Join us on our travels around Europe aboard our Dutch Tjalk Francoise

  • Jill Budd

    After 6 years aboard our Narrowboat Matilda Rose in the UK, we took the plunge and shipped her across to Europe. After 2 years in Europe we knew we didn't want to return to the UK so took the plunge and purchased a 1902 20 mtr Dutch Tjalk called Francoise and are now continuing our travels of the waterways of Europe in a buxom wench

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Archive for May 4th, 2014

Dixmuide to Nieupoort

Posted by contentedsouls on 04/05/2014

Before we left Dixmuide we sent Kevin up the tower (he has the least dodgy knees and least vertigo out of the four of us) to get some photos from the top


Trundling off in the direction of Nieupoort after lunch today we had an unexpected encounter with Tervatebrug. A lift bridge that was meant to be plenty high enough to get under – except it wasn’t (these names don’t exactly trip off the tongue – I had a problem remembering the names of where we’d been in England!).

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After that there was zero excitement or interest until we hit Nieuwpoort Spaarbokken which we needed to cross and pass through St Jorris Sluis on the far side – it was still pretty windy and quite choppy out there on the big lake – that big guillotine lock just right of centre is where we were headed.

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Having called up on VHF it was ready and waiting for us but the lights were red and we hovered about in the channel outside in the wind – then we spotted the Lockie calling us forward – he apologised for keeping us out there because he had been mowing his lawn

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This is the room left in the lock with bot MR and Avalon already in – vast, but only a small rise and very gentle – the view out onto the Niuewpoort – Plassendale Kanaal. When we leave here we have to go through about 5 lift bridges and, it would appear, go in either the 10 am or 2 pm convoy – but we’ll check that out tomorrow. Don’t be decieved by these big blue skies; it was perishingly cold and we re-lit the fire. Debbie and I were back in woolly hats, gloves and scarves.

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Luxury moorings here – a fishing platform with steps up. No base camp required here and no cycles on the miles of track that starts just 20 yards further up – huurah!

Now, if it looks like a parsnip and it quacks like a parsnip, but it isn’t a parsnip; what the heck is it?

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Now a parsnip is a ‘pastanaak’. When it turned out that this wasn’t one I popped back to the shop to see what it was (I can’t find it in my book) but forgot to take a pen with me – something like voordpetermiel. I expect June or Anne will know!


Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

Cattle with scars

Posted by contentedsouls on 04/05/2014

Kevin and Debbie came back from walking the dogs a few days ago and commented that they had seen a field of cattle all with post-op scars/stitches in identical places.


It took awhile but the mystery was, eventually, solved. These cattle are Belgian Blues and are (even the ladies) incredibly well muscled. Their calves are so big that they cannot be left to deliver naturally and all have to have caesareans.


The bulls are pretty huge too.


So if the NHS goes bust and you’re worried about your pelvic floor muscles ladies, just nip across on the ferry and the local vet will do the job for 80 euros!  Joking apart though, it doesn’t feel right that each cow has 4/5 caesarians in her lifetime but this, evidently, is the economics of beef production here.


Gebr. Van Raemdonck  Monument – this one was out in the middle of nowhere and found whilst I was dog walking.

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