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 2015
    M T W T F S S
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Christmas in Roanne

Posted by contentedsouls on 26/12/2015

Needless to say, we could bear it no longer and untied our ropes for a (very) quick trip around the port when we hoped no-one was looking!


Another first for us was a delivery of 400 litres of fuel from a tanker; currently paying £0.79 pence per litre for white diesel. This was the first time that G hasn’t had to fetch it in containers. Our red diesel tank holds only 60 litres and is  only connected to the generator at the moment as the previous owners never spent the winter on her and, therefore, never needed to worry about running the diesel central heating. In due course we shall install a bigger tank connected to the heating.


There are a family of Coypu living in the Port and we get visits most days; G has been feeding them on apples and they come begging for them around tea time. We also spotted one perched on our ‘battering ram’ at the bow on Christmas night (there must be a more technical term).

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Peter and Jan rounded up all the ‘orphans’ staying in port at Christmas and invited everyone round to their big barge for dinner. Everyone was allocated components to cook and then we split the cost between us. We were 17 sat down to dinner and 7 dogs plus 4 more people dragged in off of the towpath for mince pies and wine – whether they wanted them or not! Great fun was had by all and rounded off with a quiz before deteriorating into (bad) charades. A lot of people seemed a bit taken aback when G set light to the Xmas puds – including some of the Brits.


Boxing day isn’t a bank holiday here and so we wandered up into town for a change of scenery. Glorious to be sat outside enjoying the sun without coats in late December.


Just before Christmas we had a run out to the Cave of J. B. Clair a small family business who specialise in Champagne – although they can’t call it that as they’re not situated in the correct Region – our gain, as we were able to buy excellent quality fizz @ 7.50 euros a bottle! They had a free tasting, tour and nibbles day which made a change. I love all the old bottles sunk into the wall


I hope you are all having a wonderful Christmas and I wish you a very happy 2016 in case I don’t get back here before then.

10 Responses to “Christmas in Roanne”

  1. KevinToo said

    Good grief those bottle racks look well dodgy!

    Shirt sleeve weather here in Northern Ireland too, but as it’s persisting it down no Pastis et Cafe pour moi Dan’s legal Jardine:(

    Happy New Year if we don’t talk again this year xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Looks like you’re having lots of fun! xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jaqueline Biggs said

    Bonne Annee! Bonne santé! Every time I read your blog posts they are accompanied by a sound track in my head of Tony Bennett singing, “It’s the Good Life!” thank you for sharing some of it with us. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. andywindy said

    “Well, Guvnor, we woz only trying to find out what this round wheel was doing in the Boat, we didn’t have one in the last one, just a long stick thingy.”
    Gosh 400 Litres is an awful lot of Jerry Cans no wonder Graham looks relieved! Do you have to lift up much of the Decking to get at the Fuel Fill Point? and did you manage to retrieve the Spaghetti, or was that a different bit of Decking?
    Can I have that Bottle of Rose from the bottom please?
    All together now, “There were 52 Green Bottles, Hanging on the Wall……”
    (Sorry jill, I Could’nt resist it !)
    Glad you had a good Cristmas, Best wishes for the New Year if we don’t catch you earlier.


    • Not only were we not caught, none of the other boating residents noticed – much to my surprise; perhaps they were too full of Xmas spirit!
      G used to collect fuel about 40 or 60 litres at a time but, not only do we have a bigger tank now, the diesel boiler is our only source of heating.
      Please tell me you didn’t count the bottles …… lol x

      Liked by 1 person

      • andywindy said

        No,it’s alright Jill, whereas I am proud to be an Anorak I’m not that bad! Ocd has never been an aquaintance of mine, nor has a tidy and organised anything let alone mind.


  5. Beryl Ramsey said

    Looks like you have had a great Christmas! Just love the friendliness of our nomadic lifestyle. Looking forward to hearing about your travels next year & really hope our paths will cross again. Happy New Year to all of you. Love & hugs from Ray & me xxxx


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