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.

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Early March 2016. Bridge at Villemontais. Repainting of The Puzzler.

We were invited by Dominique and Marcel to a bridge party at Villemontais, up in the hills to the south of Roanne.

The splendid view from their garden looks back down to Roanne, seen here in the distance.

Andy was playing with Raymond, against Michelle and Marcel for this round.

Meanwhile Sally was with RenĂ©e, against Simone and Dominique on the other table.
On the 5th of March the weather over the port was very threatening, even though it was only mid afternoon when I took this photo. However no rain arrived this time, and on the whole, we have had an extremely mild winter.
Having walked along by the River Loire, this steep climb up to the top is a great favourite of Shannon. She likes to hang back so that she can come up at full speed!

Once back at the port, she enjoys resting on the roof of The Puzzler, watching the world go by.
Two years ago, before we left Enniskillen in Northern Ireland, we repainted the port side of The Puzzler, then last spring, while in Schagen in The Netherlands, we redid the starboard side. This month we are working on the bows and the stern so that the whole boat looks smart. Andy is in charge of sanding and preparation, while I do most of the painting. It is pleasing how well it has kept up since the original painting was done in 2004, prior to the launch in 2005.

The front is masked ready for the green diamonds. Each different colour in this section has to be masked separately, then given two coats of paint on consecutive days. Two days later, that paint is hard enough for the next colour to be masked, and so on! So long as it does not rain, the section can be finished in two and a half weeks. The front fender is quite upset about being hung so close to the water for so long!

Now this is how to relax!

We do have some wonderful sunsets over the port here in Roanne.

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