05/03/2012, Villelongue -de-la-Salanque
As the title suggests, I am officially now on dry land. Taken up residence in our tiny, ancient little village house in above mentioned village. It is bliss!! The average age of our neighbours is probably 80 They all ride bicycles.. The cycle of the day, is dictated by the opening hours of the boulangerie. All French life revolves around bread!! And of course, the chiming of the church bells. These bells signify.... life, death, mass etc I love being part of this village life. Everybody peeps over our ancient wrought iron courtyard grill and says hello. Simple tasks, that would usually take five minutes, now easily take one hour.. Emptying the dustbin, for example... Three people could come and chat to you,each one, enquiring how you and your family are and filling you in, on the past years happenings. All this in a mixture of very rapid French and Catalanian. Often, my head does a double spin, and I just burst out laughing, as I no longer have a clue about what is being said...is he delivering artichokes or were they all damaged in the icy weather in February ??oh, ok, 5% were damaged in February , when temperatures dropped below -12' due to the Tramontana blowing viciously!! T and I arrived late on Monday evening, only to find our water pipe had burst, due to this same icy occurrence. Our neighbour called a plumber, who arrived with a flourish, only to inform us, that this was work for the mairie and was free of charge!! He gallantly pulled out his portable and called the necessary numbers, arranging for our pipes to be repaired..once coffee had been shared and hands duly shaken, he was on his way again. The next repair man arrived..same story...always time for pleasantries and then work. Once he had done his share, he hopped on his blower again and called the next man, who would come to repair the dripping pipe!!! That's tomorrows fun. All the while, our neighbour is standing there, for moral support, or just in case my French fails me in this Catalanian dominated district.. What a privilege to be part of this village life.. I love it and am soo grateful to share their village with them.. The church bells are chiming..this time, telling me it's my bedtime, so A la prochaine Si Dieu le veut
missing my technical supportSherryl
04/28/2012, Paris 15 arrondissement
This is a position test:-))
chez patrick started her crossing, from Tortola to the Med this morning. As I look at this picture, I am truly sad not to be the usual helmsman, on this wonderful yacht. But soon, she will be safely in Canet Port and I will resume my duties as helmsman!! I pray that she carries her crew safely across the waters I pray that good health and happiness, blesses each and every crew member I look forward to welcoming them home, with a jeroboam of Ruinart!!! I even look forward to all the cleaning and pampering that chez Patrick will require, once she docks in her new home:-)) Luckily, she already speaks French:-)) Monday morning I TGV to Perpignan and take up residence in our little village house in Villelongue-de-la-Salanque. I will feel closer to my crew next to a French seashore:-))!!! Also, I will be able to ensure that her new home is ready and waiting for her!! Paris has been completely wonderful and it has been amazing spending time with B at le cordon bleu.. She has made some incredibly wonderful friends in Paris and I was grateful to have been able to meet them!! They all made me feel very welcome. I will be sorry to leave Paris on Monday but at peace knowing that it's only a five hour TGV ride back:-)) What an exciting start to retired life!! I have not had one idle day since Pat retired and he has never been busier either:-)) Vive la retraite A la prochaine Xxx
Wednesday at workSherryl
04/18/2012, Fort Louis Harbour, St Martin
I thought that it was high time I introduced you to Roberts girlfriend, Judy, as I will be referring to her often over the next few weeks, as Robert and Gary and Paddy, adventure over the high seas, from Tortola and ending up in Canet Port. She does not think that this crossing is fair at all, saying: we will be sitting home with all the worries, while they will be having all the fun and adventuresð This photo was taken on chez patrick in shell beach, on their last night in St Barths. I decided to invite them over for a lobster braai, as a farewell dinner. As many of you know, I often don't think things through too well, but get swept up with the magic of the moment. Monday morning, Paddy and I dingied across to the fresh fish market in gustavia at 6am, in order to get the fresh lobsters that the fishermen bring in at 5:30am. Robert was due to meet us there, so we were determined not to be lateð¤ð¨ð¨ð¨ I selected 5 x 1kg lobsters We got them back to the yacht and paddy sorted out a sack for them to swim in until supper time. That's when the problems started. I love all creatures. Great and smallððð I googled: the most humane way to kill a lobster!! I considered undoing the sack, setting them free and having cheese with our dinner, instead of lobster!! Finally, I opened a bottle of Prosecco and decided to "laissez les bon temps rouler"ð¸ð¸ Well, I'm not going to go into the details of that evening but I will say that copious amounts of Prosecco were consumed. Paddy did not eat a bit of lobster after playing butcherman and Robert and Judy almost ended up in the sea when we had to take them ashore later that evening. A good time was had by all thoughððð So, this pic was taken several bottles of Prosecco to the wind Lesson learned: sherryl will never buy live lobster again unless, there is a cordon bleu chef or two aboard and they are doing the honours!! As the title states, this is working Wednesday. We have two strong men aboard to give chez patrick a thorough spit and polish and I have lots to do as well, before my Friday Paris departure, so... A la prochaine Xx
04/16/2012, Shell Beach, St Barths
This is an amazing story. Paddy and I were anchored fairly far off Shell Beach initially and so, used to dingy in, closer to the beach, drop anchor, walk, swim, go for drinks at dÃµ brazil etc and then go back to the dingy, pull up our anchor and return to chez patrick. This Friday was no different. As we were swimming though, Pat noticed that our dingy was drifting. We ran back and Paddy swam to the dingy and hopped in. He pulled at the anchor rope to check what had happened.... The rope came up....no anchor in site!! Unbelievable, because Paddy has tied a gazillion knots and they hold!! We were in fairly shallow, crystal clear water, as you can see from the shot below but Paddy had a lip problem and I have an ear "situation":-)) and so neither of us could dive for our anchor!! Paddy sat on the dingys nose and took a paddle and paddled around, trying to spot the rogue anchor. I asked a stranger to please borrow his pool noodle, so that I could also be part of search & rescue!! I had spotted a couple on the beach earlier, when we came ashore. I left our beach bag just behind them because they looked like a "safe and honest" couple!!! We later learned that they wondered whether we were terrorists, dropping our bag behind them and disappearing because paddy was wearing a protective mask, for his lips!!!:-)) So...here I see this guy, now in the water AND with a mask and snorkel. Prime target!! I tell paddy to ask him to dive for our anchor. He thought paddy was Tom Hanks in disguise!!!:-)) Needless to say, within a very short space of time, the anchor had been located, dived for and tied safely back onto its line. When we all went back to the beach, introductions still not made:-)), our anchor man told us that we owed him a beer for his trouble!! Paddy and I went over to our favourite beach bar and bought a round of drinks. Drinks in hand, introductions were finally the order of the day. One drink led to two, a friendship was cemented and Robert became the new crew member, to take my place on chez patrick from Tortola onwards!! Unbelievable. Yes, quite unbelievable, but true.. I could see the sea angels at work, carefully undoing the knot that Pat had fixed the anchor onto the rope with.... et voila....the third musketeer was born!! One goes through life and meets many, many people but only rarely do you meet people that you feel instantly and magically connected to. This was one of those magical times.....
St Patricks daysherryl
A special birthday celebrated together!!! Many more to come:-))!!!