Keeping you up to date

As with everyone, 2020 was a disaster all round, since the onset of the pandemic, all our family visits and travel plans were abandoned. Only our daughter Babsi and her family stayed with us as a halfway point on route to the Alps in August. They just made it back to the UK before travel restrictions really got bad. The last time we visited the UK ourselves was around Easter 2019, since then we have had to be content watching our grandchildren growing up over the internet.

As restriction eased in Europe we took our first trip outside France, staying with Barbara’s cousin Sabine in Freiburg.

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We were very proud of grand daughter Fiona for her sailing achievements in 2021. Having outgrown the little club boats “sea trials” in the Topper (44362) at Blackwater Sailing club above.

Fiona was presented with the "most improved cadet" award at the sailing club.
Sabine and Jon

In June 2021 we decided that we should test our Covid passes and see if there were any other travel restrictions. So a hop across the German border to Freiburg, staying with Sabine was good since few hotels were open.

The 80th birthday celebrations of Haschi was the first cancellation due to the pandemic back in 2020, so eighteen months later Barbara’s younger brother Rainer was to celebrate his 80th birthday near Cologne. The invitation gave us the idea that we could make a ten day German tour visiting friends as well as catching up with family.

Barbara's Brothers Haschi and Rainer September 2021

Our short German tour gave us the opportunity to catch up with so many friends the we can’t mention them all now. Above are Reinhard and Monika……. the fish people (they own a trout farm).

Babsi on paddle board

During the summer of 2021 things started to improve a little. In the UK Babsi took up paddle-boarding, while in France Jon and Barbara took part in a trip to ‘The Jura’ organised through the community of Chalon-sur-Saône.

Pictured on the far right, Matthias visited us for a week with his girlfriend. Matthias is the son of Reinhard and Monika, the fish people above.

J & B enjoying the trip
Matthias and Juliane

Covid 19 restrictions eased in most of Europe by autumn but, it became apparent that the UK continued to insist on expensive government backed testing on arrival in addition to not fully accepting vaccinations carried out in other countries including the “European Pass Sanitaire”, so with the very high number of UK infections, we are not planning to visit for the time being.

Family lunch at Saint Endreol

We enjoyed our trip to the South of France with Babsi, Jason and the boys. Just about managing to catch the last week of the Mediterranean summer before bad whether sett in at the end of October!

Sunset over La Motte

Christmas 2021 for us looks like another virtual Christmas. A few months ago, visiting the UK this Christmas looked possible, but perhaps there will be a chance next spring if travel restrictions become more sensible. For the time being we are content to be in France and, as you see, we have managed a little travelling around Europe this year. We are very thankful to have excellent internet access.

With miserable whether and the prospect of more Covid restrictions we found it difficult to get into any sort of festive spirit. Then at the beginning of December, we lost our friend and neighbour Jean-François in a tragic accident. We had been welcomed by his family ever since our arrival in the Champagny and he will be greatly missed. It was difficult to think about Christmas.

As we prepared for our first trip back to the UK in three years for Easter, there was a reminder that (in Burgundy at least), the winter was not over yet! Although the pandemic, and all the other problems facing the world, are far from over, most of the travel restriction have finally been abandoned. We decided to book ‘Le Shuttle’ for the first time, hoping to avoid the chaos at the ferry ports of Dover and Calais. It’s our first visit to the UK since Brexit, so we also have to get to grips with the new restrictions, rules and regulations (and costs)!

Col des Chèvres April 1st 2022
Col des Chèvres April 1st 2022