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

  • April 2017
    M T W T F S S
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Archive for April 13th, 2017

Old friends and new and a mega cruise to make up for lost time

Posted by contentedsouls on 13/04/2017

I was sat in the middle of nowhere on Monday evening typing up a blog whilst G determined that there was time to slop some more paint on whilst the temperature/humidity levels were still good. After all those years on a narrowboat of keeping it all shiny and polished, I cannot tell you how joyous it is just to ‘slop’ paint on various bits of our ancient tjalk as and when required. I was taken by surprise by this peniche ‘a creeping up on me’ – he had spotted G on the roof and politely slowed down so much that I neither felt, nor heard his approach. The day turned into a beautiful evening.



Tuesday morning we were on a specific mission with just 3 locks to Sillery: supermarket shop, re-cycling and a meet with a Facebook friend. A ‘phone call just before we left added a visit from Mike and June (who live over here on NB Temujin) who were travelling passed us by car. Muttley and I were able to walk part of the way leaving G to pull pins and follow on behind us.


With two lots of visitors arriving and not a great deal of time, I needed to prioritise. I had to get the recycling off of the boat and do the walk of shame – after several weeks, I would have preferred to have done this under the cover of darkness but that was not an option so I sneaked (nay, staggered under the weight) behind the hedgerow towards what I knew, from previous visits, to be an enormous bottle bank re cycling station. To my horror, it had gone and been replaced by this weeny thing.


There sure as hell wasn’t going to be a lot of space left for anyone else!

I called around to find Sharon and Stan (who had arrived from the States the previous day) already working hard on their barge Encore and happy to come around for pre-dinner drinks after they’d knocked off for the day. Mike and June had arrived by the time I returned to Francoise and after a cuppa or two I had to hit the supermarket.

Now here I need to up the anti for visitors. Whilst, in the past, I have been delighted to receive a loaf of Warburton’s from UK visitors, my American friends brought Champagne  ….. just saying (although it doesn’t toast well!). Half way down the first glass I realised that G and I hadn’t eaten since around 11 am; so we scrubbed on the elegant nibbles which I hadn’t had time to make and went for cheese and pate, not exactly what I had intended, but it stopped us from falling over. I love the way that plans get dumped on boats when company arrives – flexible living!

Stan’s 6’ 5” didn’t quite fit into our boat – nearly! The second photo looks like we were playing Twister.


After stuffing our faces, we didn’t bother with dinner and the day faded into another lovely evening as I walked Muttley somewhat later than he would have liked.


Baxter slept well again (and therefore so did we), so I was up early – so early in fact that when I went to the supermarket for bread it was still shut!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! who says I can’t do mornings.

The war cemetery watched me back in the bright morning light


We left at 9 am and then left again at 9.15 having returned for a BOB LAM exerciseNyah-NyahBuoy Over Board Left At Mooring. When I went to pull it up I realised that it wasn’t there and it was bobbing up and down all by itself where we had moored, so a quick volte face to recover it.

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