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

  • August 2014
    M T W T F S S
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Archive for August 28th, 2014

I never know when to shut up and a wasted week

Posted by contentedsouls on 28/08/2014

We’ve been hanging around here for a week longer than we wanted to stay because of returning to Verdun to collect our French bank cards – we’re already 40k South of Verdun and our next port of call, Commercy, is another 20k further South. Yesterday we, again, rang the bank (with a little help from ‘translate’) as suggested and all we got was an answering machine. After trying all morning, G sent an e-mail and in the afternoon we had an email reply saying that the bank at Nancy would be sending the stuff to England. We sent another email saying that, if the stuff was at Nancy we’d pick it up from there as we’re heading that way (or could be). Another email reply to say it was on it’s way to England already! Why didn’t they tell us and it’s not a lot of use as they’ve sent both sets of stuff (ours and Avalon’s) to Debbie and Kevin’s address in England We’re all HERE. Grrr, grrrr and thrice grrrr.

Last Sunday I got chatting to a Belgian lady and she said how cold she’d been on her boat so, in the evening, we thought we’d walk down for a pint and drop our spare hot water bottle off for her. She was very grateful and it all led to drinks on boats and then us hosting drinks on our boat on Monday (I was a good girl and stayed with the tea on Monday as I’m trying to lose some weight and not drink alcohol on consecutive days). I think G is astounded that I’m getting through these social occasions without joining in – I certainly am!

Talking of soft drinks, I thought I’d mix myself a ‘Virgin Mary’, having found 3 cartons of tomato juice in the store cupboard. Unfortunately the best before dates were June/Sept 2012; I hope they were best before then, ‘cause they were pretty disgusting when I opened them now! By the time I’d poured all 3 into the River it looked like they’d been a shark attack.

Whilst returning from a dog walk I came across people in wet suits, they were training dogs (Newfoundlands I think) to take rings and boats out to ‘drowning’ people and tow them back to shore. One didn’t seem very keen on the idea but capitulated in the end and got a watery cuddle for his efforts.

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They are so gorgeous; a lady living near us, when we had the shops, used to breed them and we encouraged her to bring the pups in for socialisation. That was a sizeable dinghy, plus outboard, that this one was pulling – they are so solid and the size of small ponies. I must have stood and watched them for an hour or more.

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Tuesday we had a 48 hour severe weather warning. Now, like all good Brits, I’d been brushing up on my French conversation regarding the weather so, when I spotted an elderly French gentleman tending his allotment between storms, instead of trotting out the obligatory bonjour, I thought I’d go for it and discuss the weather warning with him. I was doing well and managed to keep the conversation going (only having to ask him to slow down a bit once) and feeling rather pleased with myself – until he said that the torrential rain we were expecting was very good. I was intrigued by this comment so asked him, ‘why was it good?’. I never know when to keep my trap shut and quit whilst I’m ahead. He returned my question with 10 minutes of rapid fire French, complete with flamboyant gesticulation whilst I stood there grinning inanely like the village boat idiot that I am. I never caught one single word!

We did get some rain and a bit of lightning but nothing like we’ve had in the past so I don’t know what that was all about.

Internet very dodgy again (that’ll make a change) so I do the blogs in Live Writer. I must, therefore, try to remember to write the date as I can’t be sure when the posts will get uploaded.

Post written: Thursday 28th August

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