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

  • March 2016
    M T W T F S S
  • Meta

Archive for March, 2016

Markets, scrubbers and painters

Posted by contentedsouls on 27/03/2016

I know, I know, I have been extremely bad and not posted a jot for nearly a month but we are so desperate to settle everything here and get travelling again and G has been back in the uk for 10 days so ….. enough excuses.

We took a Monday off and drove to Marcigny with some friends to visit one of the few remaining small livestock markets and have lunch out – I think it was the coldest, bitterest day we’ve had this winter.


Meanwhile, of course, we’ve carried on scrubbing, varnishing and painting and, on the latter front, the outside painting has been intermittent due to the weather. The boy declined to use the local facilities and opted to stay in bed.


With G away I worked my little socks off and watched the water rise in the, previously tiny, stream as I walked the Muttley boy. Even the iron was unpacked to sort the freshly laundered curtains. Friday morning I took some time out and cycled up to the market. If you’re into fish and shell fish you’ll think you’ve died and gone to heaven.


G returned from the uk on our wedding anniversary bearing presents of Easter eggs, DVD (lady in a van) and oven cleaner.

We decided for reasons of maximising sunshine and paint drying that we needed to turn the boats-given the choice of boats, I opted to shift MR; I trundled off to start her engine to warm up (being on the outside) and was told “don’t do that yet as I’m not ready and there’s not much fuel in her”. I gently enquired as to whether or not that meant that I might be out in the middle of the port and run out of fuel? he replied that it was possible, but not to worry as he would come and recover me (by kayak or by Francoise wasn’t clear)! Needless to say, at a time when no-one would be watching, we completed the manoeuvres without running out of fuel and I turned and hovered MR whilst G turned and re-moored Francoise so that I could pull in alongside again. Both manoeuvres carried out to perfection and I pulled alongside in a whisper as G took my bow rope – if we’d left it until the after lunch promenaders were out in full force it would, without doubt, have been crash bang wallop. If that turns out to be my last time at the helm of MR, at least I nailed it. The more beautiful she is looking, the more difficult I’m finding to let her go.

My side hatches are complete and G has laid all the carpet tiles right through to the laundry room. It has been lovely working in there and just walking away at the end of the day ready to start again in the morning – no need to worry about clearing up each night.


When I’ve finished the border and put the dinette back together I’ll put a pic up of the finished article.

All this work next door means that poor Francoise has been woefully neglected so we invited fellow bloggers Andy and Sally from NB Puzzler and Brian and Mary from barge Kyrenia for lunch today – it made sure we dug Francoise out from slum conditions to ‘acceptable’. Tomorrow it’s back to the grindstone – there really hasn’t been that much to do but our knees and legs are feeling their age and we are struggling to do more than four hours work a day on top of dogs, shopping, cooking etc.

I have been kicked off the Waterways UK ranking site as we are no longer in the UK – fair enough I suppose. I was going to give those of you that use it for access a 4 week warning but I have been pre-emptied and booted.

Posted in Uncategorized | 10 Comments »

Itchy Feet

Real time travel tips from a duo travelling Europe by motorhome

Alex Grehy Fiction

Playing with words....

Indigo Dreaming

The journeys of the Narrowboat Indigo Dream

Aurigny Aperos

…"I took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference."


Join us on our travels around Europe aboard our Dutch Tjalk Francoise


Never grow up, Grown-ups are boring!

Avalon Abroad

Exploring Europe on W B Avalon

M. B. Willow

Life afloat on the 1935 ex-Severn and Canal Carrying Co. motor, Willow

%d bloggers like this: