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

  • April 2020
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Archive for April 10th, 2020

Life under lockdown – part 7

Posted by contentedsouls on 10/04/2020

Friday 10th April (I think!)

Today’s news is that a vote has been taken and that the current restraints will remain until at least the 10th May – it has to be ratified, but that is just a formality.

How do I feel about that? Well, OK really – the earliest I really hoped for any kind of easing of restrictions was the end of June if I’m honest, so it came as no surprise, shock, or disappointment. I have realised that underneath the skin of this person that is always doing, moving, exploring and bustling about, is an inherently lazy person that was waiting to come to the surface! Massively encouraged by the return to lovely Spanish weather after the first two weeks of incessant rain.

It makes me smile now when I remember how hard done by I felt, PTL (Prior To Lockdown), that I had to stay in for one day waiting for an Amazon delivery!

In order to avoid any recurrence of future, ‘rainy day blues’ we ordered some basic stuff from and yesterday we were, excitedly, waiting for a delivery of a pack of cards. It was scheduled to be delivered by 8pm. I get particularly excited because it gives me an opportunity to launch my dodgy Spanish at some poor, unsuspecting, delivery person – and G gets excited by the arrival of a new ‘toy’. You can imagine our disappointment when the church bells rang out 8pm and the cockerel crowed thrice (no, sorry it didn’t – I just thought I’d throw that in for a bit of added drama) and no delivery. All was not lost, however, as a new notification popped up saying it had been re-scheduled for delivery between 8 and 10pm; we could track the delivery person’s progress around the village – he was at the bottom of the hill, heading our way …… but, then he turned away again, then back towards us, then he turned away again. There was more excitement and tension in this little house than at a Houston pre-launch!

Then he headed away back to town. 5 minutes later a new notification pops up, ‘we tried to make your delivery today at 09.46, but nobody was available,’ – 4 bloody weeks we’ve stayed in waiting for this delivery and it didn’t come, we were in – WE’RE ALWAYS BLOODY IN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Every night there continues to be singing and dancing and applause for the front line workers – most of it down in the town, but someone in the village here has been playing ‘the last post’ at 8 every night. Last night someone down in the town beat him to it so ‘our’ man, up here, played a kind of harmony to it – I think it was one of the most moving things I’ve ever heard and brought tears to my eyes.

I always listen to the nightly music as it makes me feel less isolated. The song, ‘Resistire’ (needs an accent over last ‘e’, but i don’t know how to do that on this keyboard), ‘I will Resist’ is sung every night to a very catchy tune and has become, almost, a new National Anthem. I have been learning the words and, tonight, I was on the doorstep poised with my song sheet prompt ready to burst into song – the neighbour, senor gas bottle provider, came out for his daily excercise (10 meters down the hill and back) and stopped to chat. His social distancing wasn’t great – each time he took a step forward, I took a step back. We ended up having our first ‘proper’ (I use the term loosely) conversation which ended with him saying we would be friends and we must go to his house (I think) and I responded that we would when this was over (I think).

Before I registered what was happening, he patted me on my (clothed) arm and bade me goodnight. Although this shouldn’t have happened, it was the most wonderful affirmation of some kind of local acceptance and future potential integration and such a natural gesture amongst the current frigidity of external relationships.

There is no need to worry about my being contaminated, as G watched this interaction through the window and stuffed me straight into the washing machine.

Another very good day.


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