Well I guess it was all going far too well

We have spent several days in Migennes for many reasons.  Firstly the weather has been dreadful. Secondly and more importantly to get the dogs approved to go home.

So we wait at the vets with Herbie going bananas at all the C.A.T.S and are finally seen to be told that their rabies jabs were out of date.  “No problem we said, just do them now please”.  Which is exactly what she did before telling us that we couldn’t take the boys home for 21 days.  We both gasped.  How were we going to go home to Kevin’s brothers wedding?

It’s our own fault.  Neither of us had checked the dates of the vaccinations both believing that there was another year to go.

We shared our sorrows with Marion and Charles on Moondance and sunk a few to ease our stupidness.  Peter joined us which was a nice surprise.

Next day we moped about a bit and started making plans to stay another 3 weeks when we got a phone call from our saviours … Graham and Jill.  They are taking the boys for a few days while we go back for a whistle stop visit.  I can’t tell you how grateful we both are!

We decided to get Teddy checked over as he’s been seeming very frail and has been panting alot more than usual.  The vet gave him an ecg and told us his heart isn’t very good.  Well, he is 13.  He’s now on diuretics and heart medication and boy can we see the difference!  My lethargic old man has a spring in his step and the panting has almost all gone!  The only drawback is that he needs to ‘visit the gents’ a little more often.  Who cares, he’s worth it!

While in Migennes we met a lovely couple, I’m sorry but I can’t remember their names or the boat they have … but I do remember that their lively dog is called Louis.

Isn’t he a smasher?!

image

While shopping in the local Atak supermarket I spied something unusual …

image

I haven’t seen this for a while!  I remember it being withdrawn because it was turning kids skin orange!  I have to say it didn’t glow in quite the same way!

I have just washed the boat from top to bottom.  Why? I hear you ask.  In Migennes the chalky composition of the earth is a nightmare and coupled with the rain it has been trodden and splashed everywhere!

Now we have moved on to Brienon where Kevin has already had an argument with someone who told us where we couldn’t moor but now we are opposite the Marina wild mooring on a lovely canel bank where the dogs are safe and it’s easy for them to jump off. 

Here’s some pics of Teddy to show how well he looks.

image

image

Advertisements

Choppy waters and a big ‘un

We needed to stay in Sens due to the rapid running of the river and very nice it was too. 

However, we lifted the anchor after 5he first day and found a small addition.

image

Plus after the first night we discovered what all the bumps in the night had been caused by … lots of branches!

image

We visited the wonderful market and bought some delicious scallops and crab claws.  Herbie had to wait outside which is unusual here in France but he coped pretty well. 

image

We met a lovely old dog while having coffee afterwards, he was obviously the local hound and used to his job as the ‘meet and greet’ man of the cafe.

image

Finally we needed to move on. The river had slowed a little and so we went on our way.  Peter gave us a wave from his boat, Joy, as we went by.

image

Here we are!

image

We met a big boy coming out of a lock which seemed to go on forever.

image

image

image

And Kev needed to do some mountaineering to tie off outside a lock while we waited.

image

We did meet a sweet little boat from Nancy with an origional Frenchman aboard.  He reminded me of a 1960s French film actor.

image

After a long day we moored up back in Migennes and transferred to the motorhome to take our pram hood for more repairs.  After dropping it off in Braire we drove on to Sancerre to spend some time with Graham and Jill which was delightful.  As we had wheels we took them up to the centre of Sancerre and had lunch.  All very lovely.

Of course, Herbie was delighted to see his pals and loved the big windows of Françoise … you can watch the world go by in comfort which is perfect for a nosy boy!

image

So, now we are back in Braire and hopefully collecting the pram hood tomorrow. The dogs are booked in at the local vets for their check up before we leave for blighty next week.

Sens

At Sens I found a beautiful cathedral and a wonderful shoe shop.  I indulged myself in two pairs of shoes to add to my ever expanding collection, much to the amusement of the salesman, not so much an entertainment for Kevin!

