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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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.

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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.

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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 To my horror, it had gone and been replaced by this weeny thing.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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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