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

  • December 2021
    M T W T F S S
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Archive for December, 2021

ContentedSouls Returns!!!!

Posted by contentedsouls on 03/12/2021

On Monday I decided it was time to re-start the blog whilst the IT department was out of the way on a boy’s day out (please don`t ask me what a boy´s day out involves – I don’t know, and I don’t wish to know). I haven’t blogged on G`s new computer before and it doesn’t have a qwerty keyboard. 2 hours later I also discovered that it doesn’t have my blogging software loaded; ‘no problem’ thinks I, I’ll use the old one. Another 2 hours later and I still couldn’t find the thing (I later discovered that G decided to leave it on the boat). As those of you who know me well will remember, I am not the most patient of people; particularly when it comes to IT and I was ready to throw the bloody thing through the window. The air was so blue that I even made my mate Howard blush (for those of you who are wondering why I have a man in the house in G’s absence, Howard is changing the downstairs shower room into a bathroom for G ). It has taken another 3 hours today to sort out software and photos. I am telling you this to explain why the next few blogs may have all the right stories and photos but they won’t, necessarily, be in the right order.

Our prolonged stay in Spain, inevitably, meant that we were still here when the the feral tom cats and unneutered dogs had their wicked way and kittens and puppies started to be born, the latter being abandoned and dumped in bins and the former raising litters on any scrap of land which provided some cover. We have a local capture, neuter and return system. Unfortunately, nobody told the cats about the ‘capture’ bit, so I fed them all and now have an official cat feeding colony registered with the town hall.  It was and still is through the goodness of the, largely expat, community, that as many get rescued/re-homed/neutered as possible and many do survive.


Talking generally about neutering, they don’t geld their horses either; imagine the look on my face when I walked passed a row of horses at the stables and was confronted with a row of hindquarters with balls still on display! Having recovered from breaking my arm/shoulder joint,


I decided to start riding again. At my age, and 30 years on since I last rode, it was pretty daunting anyway – even before I realised that I was expected to ride stallions! I tried a few on for size before finding one that fitted.

This one was too big


     This one was too small


Oops wrong photo!

THIS one was too small.

gypsy horse

This one was just right


We couldn’t register the camper van in Spain, and the MOT was about to run out so, after chatting up two youngsters over a Sunday lunch, they drove it back to England for us. For me, that meant even greater imprisonment, not to mention that G had just installed a new domestic heater and fitted a side awning which we never even got to do a test trip in.

Then we had to call time on Muttley. Our lovely vet came to the house in her lunchtime and did the dreaded deed, so it was as good as it could be. Suddenly we had a completely empty house after having had pets all our individual lives and all of our 30 + years together.


Finally we managed to get our strangers’ residency and identity cards, which meant we could return to Francoise without fear of not being let back into Spain should covid worsen.

Meanwhile, here are a few pictures of us out to play and G swimming on Christmas day last year; I feel that I must point out that he is NOT the one in the pink mankini!


Some of the ‘muriels’


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


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