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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In pontificating mode

Posted by contentedsouls on 29/04/2018

When we left Francoise in the Netherlands on the 11th January with the minimum of ‘stuff’; little did we know that we would still be here all these months later. Staying on the van for a little while in winter (and the temperatures are still no better apart from 2 or 3 days of warm sunshine) was just about doable; but not for all this time.

For 16 weeks NoProblemXL has been our very comfortable and luxurious home and our heartfelt thanks go out to Vic and Sue for making her unconditionally available to us and our menagerie; not to mention my re-arrangement of their galley to accommodate my personal cooking style (ie messy!). Our time is ‘up’ on NPXL for the very best of reasons – Sue’s return to better health and they more than deserve to have their home back unencumbered by us squatters.

On Thursday we shall be moving onto Sue and Richard’s narrowboat, Indigo Dream and taking her cruising a little – I’m very excited about being back on the UK canals for a little while and Baxter will find life a little easier as the boat is kitted out to accommodate ‘ancient’ dogs and the ‘bank’ doesn’t go up and down so much on the canals! So our thanks to them too for taking pity on us homeless people.

At this point (and here comes some pontificating and reflecting) I want to say thank you to the many people that have offered us their homes, boats, electricity and clothes!! We have never been in the slightest danger of being homeless and have had choices and been able to choose due to convenience of location re my hospital appointments and, of course, we will always take any boat options over houses because we are out and out water gypsies. It has been said before, but I make no apology for reiterating it; the boating community is absolutely incredible. Once a bond has been made with a fellow boater, no matter how briefly in some cases, they are always there for you. Over our boating years we have always tried to help fellow boaters and the response to our ‘hour months of need’ has been overwhelming – so thank you each and everyone of you for your incredible generosity.

So that’s enough of all that sentimentality – I don’t want my regular readers (if either of them still do read these, currently, occasional blogs) to think I’m going soft in the head; now there’s a thing as I get the results of my brain scan and angio on Wednesday when I shall find out if there is anything soft in my head or, indeed, any brain at all!

George and Carol breasted up with Still Rockin’ overnight and we walked round with Muttley to the Bounty for an early supper – a lovely evening but my goodness it was cold. We did have a couple of good, hot days during which time Baxter shared the shade with next door’s Bassets, Matilda (he’s in luuurve with Matilda) and Arthur.

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This lovely day prompted Graham to cut off Mr. B’s winter coat which would normally happen sometime in March – we all know what happened to the weather then – pass the Superglue so that we can stick his hair back on. Poor boy is now spending life huddled up under blankets and fleeces to prevent him from shivering. I know he’s old – very old – but I was truly shocked to see him without his shaggy coat; although he seems much brighter in himself he does look really ancient poor sausage. Kevin and Sandra came over today with Herbie and Ralph (the new puppy). Ralph couldn’t understand why Mr B wouldn’t come out from under the blanket and play; in the end he tried to pull the blanket off him. Such a lovely, good natured pup – he’s going to be a cracking dog and was quite unphased by Muttley’s displays of disapproval towards him being inside the boat.

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Whenever Sue and Vic were able to come back to their boat, we always made sure that there were two more dog beds down for Meg and Penny; the dogs however made their own arrangements. Penny, of course, spends her whole time on Daisy cat watch anyway and doesn’t really need a bed.

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So that’s all my news. There might be more regular blogs once we’re on the move again on Indigo Dream.

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10 Responses to “In pontificating mode”

  1. vallypee said

    Oh Jill, I never imagined you would be over there for so long! It sounds as if you are enjoying being back anyway. Do you think you might return to the UK in due course or are you still game for loads of exploring over these waterways. Anyway, lovely to hear from you here and I hope the hospital appointments show that you have all your grey matter in place and that all is well!! I didn’t know there was anything seriously wrong 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Val, I’m beginning to hope that this year might be the year we get to meet up at last. We shall stay in the NL this year as there are still loads of new waterways to discover and people to meet up with. Germany and Poland are still in our plans and returning to the UK isn’t .

      Like

  2. andywindy said

    I’m glad I just read Vallypee’s comment before I started typing, ‘Wot she said’ plus What goes around comes around, You are reaping what you have sown, we are not aware all the time of who notices how we live our lives or react to others, but word gets around and it’s about time you had some good experiences!
    Glad you’ve got alternative floating accommodation sorted as I had visions of you four sleeping on NPXL’s roof!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Kevin Too said

    Hope everything goes well and the hospital give you the test results you deserve 🙂
    Yes I do still read your blog, but as you know they are still too thin on the ground 😉

    Have fun when you go boating on Indigo Dream and try to tell us about you travels please….

    Liked by 1 person

  4. rian said

    Last time I saw I D she was in Middlewich, is she still that way ?

    Like

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