The winter period is slowly but unmistakeably approaching. Our preferred means of heating is coal. With coal the stove needs to be attended only twice a day. While still being in the UK we gathered as much info about France as possible and were told that using coal is forbidden over here. So when we were able to order two cubic metres of dry wood we duly did so. The picture shows the pile, dropped as close to our boat as possible. All of it was transported onto the boat by using a rubbish bin, which worked as well as could be expected. It took half a day to finish the job. Every bit of wood is stored on top of our boat inside three big bags, bought from Travis Perkins (building materials) when we were still in the UK. The French wood deliverer told us that using coal in France is not prohibited......... Not???? So far for the knowledge of a French Marina which will not be named (yet), although this was not their only blunder! Later on more about this.

The burning stove on the 10th of October, being the first time during the 2012 - 2013 season.

On Thursday the 11th of October two family members arrived from The Netherlands and the four of us dashed to the Grand Palais, as there is an exhibition of the great painter Edward Hopper. To our disappointment a friendly attendant informed us about four hours in the queue! Hard on our visitors; we'll visit this exhibition later on - say January, when we hope it will be less crowded.... We will be close to Paris during the winter period anyway. For now the four of us had a sandwich from this stall on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées on a sunny autumn afternoon...

Since the 4th of September our journey brought us from Calais to Draveil, just south-south east from Paris - north of Evry - less than half an hour by train to the very centre of Paris. Only EUR 4,00 for a single ticket! This week our two grandsons (9 and 6) will be with us and they insist on climbing the Eiffel Tower. Naturally we promised them to do it, though the male part of the two of us wets his pants by the thought of it..... Coming weekend we'll travel to our winter mooring. More about that next week.