Busy, busy, busy !!
That's been the summer for us and, by the time you read this, the autumn too.
Hopefully the subject matter of our pictures this time will be a little
different to the last ones, although it does get harder to come up with new
and interesting topics.
But before that, its time for a little rant and if I've had this one
A few months ago, I downloaded a programme that is of use to me.
Unfortunately it contained some adverts and, as it was the first time, I thought
I was logging in for the programme itself so happily supplied some info about
But I now realise that I had inadvertently joined the social networking site
Facebook seems to go through your e-mail addresses and contacts them, and
then goes through their e-mail address books and contacts them etc. etc .
So I now get reminders such as "a friend will be having a birthday
Now we have 170 contacts in our e-mail address book which means that on average
there will be about 3 birthdays a week amongst the people we know. So what?
These aren't earth shattering events and we really don't need a message from
Facebook reminding us if one of our friends has a birthday coming up. We also
don't need to be told if our friends have mutual friends.
Please note therefore that we don't do
Facebook, Yourface, Myface, Myspace or anybodys Face for that matter.
I don't generally contact all 170 people in my address book anyway and prompts
from somewhere out in cyberspace seem no better than a virus.
So if you get a message from any source of this kind it is most certainly
NOT from us!
Now, on with the show.
I thought you might like to see something that looks like varnish. It's on
trial so if I remember, I'll keep you updated on how it weathers.
WATCHING PAINT DRY
We decided to take the car with us this summer so instead of watching the
above we used the time to explore away from the canal.
On this particular day we took a trip up to Chateauneuf en Auxois and as
Jo and Janna were in port we all 4 set off together.
It is possible to have a look around the castle at Chateauneuf and, as you
will see from the next photo, they have very high levels of security to ensure
that everyone pays the entrance fee!
HIGH LEVEL SECURITY
One of the most vivid exhibits in the castle was a reproduction sculpture
of the tomb of Philippe Pot.
Never having heard of him before, I went online to check him out, so that
I could tell you a little of his history. But there was far too much to tell
so maybe you should look him up for yourselves.
The weirdest thing is ..he is apparently on Facebook!!!!
Now bearing in mind that Phillipe Pot has been dead for hundreds of years
we think that this is a little odd to say the least. Is the world going mad,
or is it us?????
One day, whilst we were in full swing working, we had an unexpected visit
from our friend Catherine who runs a business called "Bache et Gromet".
Catherine, who makes lots of beautiful canvas boat covers, was having a day
off and decided to come up the Ouche valley for a walk.
I have to say, it is getting more and more difficult to breath in for these
impromptu photo shoots.
Our dining chairs have done very well over the years. We bought them in
Mirfield about 8 years ago so Pamela thought it was time to spruce them up
"All work and no joy" as the saying goes
One of our main ideas was to get rid of some quite ugly black window sealant
that over the years had oozed out a little. We also wanted something that
we could paint over. It took a while, but we think we achieved it in the end.
NB: Anyone wanting further info, please send a eurocheque for €1500
to our usual postal address.
BEFORE and AFTER
Our good friend Peter Thorn did the original signwriting on Lea Crest and
although now retired, we think he would have redone the work if we had asked
him. Also we didn't want to offend him by just using plastic/stick on lettering.
But after a quick telephone call all was ok and we're sure that Peter will
be happy with the results.
MORE BEFORE and AFTER
Again, while some of our paint was drying, we went up to a hilltop village
called Saint Jean de Boeuf to a "vide grenier" (car boot sale).
Pamela spotted this lady selling perfumes and, quick to spot a bargain, bought
a miniature of some Chanel N° 5. She even managed to get the price down
to €2 from the original asking price of €3!
CANAL NUMBER 5
Our next picture is of Chaudenay le Chateau, a fortified castle owned by
Jean de Chaudenay in 1021 A.D., an earlier version of the castle at Chateauneuf
We believe that the castle at Chateauneuf was built by Lord Chaudenay as
a wedding present for one of his children who married into another nobleman's
family. Its alright for some!!! Our parents bought us a bed and a set of pans!
Maybe the castle is still on its way?
CHAUDENAY le CHATEAU
I'm sure that the ladies in our next photo won't mind me adding it.
They were up and out on deck early every morning but I'm not sure what the
They were pointing towards the sun, so are they sun worshipers I wonder?
HERE COMES THE SUN
As we stayed the whole summer in one place, we did bump into some really
nice barges that take guests on this beautiful part of the Bourgogne. One
such barge is Imagine and is owned by Malcolm and Lynne. Lovely people and
if you are interested just click on the following link to see what's on offer
For quite a while, we had in mind a barbecue with John and Pat on Hoddy
Dod. It seemed a good idea to have this at Pont d'Ouche as 4 of our mutual
friends live in the Cote d'Or region and Hoddy Dod intended coming up this
John and Pat came up for about a week so we thought a little sightseeing
was in order.
