|"Bye Kaz and Iain", another cruising season begins.|
For nearly 3 weeks we were surrounded with snow and ice and as it was so unusual for these conditions to get to this area the local authorities had not bought any supplies of grit or salt so the roads and footpaths stayed like skating rinks which was so dangerous for cars and pedestrians alike. The cold affected so many things but the two I suppose are worth highlighting was the skating on the ice by our pal Alex at Buzet and then the collapse of the facade on our 3 storey Post Office (La Poste). Water must have got between the brick veneer and the old surface and as it turned to ice it pushed off the veneer so the wall came tumbling down luckily at night so nobody was injured but meant the closing of the post office for 3 weeks at least.
Once the temps had risen all the ice melted away thank goodness and there was a feeling of spring in the air. Even the fish are seemingly plentiful in the canals again so the fishermen are out and about again.
|Taking our wares for sale to the Vide Grenier|
When we set off from here we headed to Boé on the outskirts of Agen where we have spent many pleasant weeks in the past so at least Harry would be really happy as he has a whole bunch of mates there. While there I should be able to finish off my paint touch ups and give the boat a good polish too.
|Harry meets up with his friends every morning in Boe|
|Another wonderful evening with Gill and Alan|
|"Somewhere" meets "Rosa"|
Sadly like the rest of the world it would seem that France has got its share of “bloody lunatics” roaming around with whatever twisted thoughts and minds they may have and in the last few weeks we had 3 soldiers shot and then executed by a gunman on a motor scooter while they were waiting for the cash machine to respond to their requirements at the bank in central Montauban just 30 mins drive from here. After finishing the soldiers off by shooting again in the head he drove off and police seemed to have no idea who the perpetrator was but there was also a report that another soldier was shot in Toulouse about an hours drive away and then this morning we received the terrible news that 3 children and a Rabbi had been gunned to death in a similar manner at a Jewish school in Toulouse and again the murderer had escaped on a motor scooter so the country was on high alert and we hoped that this dreadful series of events was bought to a satisfactory conclusion quickly. At least we do know that the French authorities wouldn’t be applying too much “health and safety” to the evil mongers who had stolen so many innocents lives. Provided we don’t get another English soccer player suffering a serious illness or a damaged toe or similar we waited to get some coverage on our TV networks so be able to keep track of how the case progressed.
|Take your pick - yum|
|Market Days will be just one of the many things we will miss about France|
We met up with the new group who had joined “Rosa” in readiness for their 4 day cruise. They were all from Neutral Bay in Sydney and were amazed at the beauty of the countryside so were excited about getting going to Montauban before heading back to Paris and all the bright city life that huge city offers.They were stunned by the lovely evenings and commented on the canal which at night looked to have a surface of polished silver as we seemed to be back to those still days and evenings we have come to love and know we will miss when we leave here.
|"Even I need to do some shopping for the family"|
|Only in France can you take your dog with you shopping into the supermarche|
After 3 weeks of fabulous spring/summer weather we had a real change which bought light rain and cooler temps so according to the long term weather forecast we have a while to go before the best of the best returns.
|No wonder I never wore it,|
I don't think I will take this hat home!!!
Luckily we have been offered a free home to look after just north of here as the couple have gone home to New Zealand until June so we will move in there and look after their dog Sativa and a couple of piglets and to mow the lawns with the ride on tractor mower. It will be fun, I think.
|How many frenchmen does it take to float a boat!!|
Well after the most beautiful March weather we have now had the worst April weather for 20 years with rain and wind every day. Just awful and it has delayed my final painting and finishing work on the boat but has allowed me to proceed with packing some 30 cartons and wraps as we have received firm advice that the boat is sold and we need to get it ready for handover on the 13th May so another chapter of our adventure will draw to a close. A carrier will call at Moissac and collect all the packages and ship them back to New Zealand for us.
|"Riccall" says goodbye to "Somewhere"|
|The garden flourishes|