These are the adventures of Andy and Sally Rawnsley on their narrowboat "The Puzzler". We have been living on the boat for over nine years now and are still loving it. Our Ulster born Shih Tzu, Shannon, has grown up, and has taken over the boat! After three wonderful years in Ireland, we transported The Puzzler to The Netherlands, and spent a year there. In 2015 we went southwards, to reach the north of France by June. After glorious weather throughout the summer, we arrived in Roanne in late October, and enjoyed our winter in this friendly port. We cruised extensively in France in 2016, 2017 and 2018, returning to Roanne each winter.

Monday, 15 February 2016

1st - 14th February 2016. Dogs and seagulls, both in the Port of Roanne and by the River Loire. The Bridge Club of Roanne.

The days are cooler now, and the mountains in the distance are covered by clouds, giving the port of Roanne a ghostly appearance.

I have reknitted the neck of Shannon's sweater, and it seems to have worked! She has not yet repeated her Houdini “escape from my sweater” act!

Our bridge club has its own premises in an apartment, not far from the port. Each room has a king of a different suit, overlooking the play, with all four rooms in use on competition days.

Moving on to the dining room after play today, there are plenty of bugnes (pancakes) for everyone.

A flock of seagulls have moved to our end of the port, and can be extremely noisy. One morning they woke up at 5am and had a long, loud discussion before setting off for the day.

Shannon was fascinated by the cats versus dogs programme on TV.
This afternoon we had planned to walk across these stepping stones and on along beside the River Loire. However, there was just too much water for it to be safe. The stones usually stand up, right out of this tributary.

Yesterday, Mick's two dogs decided to go rabbiting, down the bank towards the river, and were missing for a couple of hours. Luckily, Meg was coming along the path, between rabbits, just as we got there, so she was happy to come to be caught. Billy was a little further on, way down on the river bank, but decided that perhaps he could manage to climb up to join us too. They were even more pleased to see their master, but we did not hear them promise never to do it again!


  1. That answers the question - 'no' the stepping stones are not 'navigable'. I suspect the levee walk around the base of the town is a no go too.

  2. I'm fascinated that I have followed both you and Contented Souls on your French travels and here you meet up.
    Your main photo, is it Lough Key?
    Tiger 16 now and still doing okay!
    Safe and pleasant journeys for 2016.
    Anjile's Delight.

  3. Thank you for your comment, Angela. We are glad to hear that Tiger is well, and no doubt still in full voice! Shannon too is enjoying life, here in France. Our main photo was taken at the NW corner of Lower Lough Erne, near to Castle Caldwell. Yes, Roanne is the place to be in France, with Matilda Rose arriving just last week. Did you know that she is for sale? Jill and Graham have bought Francoise, a dutch Tjalk.