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

  • January 2015
    M T W T F S S
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So it’s 2015

Posted by contentedsouls on 10/01/2015

We had a lovely New Years Eve day with Mike and June from NB Temujin who drove over for the day. A lovely day full of anecdote and information swapping and a fair bit of food consumption  before they left us to drive an hour and a half back to their winter moorings which we shall be passing in due course – although sometimes I wonder if we’ll ever get there; the plan was to have reached Reims – which is beyond their mooring – back in November!! We decided not to go out for the evening; I think we were both too tired to face an evening of French conversation.

Plans are afoot for this year’s blacking to share a trolley with them to get both boats out of the water – this means getting the dogs on and off the boat using the boswain’s dogswain’s chair! With Muttley it’s just hassle; but Baxter has funny turns when he gets distraught now and anything out of his normal routine distresses him. He definitely has some kind of canine Alzheimer’s and we have to be very careful with him now; he had his 12th Birthday last Saturday and 12, apparently, is a good age for a Tibetan Terrier – being relatively small you’d think they would be longer living.

So the ice has changed into strong winds and, almost, continuous rain – it’s warm but not at all nice. Everything is very subdued here and the locals are numb with the recent events in and around Paris. Whilst in town today, many of the shops have removed their Christmas displays (still up here) with simple easels carrying placards saying, “Nous sommes Charlie”. The normally busy restaurant was empty this lunchtime but many people went there to be together in their bar. Whilst I was, as always, welcomed with kisses and hand shakes I felt as if I was intruding and felt very much ‘a foreigner’, so had a coffee and left. Sorry, beginning to sound a bit like, ‘from our own correspondent’.

G is back in the UK catching up with the family and returning with coal, Marmite and Wainwrights’ dog food, to name but a few items, next week. This is the first time he’s left me here in the winter, so what with the weather and no boat residents/UK tourists it’s quite isolated – also peaceful!

After dragging the boys round the block then popping to the White Horse for a coffee and the Mache for Daisy milk (I didn’t want a Daisy riot breaking out if I had to offer her semi-skimmed), I found some bits of the town I hadn’t seen before. Impressive ‘muriel’.

14-12-29 1331414-12-29 1331515-01-10 1331815-01-10 13319

Also strange and large parcels – frost protected plants perhaps?

15-01-10 1331715-01-10 13316

6 Responses to “So it’s 2015”

  1. Kevin TOO said

    This is just one of all the cartoons to be published over the last few sad days…

    I hope that Graham returns soon with your relief supplies and that you are not ‘home alone’ for too much longer 🙂


  2. suenp said

    Coal? G is fetching coal? Is there none to he had in France? What about fallen timber, have you found any?

    I can understand how the French are feeling and could feel how you described what happened to your feelings when you went into the White Horse.. An awkward moment for sure. Wends was in the USA when 9-11 happened and had the same feelings..


    • We’re very rural here Sue; the towns are few and far between and the ones big enough to sell coal even scarcer. Where you can find it it is twice the price of that in the UK.
      Fallen timber, very rarely, exists as it is their main ‘crop’ in this area and sold by the ‘stere’ (approximately a square metre). All will be made clearer when you get here!

      I didn’t realise Wendie was there during 9/11; it felt intrusive, especially as I don’t have enough French to speak sensitively, ‘je suis tres desolate’ is about all I can manage.


  3. suenp said

    Yes it was very scarey when Wends and the grandc were there. I couldn’t get hold of her for over 12 hours. Out of my mind with worry I was. I didn’t know if they had taken a trip to NY or whether they were in Disney.. As it happened they were in Disney and evacuated as they thought that might also be a target. The Americans gave all the brits in the area great support because they knew they couldn’t contact their families back home..


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