contentedsouls

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

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Visitors and sunny days–at last the floods recede

Posted by contentedsouls on 17/07/2016

When you haven’t managed to blog for this length of time; the effort involved in trying to sort out notes and photos is so daunting that you are in danger of never blogging again. I am just going, therefore, to bombard you with some of my best memories and photos which may well be in random order. I should also warn you that, those of you with a delicate disposition, might want to avert their eyes regarding the sleeping arrangements of some of my menagerie – that, sadly, includes my guests.

From the Briare aqueduct we pushed north to the furthest point of navigation (due to the breach) to collect our mates. This route parallels the old canal/lock system with several sets of Foxton style staircases:- a disaster for commercial traffic which can’t pass each other. The new build replaced the staircases with individual locks which allows traffic to pass each other in the pounds and reduces the delays. In some places this heritage is celebrated, as in the village of Rogny les sept ecluse; others you just have to dig about in the undergrowth with a Muttley.

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When we landed at Rogny and tied off, the noticeboard said we would be charged 19 euros for the night, so we moved a 100 metres further on and, not only could we moor for free, we were met by a local welcoming committee who had hardly seen a boat this season. It’s difficult to remember in this heat that this was a month ago now and still in the aftermath of the flooding chaos. A pretty little place

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We moved on to Dammarie where we had an excellent plat de jour lunch; 13.50 euros for 3 courses and wine with the best tagliatelle with smoked haddock I’ve ever eaten. It was the morning that we discovered that the UK had voted out of Europe and we and the dogs were made tremendously welcome although amazed that G and I were shocked and dismayed at the result; they thought that we would be delighted so were quizzing us with an 100 mile an hour French. We vowed to try and take our friends back there the following week if things fell into place —- boats; plans!!!!!! Yes it did happen.

Billy no mates, we positioned ourselves at the (now) cul de sac of Chatillon Coligny; scrubbed, batch cooked for the freezer and provisioned the boat. By now I was beside myself with excitement – it had been over a year since Sarah and Andy’s brief visit last year and two and a half years since we took MR up to Market Harborough to say goodbye to Lesley and Joe before heading down the Grand Union to Watford to be lifted out and ferried to France.

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There was, of course, a little matter of the sleeping arrangements to sort out; we have a spare room with a double bunk so we had ‘extras’ to sort out. We tried Lesley out for size in the wheelhouse Hobbit bed.

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Whilst Baxter and Andy favoured the air bed in the saloon

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I don’t need to tell you what a brilliant time we had (despite my failing to notice that a restaurant by the old ecluses onto the Loire was closed Tuesday as well as Monday – not so much as an icecream having made them walk!).These are two photos I shall treasure forever

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Whilst Sarah will probably treasure driving  Stefan’s hotel boat (we were stuck in the floods with him and became quite friendly) Anna Maria IV, with a skotell drive. If you want to do pirating Sarah, we’re the ones that can show you the big time!

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Thank you guys and thank you for all the presents and British goodies – you are the best. Missing you xxxx

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15 Responses to “Visitors and sunny days–at last the floods recede”

  1. Sarah said

    An epic week, and fantabulous pirating to be had too. Thank you both for your boundless hospitality and we’ll be sure to track you down again for a repeat performance. Loved every second, even the terrifying Anna Maria bits

    Like

    • It was great having you all here – I’ve only just started unpacking all my goodies; thank you. I’ll see if I can find you something bigger and faster for next time; maybe freight rather than pax!

      Like

  2. Kevin TOO said

    Yeah! A post, at last, thank goodness… I was starting to think that you’d gone off the stupid Anglais!
    Glad to see and hear that you’re all still very much enjoying la belle mode de vie Français 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • We certainly are – probably a bit too much recently! With the rally starting within an hour and a half of everyone leaving, it’s been a bit full on. We’re now positioning the boat to get ready for the arrival of G’s sister and brother-in-law from Australia on the 31st

      Like

  3. andywindy said

    I must admit that I hadn’t thought of Mutley as an archeologist, but the more I think about it He does have more than a passing resemblance to Phil from Time Team!
    That Footbridge in Photos 5&6 is a modern thing of beauty, quiet understated elegance, and You captured the Mirror on the water surface perfectly..Well done Jill.
    And that colourful Bike. I can’t help wondering which elegant Lady used to use it to cycle in to the village to do Her shopping , probably most days of the week, and what tales could it tell?
    The pastoral scenes in that window are just so… Gawd I’m getting all sentimetal and lyrical!

    Are you supposed to post pictures on WordPress of people in your Beds? well I guess so if Dye Storemeres Blog is anything to go by!

    Lovely pictures and posting Jill. well worth the wait!

    Like

    • Thanks Andy; that bridge was in perfect proportion for it’s surroundings. I’ve collected quite a lot of photos of ‘muriels’ of various kinds, I should put them all together on one blog really but, as I don’t have any kind of file/retrieve system, it would probably take me a week to find them!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Lovely photos and a real sense of the happy time with your visitors too. Glad you’re back in blogging action once again 🙂 xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. vallypee said

    A lovely, happy post? I am jealous of your hobbit bed!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • vallypee said

      Sorry about the question mark! It was supposed to be one of these… 😄

      Liked by 1 person

      • As always with boats (as you know only too well) life is a compromise-that hobbit bed serves no real purpose but ‘tops’ a lot of good storage – I guess you could sleep a child on it. I do envy other people’s wheelhouse living space, but we couldn’t have that AND the patio!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. ianmccauley2014 said

    It is indeed a daunting task to catch up on a blog. It took us nine months last year! My suggestion is to skip Briare, too much to incriminate you and Graham.

    Like

  7. Amanda Lewis said

    Looks as if you all had the most wonderful time. Do you have to book to join in the fun or just turn up with a few British provisions?

    Liked by 1 person

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