The chateau in Savigny les Beaune was a good start as we had often passed
by but never visited.
John had been before but as someone who had spent all of his life around aeroplanes,
he was more than happy to have a second helping of all those planes.
We didn't realise how many aircraft there were in the grounds of the chateau
but I have just looked on Google Earth and I can count about 90. Those are
the ones in the grounds of course and then they have even more in some form
or other inside many of the buildings.
John couldn't resist explaining the workings of the jet engine and thinks
that the engine he was stood next to might have been one of his apprentice
pieces, all split up so show the intricate workings.
JOHN IN FULL FLOW
I wonder if the plane in the next photo was where Richard Noble got his
idea from for Thrust 2?
HOPE THE BRAKES WORK
Lots of other thing to see at this chateau
Old bicycles, cars, motor bikes, fire engines and, when we were there, grapes
fermenting in the rooms below.
This area is where the chateau's own wine is made and the fumes permeating
through the floorboards meant you could get squiffy absolutely free.
CHATEAU AT SAVIGNY
By the 10th of October we had finished painting the boat which meant it
was time to take it a little easier.
I think we did a good job as this was our first attempt at a full repaint
and colour change.
PLEASED AS PUNCH
There are lots of places to visit and we looked forward to enjoying a few
days sight seeing.
One of the places we wanted to walk around was Flavigny, famous for its
aniseed sweets and for the setting of the film "Chocolat".
It really is a beautiful and unspoilt village with lots of quaint stone
Maybe stonemasons were very cheap in those days.
We came across the street name in the first half of our next photo, carved
in relief in stone, that would cost a lot today. And the carving of a lady
in the second half, looking out onto the street from an upstairs window? What
is she thinking about I wonder and what would it have cost to have her made?
WORKS OF ART
On another day, we spotted this lovely old bakery (boulangerie) as we walked
around a place called Autun. Some renovation work needed next door I think
STILL GOING STRONG
Autun church however was getting a good coat of looking at and, as you will
see, the new stone carving is first class.
Maybe they stumbled across the stonemason from Flavigny who doesn't charge
OLD AND NEW
Let's hope the stonework at the top of the steeple is sound! I wouldn't
want to sit up there with a hammer and chisel how would you hang on?
In a different part of Autun we happened to stumble across this Roman ampitheatre.
Built to last of course and what better location for the football ground
and running track.
How incredibly clever of the Romans to build it there it saves on having
to build a stand!
ALL SEATER AMPHITHEATRE
Back to our summer base, almost .Bligny sur Ouche to be precise, which
is about 8 kilometres away. Another pretty little town with most facilities
and a weekly market.
We had seen a little tourist information plaque being erected in the port
back at Pont d Ouche and one of the places of interest was a hemp museum at
Bligny. Some friends had been and had enyoyed the experience so a group of
us decided to give it a visit (does 2 people constitute a group?). Our friend
Janna wanted to see it and so did I, with my textile background, so off we
It seems that Bligny's wealth was made from the hemp business. All gone
now of course but they have their history, the museum, and even keep a plot
of land just for growing hemp.
Our next photo shows Janna giving a demo on how to make a piece of hemp
MONEY FOR OLD ROPE
All too soon it was time to leave Pont d'Ouche.
Would we need surgically removing from the pontoon we wondered?
We spent most of the summer there and enjoyed every minute of it.
On our way back down the canal it was suprising that the lock keepers spotted
the change of colour to Lea Crest. I suppose it's because the traffic couldn't
exactly be decribed as heavy on the Bourgogne, unlike some of the other French
canals (such as the Midi for example).
Even the lock keeper's dog was confused
There was no rush back really, so we decided to stop at a lot of different
places on the way back to St. Jean de Losne.
One such place was Gissey sur Ouche, a pretty little village with lots of
houses renovated and looking very smart. Of course you would need a car or
a full store cupboard if you stayed here for any length of time. But as you
will see from the next couple of photos, it is a very calm and relaxing spot.
So that really is the end of this update. Except that our cat Gromit hasn't
had a mention yet.
Well sadly, Gromit isn't with us any more.
He was born with a heart defect 16 years ago, which didn't seem to cause
him too many problems other than when the temperature got
up towards 30° C. and above. Then he would have difficulty keeping cool
and would pant a lot.
Unfortunately this summer he really started to struggle and a trip to the
vet confirmed our worst fears.
In all, from being his normal self and then taking him to the vet for the
final time there was a gap of only about a month. So he wasn't ill for too
But this is truly the end of an era.
What a fabulous cat and great company, we really do miss him and I'm sure
that the members of his fan club will too.
So to end this update, just a couple of photos showing what Gromit liked
best when he wasn't out chasing mice
LEANING ON A LAMP POST
Hopefully more in 2012.
But in the meantime, have a very Merry Christmas and a fabulous 2012