Daisy promotes herself to Capitaine

June 16, 2018 - Carcassonne, France

Daisy’s breeder, Janette, recently sent us an image of a westie with the strapline “If you don’t have one, You’ll never Understand!”  It almost brought a tear to my eye, because even though we have only shared our lives with two Westies, there is really something very special about the way they communicate, participate and generally worm their way into your heart.  Daisy has been so very sweet about fitting in with all the boat routines and conventions.  She realised right away that the entire boat was “dry” territory and that she needed to bark for exit when she wanted to go ashore.  She has several beds on board, but that doesn’t stop her from exploring all sorts of places where Bonnie never ventured ( all over all the seats, up on the helm seat, on the dashboard, up to the bows on her own).  She sleeps like a log on board and we think she has stopped growing ( she is quite petite).  She doesn’t do breakfast: if she were human, I think she would be a Black coffee and a cigarette girl for breakfast.  She starts eating at lunchtime! Anyway, she is fitting in fine and is a very good boat guard dog!

We have made our way steadily eastwards in the company, at first, of our Australian friends who even saved us  a valuable mooring spot at a key moment!   Also one or two boats who just seem to be going at the same pace as us, so are always in port when we arrive.  We have caught up briefly with friends ( extremely briefly with some very old friends - yes, I mean you,  la famille Dufeu), and  Daisy made the acquaintance of another Bonnie, the elderly cairn owned by our dear friend Michèle in Castelnaudary.  We have made a point of stopping at our favourite restaurants and indeed ones where we were always planning to stop, but never quite got round to it.  On the approach to Carcassonne there is a double lock followed by a short reach to a single lock where there is a restaurant appropriately named La Rive Belle.  It was great to realise that we were finally serendipitously there at midday and to tarry awhile enjoying the view and the company of passing cyclists as well as a tasty lunch.

We enjoyed a lovely sunny weekend at Lacourt -Saint-Pierre with a convivial group of boaters ( and a very friendly dog for Daisy to play with)  but on the whole the weather has been shockingly rainy and overcast so far!   We understand it is better in Northern France and in the UK!  The south of France is not really prepared for all this rain, and the people are definitely demoralised.  It is forecast to get sunnier from now on ( mid June), but in previous years down south we have enjoyed several weeks of sunshine by this point in the summer.

Over  the years we have had various systems for reuniting ourselves with our car for the return to London in July.  This year we decided that whilst we were in Toulouse skipper would take a day to execute a carefully planned journey to pick up the car from our original home port of Castets-en-Dorthe and deliver it to the port where we need to pick it up.  First of all he had to choose a day when the SNCF were not on strike: luckily they did provide a strike day calendar on their website.  Then he planned his day, from the walk to Toulouse station and throughout the day via SNCF ( the first train was delayed by 20 mins and caused him to miss his connection at Agen) to taxi ( which had to be rearranged because of the two-hour wait at Agen for the next train) to the bus which was to take him from Capestang to Béziers in time or the last train back to Toulouse, but which didn’t show up for half an hour!  The Police Municipale got involved and David was already in the police car being rescued when the bus finally arrived and he swapped vehicles and made it to Béziers in time for his train.  When he finally stepped back on board Cassandra fourteen hours after leaving at 7.30AM, he was like an exhausted explorer who had conquered the French transport system!

On 5 June David and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary with a leisurely walk into central Toulouse and a delicious lunch at what turned out to be a very trendy restaurant which David identified after considerable on-line research.  The food was great and the welcome and ambiance too.  We mentioned that it was our wedding anniversary only in passing to explain our champagne apéritifs, but the response was a very sweet and subtle candle on our dessert pudding!  We had left Daisy on board so returned to her straight after lunch and took her for an afternoon walk.  We only had one anniversary card between us so, as in previous years, we shared it.   We both feel very lucky.


PS We are finding Fuzzy Travel very difficult to use especially for uploading photos so I may be moving my blog to Wordpress which may mean you need to resbscribe.  I will keep you posted.


On aqueduct over river Garonne at Agen
Entering Moissac - swing bridge
Convivial mooring at Lacourt St Pierre
Entering Toulouse


Caroline Hill-Trevor:
June 16, 2018
Happy anniversary, I remember your wedding day very well!
Shiela and Ian:
June 16, 2018
Belated congrats and hope the weather improves.
Judy Hardy:
June 17, 2018
Hi there and congratulations on your anniversary. Yes you are blessed alright being happily together all these years and having such wonderful adventures together. So glad you have a new little doggie to share your lives, and the driving. Is she as good as Bonnie on the helm? Think of you and miss you, love from Judy and John in tropical Cairns, Far North Queensland. I am Wintering here for 3 months. For John it’s an interlude in another big motorcycle trip in the Outback. Very enjoyable for us both.
Sharlene Coss:
June 17, 2018
Happy Anniversary! Our anniv is May 23, Phil's BDay is June 8 - so we have you surrounded! Our 50th next year so we are planning a big trip to Portugal and Spain.

Where are you headed this year? Are you tempted to go up the Rhone? We follow you with great delight so if you move to Wordpress, then let us know. My daughter used Worpress for a little while.

Take care - we are on our way to Edmonton to visit our daughter and all our friends that we left behind when we retired. Enjoy your summer
Sharlene and Phil
June 17, 2018
Congratulations on you wedding anniversary. Enjoying your blog very much. Bisous xxx
Janette Liggins:
June 18, 2018
Congratulations on your Silver Wedding Anniversary! I’m glad the champagne flowed! Loving the blog & hearing all the news...especially the doggy bits!
Shawn and The Airedale:
June 19, 2018
Dear Anne and David,

I love that Daisy is in charge and is so comfortable onboard. Happy Anniversary and more Daisy tales, please.
Liz Hunsaker:
June 20, 2018
Hi Anne,
I loved your blog entry, and am very happy to hear that Daisy is settling in so well. She sounds like a real trooper! You seem to be enjoying your trip along the Midi except for the SNCF experience!
June 26, 2018
Tu as raison pour les trains. l'année passée j'ai fait CRUAS sur le Rhône à Aigues Mortes en 12h. Conclusion, j'étais crevée et quand j'ai repris ma voiture, je ne me suis pas arrêtée à un rond point ...dit anglais et je suis rentrée dans le vehicule de devant à 6 kms d' Aigues Mortes : conclusion, un taxi m'a ramenée à Cruas sur mon bateau …14h30 de voyage pour rien.
DAISY est un petit cœur. J'ai hâte de la connaître. Bon voyage. Profitez-en bien . Bises à vous 3
Leo and Katinka:
July 8, 2018
Is this mutiny by Daisy?
Janette Liggins:
August 1, 2018
I haven’t received an invite Anne? Can you send it again please? X
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