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

  • March 2020
    M T W T F S S
  • Meta

I really should know better….and a Family visit

Posted by contentedsouls on 02/03/2020

In the 7 or 8 days between G & G leaving and the family arriving, we popped over Montgo (bloody great hill with a national park) and down the other side into the Provence of Valencia a number of times. We found the area a lot less over run by expats and loads of lovely little tucked away restaurants where the food was delicious, cheap, and no English was heard. We also found more national parks and dog friendly beaches for Muttley.

G suggested we go back to one of our favourite little restaurants on the beach for lunch. Then he, oh so casually, mentioned that he had seen a really nice little town house just up the road.

‘Why don’t we make an appointment to have a look, whilst we’re in the area,’ he said.

‘But we agreed that we wouldn’t buy a house for a few years, and that we’d explore new areas every winter,’ I replied.

‘Yes, but we could just have a quick look to see how it compares for the money with places we see in other areas,’ He glibly replied.

I really should know better by now; never trust a Graham when he replies with such logical ‘off the cuff’ responses! He doesn’t do “logical or off the cuff,” he’s more of an um, err, well perhaps ummm, sort of man.

So……. we went out to walk the dog and buy lunch and, after a few days of haggling, bought a house. We have exchanged this week and we shall be moving on 16th or 17th March. I hasten to add that We are NOT going to sell Francoise – we did not need residencia to buy the house (although buying a house will certainly help us to get residencia). This allows us to continue living as we have been, pre-Brexit; boating through Europe, road trips and house sitting, with the added bonus of a comfortable, well equipped, base; our ‘rentals’ have not been ideal so far. It also means that both sets of kids and the grandchildren can spend some time there in the summers.

These are pictures of the beach – about 2kms below our little house; taken with my back to one of our favourite  restaurants


The family arrived at 10pm, so we only had 3 full days; we certainly didn’t waste a moment of that very precious time!


An added bonus was that we took them up to see our new pad – just from the outside – but were spotted by the vendors and they invited us all in, including Muttley, so the kids now have seen where they’ll be spending some of their summer holidays. It was very kind of them and we were extremely grateful.


As we drove over the hills a fret moved in, so we had a quick looksee and beat a hasty retreat back into the sunshine.

We took them up to Sue No Problem’s ‘restaurant on the mountain’ and Karen didn’t fare to well on the mountain climb – up or down – having an attack of the jeebies and collywobbles, but she still said that it was her highlight of the three days!


For Andre I think that – apart from the beaches – his highlight was probably his duties as fresh “orange juice monitor”. Every morning he picked oranges off of the trees and juiced them for our breakfasts. The little video (link below) that Karen made and expertly edited, shows how seriously and proficiently he undertook this duty.  Please go to You Tube link in ‘Comments’

I have mentioned, in the previous blog, how we had only one working shower – and decidedly dodgy, at that, should anyone touch a tap or flush a loo elsewhere in the house! Also that the use of electrical appliances was limited to one at a time.

I have to admit that I was concerned as to how the family would cope with this type of living – especially with Chenelle being a teenage beautician in the making – but I underestimated them, and they took it all in their stride; clearly boaters in the making!!

Most of us, heading towards the shower, tackled the problem by making Chenelle accountable if she let anyone touch the water supply – an extreme temptation for Andre. If they did, she was going to get chucked into the cold manky swimming pool; that pretty much fixed it! Cool Karl – the tough man amongst us – didn’t seem to care. One evening he saw that I was prepping supper in the kitchen and never even told me he was getting in the shower! Goodness knows how many times I must have doused him in freezing or scalding water.

Thanks for coming out guys, it was great fun.

11 Responses to “I really should know better….and a Family visit”

  1. Jan Swatridge said

    Best guess al OST 100% right…just hadn’t factored in change of location! Congratulations. Xx



  2. Kevin TOO said

    Does this work?


  3. andywindy said

    That’ll be Andre, the fastest juicer in the West! A nice little video that.
    Oh, by the way, we bought a house, WHAT? You must have heard my surprise over there! Does solve the European citizenship problem a bit though, does this mean you’ll be able to claim Spanish citizenship after a while? (As well as Residence.)
    Does the House have a nice big oven, or room for a half-barrel BBQ? I’m sure it’ll only be a matter of time before Family decide to visit you in Spain instead of hosting you for Christmas!
    I wonder if we will see pictures of Francoise wth a Spanish Flag?


    • In theory, yes. However my language skills are very unlikely to reach the competency required for citizenship. I don’t think I’m ready to relinquish my British passport either – I remain in hope that England will sort itself out again one day!

      Definitely room for a half barrel BBQ (pictures in next blog).

      Francoise won’t be re-registered here – having fun and games just trying to sort out the camper van!


  4. Amanda Lewis said

    Can’t believe you have bought a house in Javea! Whereabouts? We are trying to sale our finca in Javea. It’s in Cansalades on the road from Javea Arenal to Benitachell. Just past the Bowling Club. We know Javea well. It has grown and changed a lot in the last 15 years. Lots of lovely memories.


    • We know your area – G’s old RAF colleague is quite close to you and we visited him last year.
      I can only imagine what it was like 15 years ago – before it was invaded by British ex pats (yeah – like us, I know). The Brit invasion will have made that a good investment for you.
      We haven’t bought in Javea as it wasn’t ‘us’.
      We spend most of our time across the other side of Montgo and have bought an old, terraced, Spanish (well, Valencian) town house in the old town, up by the castle in Oliva. It only has about a 5% Brit poulation and is perfect to lock up and leave for 6 months of the year. I’m sure that you will have no problem in selling where you are x


  5. Kath said

    Well! That was a very throw-away way of making your announcement 😂. Looking forward to the pictures. Will you move in now?
    Kath (nb Herbie)


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