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

  • December 2014
    M T W T F S S
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Archive for December 12th, 2014

How to confuse French people!

Posted by contentedsouls on 12/12/2014

We set off in the car to Commercy as we needed food, medication for Baxter and some ‘stuff’ for the engine. Tried all the motor factor type places for the latter to no avail; they don’t seem to have a ‘Halfords’ type store here, well we haven’t found one. On the way home we found a place that did tractor servicing and parts so G pulled in, armed with Google I Translate and the Mifi, leaving me sat in the passenger seat of our right hand drive car. After quite some time, two men came out of the workshop and started opening the big doors we were parked in front of, so I indicated to see if they needed the car moving and they did. You can imagine the look on their faces as I undid my seatbelt and got out of the car!!! As I trotted round the front to get in the drivers’ side they weren’t angry, just bemused. Only when I’d adjusted the seat and mirror positions and started the engine did the penny drop and they burst into laughter.

I also needed to go into the chemist for aspirin and tissues, so I checked in my brain for 75mg aspirin and I Translate for ‘tissues’. I successfully negotiated the aspirin but was stalled on the tissues. After repeating the word several times to blank looks, I showed the young lass the written word and she promptly trotted off to fetch everyone she could find to have a look. There was much shaking of heads and Gaelic shrugging, so I took a tissue out of my pocket and pretended to blow my nose. With one voice (and not a little relief I suspect) they all exclaimed, “ahhh, mouchoir!”. I translate gave me ‘lezards’, which doesn’t exist, but ‘lezarde’ means crack or fissure. So I had walked into a chemist and asked for aspirin and crack!!

I have to admit, the hairdresser was also mightily relieved to see the back of me after an hour and a half in her salon – she tried so hard bless her and I felt terribly sorry for her; in desperation she fetched me a pile of magazines so that I could, at least look at the pictures.

If the weather wasn’t so wet and windy Muttley and I could certainly make a lot more use of this area and the stream I had my eye on for kayaking has become a distant dream (it’ll be over it’s banks before long. The final part we are waiting for has probably disappeared with Amazon’s Christmas deliveries somewhere in the UK waiting for cross-channel ferries to start running again.

I found the stage set, but no sign of any wise men or shepherds and the donkeys are in a different field on the other side of the River – I hope they all get their acts together in time!14-12-07 13040

14-12-11 1306314-12-11 1306414-12-11 1306614-12-11 1306714-12-11 1308414-12-11 1308514-12-11 13074

If we spend Christmas here then fine. With the car for provisions and the ability to ‘make’ our own water we’re fine. With no village shop, bar or restaurants to tempt us, we’ll save not only money, but our waistlines and livers as well!

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