Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Roanne and the Odd Trip Here & There (Or, Where the Hell did January Go???!!!)

A snowy port on Monday morning!
 I can’t believe I didn’t do a single blog entry throughout the whole of January!!  Of course, I could back date this one and do a couple of entries……  Nah, let’s go for it!

We spent New Year at the port and saw in the bells on Eendracht with other boaters from the port.  It was fairly civilised as after a few weeks of overindulging my system wasn’t happy and I was off the booze.  I stayed off the booze for a whole 10 days, and have managed to keep my units down – apart from straying slightly during our week’s skiing……..

The first ‘exciting’ thing to happen in the port in 2018 was a fire on one of the boats.  It happened late on Friday 5th Jan and although the owner was out, his dog and three cats were in the boat.  Two cats ran off when the fire crew popped the door open, the third cat was pulled out from under a bed alive, but suffering badly from smoke inhalation and sadly the wee dog was pulled out dead.  It was awful, such a terrible thing to see, someone’s home in flames and losing his pet.  I happened to be passing as it all kicked off so when the fireman passed the cat out, I took her.  One of the other boaters, Kerry, was a vet in a previous life so she checked her over and said to keep her quiet and keep her eyes and nose clean with saline solution.  Kerry and our friend Jane tried to resuscitate the dog, but it was too late…….
Antara (or Mimine for short!), a bit shocked and suffering from smoke inhalation
On the Saturday, Guillaume, the owner of the burnt boat, came round to see Antara.  He was very pale and in a bit of a state, but very pleased to see her.  One of the other cats had come back but the other was still awol (it eventually did return to the boat and is now safely living at Guillaume’s parents with him and the other cats).  We all agreed it would be best for Mimine to stay with us as it was quiet and she didn’t get on with his parents’ dog, and he was staying with them for the time being.
Starting to feel a bit better

Oh!  Is that cheese?  I'm quite partial to some fromage........

I know which laptop I prefer :)

10 days later feeling very at home, having ousted the AppleMac.....
She quickly settled down and after a nervous first 48 hours started to improve and eat and drink as normal.  On Monday, Guillaume collected her and me and took her to the vet to have her checked out and she was given anti-inflammatory meds and an antibiotic shot, as she was coughing quite badly.  She was thoroughly checked out by the vet who said that she was absolutely fine apart from some inflammation from the smoke and with a week’s course of tablets, the cough should clear in around 5 days – she was right.

I headed back to the UK for a few days, having realised I’d seen more or our friends in the last year than my family, leaving Mike and Mimine in charge.  Well, more the latter………. She had him wrapped round her little finger!! 

I flew into Manchester and took the train up to Kendal to spend a couple of nights with my brother John and catch up with Helen, Alex and Fran and meet the dog, Willow.  It was brilliant to see them and John and I talked non-stop for two days reminiscing about family, friends and places and all about our new ventures.  I finally got to meet Kate, John’s partner, which was great, as he’s been with her for over a year now!  I’m happy to say, she passed the ‘Sister’s Approval Test’ with flying colours…..

I then boarded the train and headed up to Fife to see my mum for a few days.  Another flying visit I managed to squeeze in a coffee with Susan and a legwax at The Crescent in Aberdour, catch up with my mum and nearly catch up with my Aunty Nancy and cousin Diane but the bad weather put paid to that.
Not looking good for the taxi coming....
As always, it wasn’t enough time with mum and at 4am on Wednesday 17th my taxi made its way gingerly through the snow to pick me and the snowboard up to take us to Edinburgh airport for my flight back.  It was touch or go whether the taxi would make it as he skidded around trying to pull away from mum’s and the main road outside of Dalgety Bay wasn’t much better!  However, once on the dual carriageway heading towards the road bridge, the gritters had cleared one lane and we arrived in plenty time for my flight.  Being the first flight of the day we were only delayed by 30 minutes while they defrosted the plane but I had a tight transfer at Brussels, but it turned out, so did a lot of people and the crew were great finding out what gates our connections were at and reassuring us that they’d had it confirmed that we would all make our connections with our slightly late arrival time.

