With winter slowly pulling back its cruel tentacles from the northern hemisphere at last, mother nature has still given us some lessons as though to say she is still fully in charge which has manifested itself by the terrible carnage caused by the terrible earthquake and tsunami in Japan overnight and the shocking earthquake and loss of life in our beloved city of Christchurch plus the battles of the people going on in Libya and other north African countries. Our news sure does not present very pleasant viewing so thank goodness we are living in a quiet and relaxed corner of the earth, at least so far, here in Moissac, south west France.
While we have had to endure the winter weather as expected. It has been so mild compared to the rest of France, Northern Europe and the UK so we are very grateful indeed. With only a couple of snowy storms to bother us we have enjoyed almost windless conditions with nice sunny days and only in the past few weeks have we had to put up with some days of overcast and rainy conditions. Not bad for this time of the year and to off set this the trees have begun to show green tips and blossoms are decking the fruit trees in pink and white which is a magic transitional time.
Rhonda's Comment: Evening drinks on Daphne and Claude's balcony.
As it is such a haul and due to the need to stopover in Dubai on her way home Father Christmas shouted her a 2 day stopover package there to take in the sights and marvels of this almost space age city. She thoroughly enjoyed it so much she has almost convinced me that we should go there some day for a holiday but we will see.
Rhonda's Comment: The iconic sights of Dubai - that's not me on the camel either!!!
The odd boat has already cast off for an early start to the cruising season with the canals opening in early March once the maintenance schedule had been completed by the marine authorities V.N.F. Prior to this the canals were all but drained in many areas so work could be effected on lock gates (Ecluses) so it was fascinating to see how little water was left to allow the passage of fish plus to give us a proper view of how shallow the canals can be even when filled with water.
We are looking forward to having some Auckland folks onboard with us this year, Jenny and her cousin will join us in Toulouse for a few days which will set the cruising season off to a fine start. This will be followed by our old mates Daphne and Claude who have visited us each summer since we started cruising and will be with us for a couple of weeks. Also from Auckland will be Valerie and Derek so the wineries and food outlets better stand by at least.