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

  • February 2016
    M T W T F S S
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Archive for February 9th, 2016

Genelard to Paray-le-Monial

Posted by contentedsouls on 09/02/2016

8 locks, 20 kms, 4 hours

A really lovely cruise with no problems at any of the locks – a shame that all the original lock cottages were derelict though. We moored next to a great big park, on the other side of which is the beautiful little town, in light rain. After a late lunch on board, I couldn’t resist venturing out with Muttley to explore even though it was raining and getting dark. The internet informed us that it would be market day in the morning, so we needed to be up early to get everything done before 12 o’clock closing.


Our first port of call in the morning was the local kitchen shop where Madame was clearly bored and settled down for a good natter with G whilst I had a look round. She filled him in with all the essential info regarding the best butcher on the market and which speciality sausages to buy – bourdin noir evidently (only tried the bourdin blanc so far – but I’m not a sausage fan). I ended up having to rescue G from the conversation or the market would have been closed; but not before he bought an essential piece of kit for his new hobby – next stop snorkel shop.


Our first stop at the market was the stall selling Italian produce and I wanted a few sun dried tomatoes – I always struggle with the weight of stuff (I had just the same problem in the UK) and don’t know how much what I want weighs; G asked him for 4 – all I wanted – which sent him into paroxysms of laughter. He supplied the 4 and wouldn’t charge me – once I’d tried them I wished I’d bought half a kilo!

Next we hit the fruit and veg where the stall holder rejoiced in shouting out the names of my purchases in English as he weighed them, whilst we shouted them out in French. By the time he announced that our bill came to, “4 shillings and 3 pence” we had a well entertained audience gathered round. By the time we reached the butcher our reputation had arrived before us so we were in for a bit more stick …….. and no, I didn’t try the black bourdin for fear it might be like black pudding.

After all this merriment G decided it was time for a beer, but I wanted to go to the little supermarket first in case it closed for lunch – G thought this also was hilarious as the store was one of the, ‘8 a Huit’ chain. We had a beer and then discovered that the 8’til late was, in fact, closed from 12 until 2.30!!!! So we returned home for lunch and I walked Muttley again before traipsing back into town to fetch the shopping – it’s not fair (she whined); I should only weigh about 7 stone with all this walking and humping shopping about!

This occupants of this town would appear to be supplied with regular prescriptions of happy pills; when I asked for bouillon in the store, she looked at me blankly. I repeated, ‘bouillon’. A sudden look of understanding ‘ah…bouillon’, she said. I replied in my best (and well rehearsed) French, ‘isn’t that what I just said?’. She looked at me with a big smile and said, ‘non’.

Sadly, the man in the Desigual shop hadn’t been taking his prescription – I spied a rather nice jacket/cardigan type top which was half price at 87.50 euros but he wouldn’t take a card – only cash or cheque. Cheques are, probably, the most common means of payment here still, but we don’t have a cheque book with our French bank account so I dug out what was in my purse, plus my emergency beer money from the bottom of my spec case, plus the crisis money tucked into my secret (don’t tell G) pocket and finally mustered 85 euros. He still wasn’t letting go of ‘my’ jacket and I had to sift through my last 2 and 1 centime coins to raise the last 2.50 before he would relinquish it – there was a point when I thought he might hold me upside down by my ankles and shake me. I could, of course, have exacted my revenge by not producing the last 50 centimes and walking away but I needed that jacket. We had two days of sunshine here – what a delightful place and perfect for the rest of the crew too – even Baxter enjoyed a roll in the sun and was seen to break into a canter.

That goose wasn’t very impressed with G’s presence though!


Probably too many photos again – loved this place


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