Connection caught and arriving at Lyon, I couldn’t find the snowboard at baggage and resigned myself that it hadn’t made the connection at Brussels, but when I went and asked about missing baggage, I was pointed to the correct place to look for outsized bags, and there it was sitting waiting – woohooo!!  This delay meant by the time I took the tram into Lyon station, I had missed my train to Roanne and the next one wasn’t for a couple of hours.  But looking at the board, I saw the train before mine, had been delayed and hadn’t departed yet.  So I headed up to the platform where on arriving the 40 minute delay was increased to an hour, so I had a 20 minute wait – but better than two hours!!

I got back to the boat late afternoon exhausted, but very pleased to see Mike and the cat! 

The next couple of days were spent packing our ski stuff as on Saturday 20th Jan we headed off to La Tania in the Three Valleys, for a week’s skiing holiday.  We also had to reluctantly hand Antara back to Guillaume, though we did insist that if she did not settle at his parents with the other cats, we would take her back on our return.  Sadly, for us, she DID settle at his parents and he popped in a couple of days ago to show us some photos of her ruling the roost, give us a wee pressie for looking after her and tell us his news about the apartment he has bought.  Although him and his dad are repairing the boat, he’ll just use it for weekends or summer breaks and is moving into an apartment in Roanne.  Anyway, back to the skiing…….
Lots of snow - no people! :)

Warming up with vin chaud at the Ski Lodge

Here come the hot chocolates :) :) :)

The Telemark's 'Cocktail of the Day' proved a popular aperitif.
After a difficult start to the week and threats of retiring, by the end of the week, perfect snow, blue skies and sunshine retracted the threats and we left the group on Saturday 27th with promises to ‘see you next year…..’.

Meanwhile, over the month of January, in the background of all the above, we’ve been progressing with our house purchase, which involved chivvying up the estate agent and paying to have some of the checks expedited, and watching the exchange rate like hawks to ensure we transferred the cash over at a good time.  During our week in La Tania, we received an email from the notaire confirming that all the checks had been done and we would be completing on 9 February.

Well, of course, we’ve been besides ourselves with excitement and the last week has been spent staring at pictures of the house, showing other people pictures of the house, looking into insurance (which you have to have in place for the signing or the house won’t be given to you!), looking at coffee machines, speaking with the rental people who will manage it over the summer for us, making lists of what we need for the rental, looking at table tennis tables, pool towels, high chairs and travel cots, staring at pictures of the house……
One of our Christmas pressies 'Mushrooms in a Box' did well :)

A port outing to the 10pin bowling was great fun - does my bum look big in this????!!!!
Since the new year we’ve kept up with our running and Mike went round the port twice in his fastest time last week – 20 minutes and 58 seconds!  Mike has also joined a band!!  He’s been inducted into the Roanne Rockers, playing his ukulele, and is practising hard for a gig on 15th March.  At least we’ll be leaving the port shortly after that to embark on this season’s cruising, so if he makes an arse of himself, we’ll not have to face folks for much longer…….

Whilst he was at practice yesterday afternoon I went for a lovely, long snowy walk with Nikki, Gorette and Bailley the dog – it was cold!!!

Nikki and Gorette just visible at the end of the bridge in their high-viz hoods :

Quaintrelle shivering under a blanket of snow :(

The next couple of days will be spent getting packed up to move into our house for the next few weeks….. there’s no place like home………
Unfortunately it's not quite going to look like this on Friday, with forecasts of -5 on the cards!!


  1. Good luck with the house moving into. I'm sure Mimine would have loved to live in the house and cruise with you in the summer months.

  2. So much activity, I am exhausted just reading about it! The kitty is beautiful, looks a lot like one of the rescued Beirut kitties, Pinky. Happily Pinky and her buddy Nino have been adopted and live close by :)
    Be careful about taking in more strays, you have two here that are very much looking forward to meeting their new mum and claiming their proper place as rulers of the roost!
    Great blog, fantastic pics and a fun read <3