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

  • May 2018
    M T W T F S S
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Moving squats

Posted by contentedsouls on 10/05/2018

By 10am on Saturday, NoProblemXL was emptied of everything but our overnight stuff (not inconsiderable with the menagerie) and as clean and shiny as we could make her. Job done, G settled down to grab 40 winks when he was rudely awoken by visitors in a fleet of cars (well 2 cars actually); he was just about to grumble when we remembered that the ‘visitors’ lived there. For the next hour or 3, organised chaos reigned as Sue’s daughters supervised the unloading and Sue supervised the unpacking.


I was impressed by how quickly two car loads of stuff disappeared into their rightful places and order was restored– a credit to the packer at the other end. Just as well really because, shortly after, Sue and Richard arrived with greyhounds Saffy and Archie; new ropes and a licence for Indigo Dream and chutney and marmalade for Sue and I. Fish and chips all round and then they left us to see to the hounds that had stayed at home. By 9.30, the rest of us were all a bit tired and I nearly nodded off on the stern deck. Around 10.30 the others all revived and it turned into a bit of a party – inevitable really, what with Sue and Vic’s coming home at last and it being Sue’s birthday the day before….as the day turned into ‘tomorrow’, the remaining four dogs went to bed (they do have a bed each, but prefer to share – well Baxter doesn’t but he doesn’t get much say in the matter! – although Penny, of course, stayed on cat watch duty.


After a few hours sleep, G and I were up and creeping around loading up the van with our final bits; which was when we discovered that only one bag of preserves had been left – before I could sneak off with them, Sue was up and demanding half; the ensuing bun fight wasn’t pretty, but I did manage to hang on to the apple and garlic chutney but lost out on the smoky marmalade that Indigo Dream Sue left especially for me. Hmph.

By 8.45, the menagerie were loaded, goodbyes said (how I hate goodbyes) and we were on our way to Ascot; not the races but an early (bank holiday Sunday) hospital appointment for my echo cardiogram. Job done and we were on our way to join the traffic jams on the M25; destination the narrowboat Indigo Dream – our new squat.

How lucky are we to have such good friends willing to lend us their beautiful boats in our time of need.


We made the mistake of travelling Daisy sideways in her carrier; a mistake we won’t make again! I’ll spare you the details but it required a stop off in Tesco’s car park for a major clean up; not fun in the heat – the poor love was distraught.

Now one of the many wonderful things about boats is that, if you don’t like the neighbours, you can move. We had intended to stay the night in the marina and get unpacked and settled in. However, our marina neighbours were on board polishing and cleaning and he expressed considerable disapproval regarding Daisy’s presence – he ‘mentioned’ (in several different ways) that it was against marina rules to let animals roam free and how ‘unhappy’ he would be if Daisy was to set paw on his shiny boat – that was the gist of it anyway. I passed his feelings onto G who finished unloading the van, dumped our stuff inside the boat and left. Yeahhhhh – moving again.


We didn’t move (as) far (as I would have liked on such a glorious day) as we had to dunk Daisy in the sink – what a treat for her in her new home – settle Baxter and hotfoot it back down the road with Muttley to get the van and drive to Antony’s by 4pm for a family BBQ. Good fun in the sun with 4 of the 6 grandchildren there. When we returned to ID, Baxter was snoring on the sofa and Daisy was still sulking where we’d left her, although she quickly perked up.

By the time we’d made the bed up and found the necessary things to sort the animals out and make tea in the morning we were a little bit tired!

Monday morning G was off for an overnight visit to his Mum’s, which gave me a clear day to find where everything was and get our stuff stowed away without G trying to ‘help’. It was during this excercise that I discovered that the main box containing our food was missing (despite it having a red ‘dot’ label); due to our haste to get away from Mr Miserable the previous day I hadn’t noticed, so it was cold chicken for lunch and chicken crisps sandwiches for supper followed by a bar of chocolate for dessert – I understand G took his Mum out to dinner and had a rather nice, large rib-eye steak.

It was another scorching day and Baxter loves the sun but I feared he would cook what’s left of his brains, so I spent a considerable amount of time wrestling with a particularly recalcitrant umbrella. When I finally managed to get it to stay up in the right place, the system worked rather well.


Until Daisy came along and ousted him – that’s his indignant look.


Muttley? He hid indoors all day until it was cool enough for me to take him down to the stream for a walk and then he retired to the rear deck for the entirety of the cooler evening.


Clearly Daisy’s reputation has arrived before us as we haven’t been visited by a single Greyhound ……. yet!

2 Responses to “Moving squats”

  1. vallypee said

    Oh my word! It all sounds like quite a cafuffle (not sure how you spell that), but a very good natured one and really great that all these friends have come to the party so to speak. I know the second Sue a bit better than the first Sue from FB and Twitter and just love Archie and her lovely greyhounds. Give her a hug on my behalf when you next see her!


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