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

  • September 2015
    M T W T F S S
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Archive for September 16th, 2015

Chaumont. Hatches duly battened

Posted by contentedsouls on 16/09/2015

We only have 2 more automated locks on our ascent before 19 manual ones. The manual ones require a man in a van to escort us and operate the locks and we, therefore, have to phone through before 3pm the day prior to our intended departure to book someone. With the forecast for strong gusting winds and torrential rain all week we have been somewhat reluctant to make that commitment, plus we were waiting for post. Hopefully the worst will be done with today and we’ve booked to leave at 10am tomorrow. There may be some confusion tomorrow though as G phoned and said we were going to Foulain (which we are) whilst I got two pages in the map book stuck together and told the VNF guy that came round that we were going to Rolampont (which we’re not – not yet anyway). Oh well – it keeps them on their toes!

We had been hoping to collect Daisy’s new tracker collar (admirably researched by our Kevin Too) which should have arrived Poste Restante at Chaumont yesterday. Instead we received an email from the supplying vet to say that they could no longer get the device – a lie as we have been able to purchase one direct from the manufacturer. Why they waited a week to let us know I’m not sure and we’ve also had to ring them to get our money refunded – not very professional. Anyway, the device only weighs 5 grams and attaches to her collar so it’s just what we want – it’s now being delivered to Langres up ahead of us.

In the meantime we’ve been having a look round and doing a bit of shopping – I loved this ostentatious wine cooler.


G has been doing good things with the fruit we were given, making an excellent peach in red wine sauce to go with our duck and a truly scrummy apple turn-over sponge cake. Which tasted every inch as good as it looked


The supermarket here is vast and, in common with many others, you select your vegetables and then take them to the scales to be auto weighed and priced. I didn’t know this when we first arrived and, to my huge embarrassment, held up the entire queue at the checkout whilst someone was sent to get my veg weighed and priced up – I have to say that no-one seemed to mind. I guess that they are so used to waiting ages at check outs that a bit longer didn’t make a lot of difference – I however left muttering apologies and with a very red face.

Yesterday, for the first time in months, I spied parsnips (generally considered to be cattle feed here) and him and me are very partial to roasted parsnips in butter and honey. Grabbing my trophies I headed off to the scales for the weighing and pricing procedure – there are two ways of doing this; hitting the button with the picture of the veg you’re purchasing or using the product number displayed on the veg price sign. The latter is particularly useful when purchasing items like tomatoes as there can be 15 or more different types. I had checked for a number on my ‘panais’ and there wasn’t one, so I scanned through the pictures of veg and there wasn’t a picture of a parsnip to be seen anywhere. I checked and checked again more carefully – anything else and I would have gone without but I wasn’t letting go of my treasure. By this time, of course, I had attracted the attention of 3 French ladies who were anxious to help the mad English woman who was trying to buy cattle feed and they had no more success than I did. Eventually we found them listed as the last item, with a picture of parsnip leaves, no pictures of the bit you actually eat …. grrrr! Well do you know what parsnip leaves look like?

Muttley and I have managed to get out and about a bit between squalls and we still have a few sun flowers left tenaciously hanging on but I’m beginning to think this might be a long winter – we were still in shorts and T-shirts a few days ago.


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