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

  • July 2019
    M T W T F S S
    « Jun   Aug »
    1234567
    891011121314
    15161718192021
    22232425262728
    293031  
  • Meta

Archive for July, 2019

Back home!

Posted by contentedsouls on 20/07/2019

5 weeks post op flew by, and he had his post op follow up with his consultant by Skype – the wonders of modern technology saved us another trip to the Welsh borders – and cleared to leave the UK again. The insurance company had told us that they were happy for him to drive once he had been cleared by the consultant.

Muttley said goodbye to his bestest mate Marley the Staffie pup, and I pulled up my big girl’s pants to face the drive home with the trailer on the back (just to add a little extra stress). It actually worked out quite well, because G drove for awhile and then iced his knee whilst I drove. We left with loads of time in hand for the midnight ferry and plenty of stops to get out and walk about – in fact we arrived in time to watch the 8pm ferry leave, and we still had time for my last fix of proper fish & chips before booking in and being loaded onto the 10pm – nice for me because I’ve never done it in daylight before.

P1270335P1270336P1270337

Back on mainland Europe we continued to alternate the driving/ice machine routine until we were clear of Antwerp at about 3 am (the roads are a nightmare around Antwerp from 5 am onwards) and pulled over for 3 hours kip in a lorry park that had a cafe which opened for breakfast at 6am. Two individuals roaming free in the lorry park, however, decided that we didn’t need any sleep – I am totally amazed that nobody had caught the buggers and BBQd them; the racket was unbelievable.

P1270338P1270339P1270340P1270341

The journey I had been so dreading was, in fact, fine and G was able to comfortably drive for probably 2/3 of it – even Daisy (fairly) quietly put up with being confined in her cage when I drove.

It was sooo good to be back home on Francoise after all our travels this year – and even more so to find that all G’s hard work had paid off and that there was neither signs nor smells of mould, unlike the only other time we both left her!

We took our time unpacking and just ‘being home’ before setting off cruising again and, in the interim, enjoyed some time with our boat hosts, Vim and Ana. They took us out for a picnic on a sloop for the day, which was lovely, although the weather got a bit exciting crossing the meer coming home!!!!!!! It might not look it in the photo but, trust me, it was very lively

P1270349P1270347

P1270361

Just as we planned to leave, we found a slight technical hitch – our rudder was no longer connected to the steering…oops.

P1270364

G was forbidden from fixing it – well I wasn’t going to be the one to explain to his surgeon that his new knee fell out whilst he was climbing down the rudder, so it was another day or two before we could leave and set off to meet the pirates, but we did arrive on time in the end. Despite compulsory stop overs with Jill & Gary and Vos and Andy en route

Pictures from our cruise to collect them including playtime with Jill and Gary in Sloten

P1270365P1270366P1270367P1270368P1270369P1270371P1270375P1270378P1270403P1270404P1270409P1270414P1270415P1270408

Advertisements

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments »

Hello! do you remember me

Posted by contentedsouls on 13/07/2019

Where was I? oh yes, we had just packed up the camper again and headed off back through the Netherlands, Belgium and (a bit of) France again,to get the ferry back to the UK to see the family, MOT the camper, and the minor matter of G’s knee replacement.

Due to G’s obsession with never being late, we were put on the midnight ferry instead of the 0200 – this would have been grand had we not arrived in Sue and Richards’ village about 0300 and so, not wanting to ruin a treasured friendship, we pulled over and had a few hours sleep. We were due to spend the night with them before picking up the boat keys and heading off for our sojourn on narrowboat Indigo Dream on Sunday. Despite the sleep, we still arrived at an ungodly weekend hour and woke them up. They seemed to forgive us and made us a spectacular roast in the evening and a slap up breakfast in the morning to see us on our way – thank you guys for your enduring hospitality; not to mention somewhere to live!

We did as much as we could, and saw as many as possible, before packing and heading to Oswestry, staying at a great little site within 10 minutes walk of the hospital. G was out of theatre 4pm Friday and ready for discharge by 11am on Sunday morning. That sounds straightforward, doesn’t it? Not for me it wasn’t – it’s several years since I’d driven at all; more than I can remember since I’d driven regularly and never a long wheel base vehicle with no rear view mirror. I was bricking it and then was hard pushed to get the damn thing started as the battery was nearly flat.

The drive from Oswestry to Northamptonshire passed amusingly, with lots of ‘helpful’ information – mostly incorrect -regarding which side of the road I should be on and the colour of traffic lights, as he was as high as a kite on morphine. In many ways this helped to soften my tension and stress by making me smile. The amount of traffic on British roads!!!!!!

Daisy wasn’t overly happy when she got put in the cat carrier instead of, what she thinks of, as her rightful place on my lap. More, I feel, by luck than good judgement, I got us home in one piece and, thank goodness, Antony arrived to help us unpack – he’d done the bulk of it for us too when we first got there. I’m too far behind to go into detail but, suffice to say, we had some tremendous help and lots of giggles from and with the kids, I got to see G’s Mum and some friends (but nowhere near enough) and we did some gentle, pottery cruising pub crawls. I tried (not to say succeeded) to take on my new job roles with good grace so that G could concentrate on his physio 100%. He worked extremely hard and I am extremely proud of him – he reaped the benefits.

Having said that, I had to update my cv as follows:

Chauffeur, provisioner, cook, dish washer, cleaner, dog walker, refuse disposer, water tank filler, nurse, waitress and skipper (that lasted for about an hour!). I also refuse to discuss the urgent pump out mission and my fall down the steps and cracking a rib!

However, I began to hate his ice machine with a passion (although, joking apart, it was a godsend and worth every penny) as it linked itself across the narra and G for 80 % of our waking hours. This meant that I had to keep moving him or run up the front, down the towpath, and back on the boat to fetch something, and then retrace my steps – he and it, effectively, divided the narra in half. My afternoon walks with Muttley sometimes incorporated a pint! No doubt, being driven about by me, equally brought on G’s own alcohol needs! He did rather like my dropping him off at the pub, going off to do the shopping and then picking him up again, though.

So how many people can you get on a narra for a short cruise over lunch?

P1270295P1270296P1270297P1270299P1270301

Daisy always seems to be in her element on this boat; even more so than on Matilda Rose and Muttley loved the plethora of houndie dog beds

P1270306P1270263

Talking of Matilda Rose; there she was up for sale and sold again 2 weeks later

P1270294

We cruised to places with fond memories

P1270265P1270267P1270269P1270289P1270309P1270268

and Muttley and I revisited some favourite walks

P1270310P1270311P1270312P1270314P1270315

We, literally, watched these guys hatch, thrive, and follow us around

P1270282P1270283P1270284P1270285P1270287

For all our travels, there really is no finer place than England on the waterways in the spring

Posted in Uncategorized | 21 Comments »

 
The Ideal Reader

Playing with words....

Indigo Dreaming

The journeys of the Narrowboat Indigo Dream

Aurigny Aperos

…"I took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference."

contentedsouls

Join us on our travels around Europe aboard our Dutch Tjalk Francoise

andywindyblog

Never grow up, Grown-ups are boring!

Avalon Abroad

Exploring Europe on W B Avalon

M. B. Willow

Life afloat on the 1935 ex-Severn and Canal Carrying Co. motor, Willow

%d bloggers like this: