Sunday, 28 June 2015

21st - 27th June 2015

Another gorgeous week on the Luciole, a week of music, laughter and sun. It didn't take long for this mixed group of Brits and Americans to discover not only the CD player and the bar, but also Ken's hidden and rather unsuspected profession as a dance teacher, so naturally a demonstration was mandatory and exemplary.The music stayed blasting out all week in the saloon, very fitting timing indeed as France's national Fete de Musique was in full flow from the 21st of the month onwards.

Fuelling the party was an array of cocktails created by host George and hostess Steph, and as the boats official guinea pig and taster that I am, I can testify to just how delicious they were, provided you like your drinks with a little bit of a kick, I think it's fair to say this weeks lot certainly did! The affable and always funny Bob being the one exception, not being much of a cocktail drinker, but I know he was happy regardless, sitting on the deck in the sun with a glass of the ever elusive Grey Goose vodka, his particular favourite, it's rare to see a man with such a big smile across his face. It must be true what they say about simple pleasures.

Adding to the party atmosphere was our weeks reasons to celebrate, and excellent reasons they are too; the joint birthdays of 90 year old Rosalie and her niece Sharon who just turned 70, for every major birthday these two travel away together along witgh Rosalie's daughter Meralie. So this year I'm very glad you made the right decision and came to join us on the Luciole, Happy Birthday to the two of you, we hope you had a very special day and a wonderful week with all of us.

The group line up on deck in Auxerre, complete with Captain Francisco and Tour guide Anna.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

14th June - 20th June 2015

It started as a peaceful week in Burgundy as usual, gently cruising down the canal and seeing the sights, joined by several familiar faces and a few new ones too. Of the new arrivals we were fortunate enough to be joined by Texan sisters Gwyn and Karen, Canadians Caroline and Carey and British couple Meg and Bob, and very nice it was to meet them all too. As for the more familiar amongst us we were very happy to have onboard once again Fra and Steve, and Matelot Tom's Parents Rob and Jan. Additionally we were also extremely lucky to have with us again Arthur, Penny and Jon Liley's middle son, and all around good guy who couldn't have been more helpful, especially at night time as he very helpfully pointed things out with his newly acquired lazer pen, things like your eyes for example.

Shattering the peace and quiet midweek were our sudden arrivals, but very welcome ones all the same. So with that said perhaps it's time to reintroduce George the host, host from last season on the Luciole, covering Emma's two week holiday and taking his opportunity to escape busy London life and replace it with a bit of serenity. On wednesday evening we also had yet another set of welcome faces as Alice, another hostess from previous seasons, and her mother Mary, came to visit from near Dijon and join us for dinner, the lucky souls. So a busy week it's been, with our many visitors and all the catching up with old friends that had to be done, but what a pleasure it's been to see them all again, who knows who will come to stay next week, around these parts it could be anyone.

Sunday evening sunset over Auxerre

Sunday, 14 June 2015

7th - 13th June 2015

The Luciole season commences with another wonderful week cruising through Burgundy, it's been sunny and beautiful all week with one rather magnificent thunderstorm in the middle of the night, typically Burgundian and always welcome, fingers crossed the summer stays this way. It's looking good from where I'm sat, especially the ever increasing tans of all the crew, even if it's impossible to compete with Chilean Captain Francisco.

We are always very fortunate with our guests on the barge, we seem to only attract extremely nice, courteous and friendly people, and this week was no exception, big personalities all around and plenty of activity going on all week. People have been out and about since day one, "the Boys" Bob and Ben on their bicycles, cycling to every tour location and meeting the bus with the rest of the group, their beautiful 89 year old mother Jessie helping me all week by looking after the flowers and refusing any assistance beyond a pair of scissors. We had our first swimmers of the season with lovely Australians Diana and Diane, and our first big game of Petanque along the water front at Vincelles, such professionals no one even lost a ball! We were also fortunate to be joined midweek by Stephane, the brother of Chantelle, and yet another first as the only French guests of the year so far, putting my completely inadequate French to the test, it's always fun to give it a go though.

I have two final special mentions to make. I'd like to wish a very happy 20th anniversary to Donald and Linda, we hope you had a lovely day, and a shout out to the extremely nice Diane, the first guest I've met who confesses to reading this blog! So thank you Diane, it's very nice to know I don't write this just for my own pleasure.

 Diane our first swimmer takes a leap.

Closely followed by Diana's magnificent dive.

Auxerre's passerail basking in the evening sun.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

31st May - 6th June 2015

Burgundy has been hit by a blazing heatwave, the skies are blue without a cloud to be seen and the sun is beating down on the shining decks of the Luciole. What a way to greet our newest set of arrivals all the way from sunny Florida, and to welcome home our crew who have taken the week to travel around to other corners of France, seeing friends and family.

We've had a very special family joining us this week celebrating the 58th wedding anniversary of Jon and Rebecca. Along with them are their three sons Jonathan, Ford and Steven, their wives Debbie, Fran and Betty, and their children Lara, Paige, Julia and Robert. A truly lovely family they were too, always smiling, ever talkative and constantly active and who can blame them for such activity in the sunshine we've had. It wasn't a surprise to see everyone out and off the boat so often during the day, cycling, walking and running around the countryside, exploring hidden places and finding things to do around the canal, even helping the lock keepers with the lock gates all day as we cruised along. It was also a very musical week as several passengers were talented musicians. Dinner most nights was ended with coffee and a sing along, the perfect accompaniment to a sunny evening with a dramatic sunset, and the perfect ending to an excellent week.

 Happy Anniversary!

Betty, Paige, Ford, Fran, Lara, Rebecca, Jon, Debbie, Jonathon, Robert, Julia and Steven line up on the deck.