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.

Friday, 28 March 2014

18th - 27th March. Bowling success for Sally! Bowls Clubs in Enniskillen.

Sally met Maud in the ladies singles finals at St Macartin's Bowling Club.

It was a very close game, with a measure to find the winner. Sally won by one shot.

Violet awarded the cups, with Gerry winning the men's singles competition.
These pillars are the remains of the old railway bridge upstream of the Ardhowen. We heard of an old lady who came here, and said it was the first time that she had seen the bridge since it wasn't there!

This is the classic picture of Castle Coole! The grounds here are one of our favourite walks.

Shannon loves to paddle in the water among the reeds near to the Forum
Wednesday morning is our time for bowls at St Macartin's Cathedral Hall. There is always a good turn out here, and a great atmosphere too. This week has been the annual mixed pairs competition, with a record entry this year. We nearly won our first game!
(For those new to blogging, put the cursor on the picture and left click to enlarge it)

A last swim in the River Erne before leaving Enniskillen.

Shannon is saying goodbye to Louie. She is full of admiration for him, but he is much more laid back about it all.

It is sad to leave the Round "O" mooring for the last time. We have been here, on and off, for the last six months.

On our last night at the Royal British Legion we had our annual singles competition. Andy knocked Sally out in the first round, but lost eventually to Roly. This is during the final, where Dennis and Roly are keeping a very close eye on the adjudication of Raymond! Dennis eventually won the shield, again!

Here is the rogues' gallery at the Royal British Legion Bowls Club.
 We have had many happy Thursdays here over the past three winters in Enniskillen.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

1st - 17th March. Lower water levels, Sports Relief dog walk , Hurling at Brewster Park and St Patrick's Day.

The water levels have dropped at least two feet in the River Erne, which has marooned this cruiser! At its highest point, the water was flowing over this fishing jetty.

Shannon really enjoyed watching Crufts on television.
Although the level is down, the water is still running fast through Enniskillen bridge. The big work barge tried to go up on his own, but had to return to the Round "O" and call for Big Red to come and give him a tow.
As our contribution to Sports Relief, we took part in a dog walk at Castle Coole. There were about 20 dogs there for the occasion.

We all enjoyed the walk through the woods.
At Brewster Park, Fermanagh were playing against Roscommon in the Hurling League. This is not a game for cissies! Which no. 8 will get the sliotar (ball)?

John McVitty is in action on the touchline, for the Impartial Reporter. He is an award winning photographer.
At half time the youngsters from local clubs have a short game on the pitch. This managed to cheer us up in spite of the terrible half time score! Fermanagh did improve a little in the second half.

In Enniskillen, on St Patrick's Day, the crowds on Broadmeadow waited eagerly by the River Erne for news of St Paddy.

The police launch and the two RNLI ribs set off very fast to rescue St Paddy from the Lough. A quick U-turn had them going in the right direction!

The police launch left St Patrick across the river on Castle Island, when they came back, so this time it was the Vikings to the rescue.

These are real leprechauns waterboarding, we were assured. They were NOT people dressed up!
The grand parade was led by marching children, with the pipe band close behind. There were several different bands, and all played very well. Music in Ireland, North or South, is always good.

There were many floats and lots of tractors in the procession.

Maurice, Andy, Shannon and Janet all enjoyed the parade.

Friday, 7 March 2014

18th - 28th February 2014. Dog days in Enniskillen!

Shannon loves to run through the mud on the way to her perch on the wall of Portora Castle.

On the way back down the track, there is now much less water, so she likes to run through the wet grass on the bank.

Back at The Puzzler, she has a bath, which she does not like at all. However, this is followed by a blow dry, which is much more to her liking.
After a good grooming, she is ready for a trim. I had better say here that this is the only time she is allowed on the table!

Trim complete! Well, except for the odd hairs which I missed!

Shannon plays with the swans whenever we pass them. However, most of them tend to ignore her now, as being beneath their contempt.
On 22nd February this shows the high level of water in the River Erne at the Portora Boathouse. The rowers have had to wade through the water to their launching jetty. Those shoes must be wet!

By the end of February, spring seems to be upon us. It is months since Shannon could enjoy the freedom of the roof of The Puzzler.