…….until you’re Dead”–has been one of my themes of life for a long time, and it is So True! It often goes along with “Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.” And in this most recent case both applied.
On Wednesday 26 October we were on our way from the Netherlands to Calais France where I was booked in to stay at another Airbnb. Paul had to return briefly to the UK in order to obtain our much-needed travel insurance. As I couldn’t keep the dogs with me, we had them checked at the vets on Monday 24 October to see that all would be in order for the crossing for both of the girls. Tasha already had her passport, and Florence was just getting hers for the first time. We left the vets happy and secure in the knowledge that all was in order–NOT!!
At the end of my last post I mentioned that we had one more immediate hurdle to overcome before we could relax into our new lifestyle. We now have to overcome an additional hurdle as a result of bureaucratic ineptitude, but I’ll come to the second problem shortly.
I knew that we would need some distraction free time to resolve our problem so we booked ourselves into a very comfortable camp site on the outskirts of one of our favourite towns in the Netherlands, Dokkum. Our campsite stay also allowed us to replenish our water supply and empty our grey water and black water tanks.
Maps. I LOVE maps and always have. I like to know where I am going and also what is along the way to any given destination. Paul loves the TomTom, and it certainly does have it’s place, though we have been led astray more than once using it! I remember one particular time when we were in southern Denmark and it said “you have reached your final destination” and we found ourselves at the entrance to a farm machinery warehouse in the middle of nowhere. Definitely not the destination we had in mind at the time!
We are just ten days into an adventure we hope will last for many years. We are already losing track of time. Yesterday we had to check our iPhones to determine the day. We have nothing to do but relax and enjoy our travels, but every day is full.
On Wednesday morning after yet another surprisingly restful night at a motorway service station, this time near Ghent in Belgium, I drove for five hours along mile after tedious mile of motorway. Cynthia was waiting for me with Florence-the-Fat, a recent addition to our gypsy family. Florence is a shadow of her former self. At her heaviest, when she was used for breeding in a Pennsylvania kennels weighed an unhealthy 105lb. She had dropped to 95lb by the time Cynthia collected her on 10th August. Today, after many vigorous walks and a strict diet, she is a comparatively svelte 64lb. With her stumpy little legs, she still rolls onto her back every time she lifts a paw, but we love her.
At approximately 1805 on Wednesday 12 October (6:05pm for you English persons!) I started down the drive (at my temporary home ? for the last two months) and was met by my Beautiful Husband Paul and our elder Basset, Tasha. What a sight for sore eyes!
As much as I enjoyed my Netherlands stay, and immersing myself in the Wonderful World of biking as my means of transportation, I was more than massively elated to finally come to the end of my summer sojourn.
I have moved eight times since 30 May and I had had enough of being separated from my beloved family.
That’s it then. I’ve gone and sold my boat.
I moved on board on Friday 2nd April 2010. I spent my last night on board on Saturday 8th October 2016. For 2,383 days I’ve lived aboard a 62’ long, 6’10” wide narrowboat on the English inland waterways.
I had to adapt from living in a fairly large detached family home to a boat with just three hundred square feet of living space. Now I have to adapt again, this time to less than two hundred feet. I won’t be on my own either. I’ll share this tiny space with Cynthia and bassets Tasha and Florence. Fortunately Cynthia has had fatty Florence on a diet since she collected her just over two months ago. She’s not exactly skinny now, but there’s much less of her than to 105lb tub of lard Cynthia picked up from the kennels where she (Florence not Cynthia) had been used for breeding for the first four years of her life.