A few days ago we got on our bikes and cycled out of town to a Buffalo Grill for dinner, then yesterday returned to the same region to visit a great supermarket, Grande Fraiche.  Lots of delicious produce including things I’d never seen before.

image

Mini mangoes!

image

Tomatoes.

Then popped in to a pet store to buy Herbie another Kong (indestructible dog toy).  He keeps dropping them in the river which is proving to be costly as they’re around €14 apiece.

We spent a pleasant evening last night with Peter (Bargemaster) and Marion and Charles from barge Moondance.  Herbie didn’t want them to go.

image

Herbie took a liking to Peter ‘ s socks.

image

And took possession of Marion.

Today we went back into town for lunch and to visit the cathedral.

image

image

image

Tonight Peter popped in again, much to Herbie’s delight.

image

image

image

image

image

I will post another entry with further photos of the cathedral (Internet issues).

Villeneuve -sur-Yonne and a screaming banshee

We have meandered gently onwards after basking in the glorious heat of Sunday (31° no less) and have stopped here in Villeneuve-sur-Yonne.  A quite unremarkable town with of course a fabulous church.  The church is under major restoration and partial rebuild which I doubt you would seen very often in England.

Lunch was successful.  There was little choice in venues however and we ate at a small tabac with low expectations.  When served we were both pleased to see that our expectations had been surpassed.

image

There was entertainment while we ate.  Unintentional entertainment in the form of a woman whose card had been eaten by the nearby atm machine.  I think she spent around 1 hour shouting at the bank in the hope that it would open just for her.  Everyone knows that nothing happens between 12.00 and 2.00!  The noise she was making resembled a wailing banshee and her words were undeciferable.  Then she started smiling at us and so we decided to leave. 

Since Sunday the weather has been a little … wet.  See the clouds bearing down on us?  Yep, we got that a few minutes later!

image

There is a lovely rampart at either end of the town.

image

image

With a small but very lovely garden to walk through.

image

Yesterday we needed to take Teddy to the vet.  He’s had a wart on his tail for years and between him and Herbie it has been chewed off and is now badly infected.  Once I investigated and saw the extent of damage off we went to the lovely vet who shaved his tail and cleaned then dressed it.  He sent us on our way armed with bandages and iodine and antibiotics.  Poor Teddy is thoroughly fed up with people fiddling with his tail and I think he’s more than a little embarrassed by the bandage!  Poor lad!

image

Now though, Kevin can’t keep still so we are on the move heading towards the next big town, Sens, with the rain torrenting down.

We went through a few locks with this beast … We haven’t seen one of these for a while!

image

Auxerre

It’s been a few days since my last post so sorry about that but I’ve been enjoying myself in Auxerre.  First we moored up on the free moorings slightly out of town but opposite a lovely park.

Nice and convenient for the supermarket but with no satellite connection.  Never mind.  We stayed here a couple of days while I caught up on some essay prep and Kev tinkered with Avalon.  After a couple of days we moved onto the (quite pricy) town moorings.

image

We got a good spot before the hoards of hire boats arrived slap bang outside a bar.  Not intentional you understand. 

I was keen to have a good look around so we wee’ed the boys and set off up the never ending slope to the centre of town.  Not that it was a hardship, Kev’s new knee proved it’s worth and the streets were charming.

image

image

image

Lots of medieval buildings and cobbled streets.  Once in the centre we found the famous clock.

image

Plus another example of a ‘staircase bulge’.

image

There are oodles of bars and eateries but as usual if you don’t sit by 12.00 there’s no food!  We have long learned this lesson.

Of course we had to visit the cathedral, an excellent example of Gothic architecture.

image

image

image

image

image

A very impressive building!

