Vibrant Paris

We’re still here in vibrant Paris as spring heads cautiously into summer.

For the first time since our barging days commenced in 2008 we are sitting around on board going nowhere when the weather is warm, the waterways are inviting and most of our friends and neighbours have already departed for their seasonal joys.

The past few months, since our last blog, have been erratic with health and events outside of our control. But, the Port de l’Arsenal, despite expecting us to have left by early April, have juggled our mooring position and continue to look after us.

In March we visited Cornwall to spend time with my family when Stewart became ill and ended up spending a month in hospital, the latter part in the totally excellent Marie Therese rehabilitation centre in Hayle (west Cornwall). During his recovery period we could be tourists in our hire van, visiting St Ives, Falmouth, St Just and the fabulously diverse countryside of the far west of the British Isles.

Google map showing our travels in the far west of Cornwall.

Google map showing our travels in the far west of Cornwall.

It was also a sad but vital time to be with our Cornish family and friends.

Later I returned to the west-country (Stewart managed perfectly here in Paris) to be with my ‘little’ brother Jonney and separately (as they run a pub and can rarely be away together) with his wife, my dear friend Felicity. We chose to stay in the west of Britain, in Devon and Somerset starting on the south coast at Dartmouth.  We needed rest and solace after our remarkable and adored mother, Joan Hawkey, passed away the month before. We took long and brisk walks over the hills of the south coast of Devon and up onto Dartmoor , then across to the north coast where we drove along the cliff-hugging toll roads around our base at Porlock (also view the webcam at Porlock Weir). It was a treasured time together.

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In the past week, here in Paris, we have enjoyed time with Stewart’s brother Ian and sister-in-law Pammie who stayed on board a few nights before heading off to the Burgundy countryside to investigate farming in that part of France. With a large sheep and cattle farm in Australia (near Goulburn), and taking the first overseas holiday in more than 25 years, Ian can’t be too many days out of touch with farming, it seems.

However, he coped with the tiny bunk room on board Endellion – and what better place to be, if you have to be in a city, than here in the heart of Paris? We’ve relished a BBQ on our stern deck, the low-key cafe life of the Bastille area (11th, 12th, 3rd and 4th arrondissements), and visited a few of our favourite haunts together.

Ian, Pam and our friend Anik.

Ian, Pam and our friend Anik.

Meanwhile, we keep attuned to the travels of our friends and fellow boaters by reading their regular communication, reliving our journeys on the same waterways, such as the blog from Guy and Marlene, Le Chat Lune, who left Toul a few days ago having arrived via la Meuse. They should be crossing paths right now with Kay and Josh on board Peridot who have just left Nancy and are heading for the canal des Vosges. Judy and Charles on board Anna Maria report in regularly as they head north for the Netherlands. Sue and Ulick on board Quercy have disconnected from us (they were moored to our side for the winter) and departed heading south for the Burgundy canal and St John de Losne.  Anna on board Isabelle tells us she will be heading to Meaux along La Marne by the end of June. And the rest of us long-term port de l’Arsenal boaters will probably slowly trickle off to La Villette, around six kilometres away, up the canal St Martin.

Our plans are still on track to return to Australia for six months (at least) from October .. meanwhile we are looking forward to a summer in Paris, or nearby.

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About Lesley and Stewart

Loving great waterways of the world.
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8 Responses to Vibrant Paris

  1. tiresomemoi says:

    Lesley, I’m sorry to hear of your mother’s passing but happy to know you and your brother had the chance to spend some time together,

    Stewart, I’m happy to know you’ve returned to good health and that the Cornish lasses met with your approval.

    Enjoy Paris for me.

  2. Di Fleming says:

    Dear Lesley and Stewart, so pleased to hear that Stewart is back on board. I return to Africa next Friday and will be away until August 6. Thank you for sharing your amazing ad inspirational journey. Hope we can join you in Europe next year and of course Sydney on your return. Will also be in touch via email. Lots of love Di and Michael

    • Dear Di and Michael .. thank you for reading and being in touch. I wonder how many times you have now journeyed to Africa! We may well be here in Paris for the whole summer, or not far off. It would be lovely to see you. Take care .. with love. L&S

  3. Jane Searle says:

    I love reading these well written updates, but was sad to see the news of your Mother passing. Condolences to you and your family.
    Glad to read that Stewart’s health has improved. Enjoy your European summer.
    best regards jane

  4. duquelu says:

    Dear Lesley and Steward,
    Lovely to hear from you, sorry about Steward’s stay in a Cornwall hospital, hope the nurses were cute.
    I sent you a separate mail with more information,
    Enjoy Paris,
    Warm regards,
    Guy and Marleen

    • Many thanks Guy and Marleen, Stewart says they were lovely Cornish lasses (who usually called him “my lovely” and occasionally “my lover” .. more importantly they did a remarkable job to get him well again! Received your excellent email with all sorts of tips on what to do at La Villette. All the best to you both. L&S

  5. Great to hear from you two again… and hope all is better with you Stewart. Sad about your mum Lesley. Looks like you had great travels around such a gorgous part of England. We’ve just been driving up in North Wales, where my family used to spend holidays in a remote cottage – it was my first return in 45 years, not much has changed. love Lilliana

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