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

  • July 2015
    M T W T F S S
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Archive for July 19th, 2015

Saint Quentin

Posted by contentedsouls on 19/07/2015

Friday, if anything, dawned even hotter and the only way to survive was all doors and hatches open and all windows and portholes out, which meant we couldn’t leave the boat together. At 35 degrees you can imagine what the temperature would have reached had we shut down and secured the boat. G decided, therefore, that he might as well get the train and retrieve the car from Cambrai after I’d walked and dunked the dogs. As it turned out it was just as well he did.

Saturday morning I went to the fridge to get milk for tea and the temperature inside the fridge was 24 degrees! Much as I’m not much of a believer in co-incidences, I’m assured by the technical department that the freezer and the fridge are on different circuits and that the freezer had power reaching it. The 10 year old fridge has been a bit ‘temperamental’ for awhile now and, with the boat temperatures being consistently between 30 and 40 plus, it just gave up. As neither of us fancied living on warm water and noodles, we needed to do something.

We shot over to the industrial estate and bought their only 50cm wide fridge freezer.  Whipped the old one out and the new one in and I sent him down the local ‘decheterie’ with the old one, whilst the new one ‘rested’ for 3 hours, and I started clearing up. The decheterie was listed as being for St Quentin residents only but they gave him no grief.

We had intended to shop that day as we had no food in at all so G picked up a McDonald’s on the way back – no staff, just an automated ordering and payment system which wasn’t easy to understand. He came back with 2 blue cheese burgers, 1 large fries and 1 large coke between us which came to $25.60!!!!! It was ‘orrible – no lovely sesame seed bun but a brown, shiny brioche thingy. The dogs enjoyed my 10 quid’s worth and I boiled an egg.

We were woken in the night by torrential rain (I bet steam came off the boat) and this morning we awoke to a delightful temperature of 24 degrees. Couldn’t do the shopping – it being Sunday – so we had to eat out and we walked the dogs the 1.5 km into town to the ‘Golden Pub’ which Trip Advisor ranked 9 out of 86. The food was perfectly pleasant but the staff and the service were appalling. I had to get up twice to find someone to chase down the dressing for my salad. It took 3 attempts before G could get a clean spoon for his dessert and me 3 attempts to get a dessert menu; let alone the dessert itself. What really annoyed me was the ‘Parisien’ attitude of the waiter who made no attempt to engage with us and, I think deliberately, misinterpreted our French. A card came with the bill encouraging us to comment on Trip Advisor – we did that alright; they won’t be 9th tomorrow!


Although the storm clouds were gathering, we had a quick look round. The rather splendid Hotel de Ville had created a massive beach across the whole square – it was fantastic. The 3 littlest grand kids would have thought all their Birthday’s and Christmases’ had come at once. The attention to detail included water areas, sand dunes and beach volley ball nets – if we hadn’t had the dogs with us I’d have been shoes off in there and first in line for a bucket and spade and candy floss!


Immediately outside, of course were the traditional pony rides and carousel.


So nice to see such imagination – I don’t know how long it will stay there; presumably the summer holidays. It’s going to take an awful lot to clear away all those tons of sand. Oh, I forgot to mention it was all free!

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