dancing and everyone was having a great time.

We also took out guests to the wonderful Bastille Sunday market which is huge and sells pretty much anything.

A great weekend!

The Louvre

We’ve just got back from visiting The Louvre.  A bit exciting at the Metro when I got squished by the doors … not doing that again!  Anyhow there was no queuing as we pre bought our tickets so in we went and here are the photos …

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Venus Milo.  You are allowed pretty close surprisingly and she is beautiful.  

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A rather tasty torso.

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I thought this was cute.

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Mona Lisa.  You can’t get that close so are unable to appreciate her really.  Basically you push through a throng of Japanese and meet a barrier so far away that it may as well be a print but at least you can say you’ve seen it!

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Thoroughly enjoyable.

More gravestones and a surprise on the Metro

Today has been very, very hot.  Even so we decided to brave the heat and go out.  We ended up at the pet cemetery which is the first of its kind. It is pretty enormous and filled with interesting tombs.

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I had to share this picture … a little monkey who was obviously loved but probably didn’t have the life he should have had.

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A cat who seemed right at home amongst the gravestones.

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Some were quite wacky!

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This one had a bed!

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This one’s owner was determined not to let the weather ruin it.

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Here’s one where the dog definitely deserved recognition. He saved 40 people’s lives.

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This is Rintintin’s grave.

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For some reason this one was totally alone, far away from all the others.  Who knows why?

Alot of the stones were fairly recent but there were a few old ones.  I found it really fascinating that people wanted to spend so much money on their pets.

On the way back we had a nice surprise on the Metro.

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I like the buskers when they have a talent!

More gravestones and a surprise on the Metro

Today has been very, very hot.  Even so we decided to brave the heat and go out.  We ended up at the pet cemetery which is the first of its kind. It is pretty enormous and filled with interesting tombs.

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I had to share this picture … a little monkey who was obviously loved but probably didn’t have the life he should have had.

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A cat who seemed right at home amongst the gravestones.

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Some were quite wacky!

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This one had a bed!

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This one’s owner was determined not to let the weather ruin it.

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Here’s one where the dog definitely deserved recognition. He saved 40 people’s lives.

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This is Rintintin’s grave.

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For some reason this one was totally alone, far away from all the others.  Who knows why?

Alot of the stones were fairly recent but there were a few old ones.  I found it really fascinating that people wanted to spend so much money on their pets.

On the way back we had a nice surprise on the Metro.

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I like the buskers when they have a talent!

Paris by night

Yesterday was a lazy day for me.  I caught up on chores and studying while Kevin went to see the sewers (why? I have no idea!)

We decided to have a barbecue later because David from Porthierry was coming to visit and Peter from Gillian B was at a loose end so we trundled down to Carrefore and stocked up.  Word had got about the marina that there was a firework display at the Eiffel Tower last night so plans were changed and once David had arrived we untied and set off.

The riverbank was covered in people all celebrating Bastille Day and the river itself was bouncy as the floatilla from the marina headed forward, joining all the trip boats and floating restaurants.

Nearing the tower the moored boats were 3-4 deep and we hovered about, a bit unsure where to moor when we were invited up alongside some very jolly boats,  lots of music and singing in the air!

Once moored we set up the barbecue and Peter was in charge of the meat while I sorted the rest and then the fireworks began … All 35 minutes of them!

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It was amazing!

After eating our barbecue we made our way back and I have to say seeing Paris at night from the river is wonderful.  We got back, all of us tired but happy bunnies.

Gravestones and celebrations

A couple of days ago we went to the Sacre Coeur as we’d heard is was a lovely place to sit and people watch.  On the very very busy Metro there my arm was crushed to the point of pain and then I realised that someone was attempting to steal my watch! I shouted out and snatched my arm away non the worse for wear but it did shake me up. I had become a little blasé about the Metro so it was a real wake up call.

Anyway, once we managed to struggle through the crowds and tacky souvenir shops we reached the church which was, I have to admit, pretty impressive …

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But I was disappointed to see Romanian beggars in the doorways.  Sadly no photography was allowed inside but it was beautiful.

Yesterday was surprisingly fun. We decided to head off to the famous cemetery where Chopin is buried (I can’t remember what it’s called! ).

I love French cemeteries and this one had some outstanding examples of grandiose. 

Oscar Wilde of course trumped the lot with his fabulous art deco monument.

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Sadly his popularity meant that there was plenty of graffiti albeit meant in adoration.

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Edith Piaf’s grave was surprisingly modest.

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But Chopin’s was very attractive.

It is a huge cemetery and we’ll worth a visit in my opinion.

Afterwards we decided to continue on to the Champs Elysee for a bit of shopping.  It was manic but we had a bonus treat of a very grand procession to witness.

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This all being part of the Bastille celebrations.

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We also spotted the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition but alas I couldn’t drag Kevin inside!

So, today is Bastille day and seeing as that’s where we’ve moored we headed up to the monument to see what was going on.  After all the low flying aeroplanes of this morning there were great expectations.  Sadly only a few fire engines and a couple of army trucks were spared  . .. The rest being on the Champs Elysee.   But I did see a great punk!

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Another world

My goodness I feel like I’ve stepped into another world these past few days.  Thursday we ventured out on the Metro (very hot and crowded) to Galleries  Lafayette which is my favourite store.  It’s kind of like a French Harrods.  Kevin surprised me by taking me into a certain department and buying me a certain handbag I’ve wanted for years … I’m saying no more but here’s the wrapping.

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Yesterday was time for another treat.  I have always wanted to eat at Maxim’s restaurant and I finally went and did it! It certainly lived up to its reputation and the food was mouth-wateringly delicious.  There was a pianist playing 1940s music to add to the atmosphere. 

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It was also a good excuse to get dressed up for once!

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Here is one of the mirrors in the restaurant.  All the decor is original art nouveau and absolutely amazing.

Herbie’s been having a battle holding onto his toys recently.   Monty the spaniel from the next boat, Gillian B, has become a regular visitor.  He’s a dear little chap but he does have a tendency for sneaking off with Mr Rattie or Mr Turtle  …

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Caught red pawed!!

Teddy just watches in amusement.