I partook in some retail therapy of course and discovered a branch of my favourite French store and even Kevin bought some shoes.  It was delightful to sit by a fountain outside a café drinking coffee (and beer) in the sunshine so we did this alot, even taking Herbie with us (Teddy can’t walk that far these days).  He proved very popular and was told many times that he was handsome, but it all went to his head and he began showing off (as all brats tend to do) by barking at the resident dogs.  He met his match yesterday when we mistakenly sat next to the town drunks one of whom insisted on petting and cuddling him, and kept shaking Kev’s hand “Mon amie Anglais”.  We soon left.

So now we are back on the water having left Auxarre.  I think we’ll probably wild moor tonight.

Another sort of dog fight

Leaving Clamecy, Kev drove while I wrote my essay (very interesting subject, apartheid) in the warm.

We arrived after many locks (I gave up counting) which we shared with Gwen, a plastic cruiser who favoured rushing to the next lock then waiting about for us to dawdle along.  Mr Lockie wanted to put us through together to save him time so hard cheese Gwen!

We spent the night in a beautiful spot at Merry-sur-Yonne, dwarfed by the fantastic scenery.

image

We even met some fellow Brits!

image

The pontoon was the perfect size too.

 Next morning was a bit rainy so again i stayed down below with my work while Kev drove.  Gwen was still with us and still dashing ahead.  We moored up in Cravant for the night.  Nothing much to say about it except I finally managed to get rid of my rubbish there.  No Internet but TV reception was good so I got to watch Casualty.

This morning we moved along to the next lock.  The lockie had asked us what time did we want to go through this morning which was a bit strange as it’s a bank holiday and other people told us the locks wouldn’t be open.  Well, they were right but it worked out for the best as the mooring is much better for Teddy (our priority with his wobbly legs and cataracts).  Plus there was a big treat for us.

Fighter planes of all sorts were swooping and spinning, dancing about the sky.  The acrobatics were amazing and it took a good while before I realised they were models.  When I say models, they were pretty big!  I sent Kev and Herbie along to the gathering to find out more.

image

image

image

image

I suggested Kev take his drone to play with them but he thought they’d laugh at it …

Normally at home when I’m studying I have Herbie snuggled up with me on the sofa.  On the boat it seems that Teddy has decided to take on the role of study buddy.

image

But Herbie still loves me …

image

Here’s our mooring for tonight …

image

Thank goodness – we bought the new mallet just in time!

Charming Clamecy

Clamecy is a charming town.  The town moorings are lovely and level for Teddy with his limited jumping ability and close enough to the centre for us to bar hop.

The buildings are extremely old in places … old in a good way.

image

If you forgot to make room for the staircase don’t worry …

image

… just add a bit on!

image

image

Had lunch in a lovely Moroccan restaurant that was so large with so few people inside it that I can only think its a front for something  … either that or it gets very busy in the evenings!

image

Having realised that both of us had forgotten the dog’s tick collars we had to search out a vets which we did … then discovered a garden centre selling the exact same collars for €10 apiece cheaper!  I won’t forget that next time.

Kev bought a mega mallet for striking pins home as the last one fell to pieces.  I think he bought the largest one in the shop – it’s massive!

I managed to drop Herbie’s lead in a lock, sorry Herbie I promise I’ll buy you a new one (oops).

Now.  Have you ever bought a pair of tights in France? The sizing is in weight and not height so according to the chart written in tiny writing I am a number 2.  Let’s hope so when I put them on.  Pop socks seem to be a favourite if you judge by the shop display … hmm.

The supermarket in Clamecy has a new thing (to me).  Shopping trolleys usually have space for a child to sit do you agree?  Here there is space … wait for it … to put your petit chien with even a special cushion.  I kid you not.  Wish I’d taken a photo.

Talking of strange things; Jill from Françoise had a strange tale she shared with me.  Coming up to a lock she was taking photos when the lock keeper arrived to ring a bell and put up a flag … strange enough but even stranger is the fact he did this while wearing a pair of ladies tights with very little else!  The things you see!

Sorry the photos are a bit fuzzy ..  I think Jill’s hand must have been shaking!

image

image