Saturday, January 21, 2017

Different ways


It's several days since Val Poore, an online friend of mine, tweeted these from Veereniging ("Union"), her barge in Rotterdam, though I believe it's still very cold there, though not nearly so windy now.
Vereeniging centre right
I've mentioned Val's books before on this blog, but I'd like to jog your memories. I've never been attracted to memoirs, but I loved Val's, her "Ways" series, starting with "African Ways", an account of her life with her family in South Africa, through "Watery Ways", "Harbour Ways" and "Walloon Ways", which are all stories of her subsequent life on barges in the Netherlands. These books are an easy, fascinating read and I highly recommend them to all who are interested in boats and canals. European canals are so very different from ours in the UK, and the boats quite unlike our narrowboats, but the two boating cultures have a lot in common. Val paints the reader's mental images with great care and colour, and you really get to know the people and the boats in her life, and understand why she loves that life so much.

You can find out more about Val's books on Amazon, where you can read a sample before committing to purchase - which I'm sure you'll want to do. She tells me she's almost finished the next book in the series, and I'll make sure I'm one of the first to buy it.
We're back in St Albans now, after spending three nights on Kantara. The weather was nothing like what Val was experiencing. Boring by comparison! We left the boat on Sunday, content in the knowledge that she's OK, whatever the weather.

It's turned out that there's been a lot for us to do in the house - a garden fence to replace, a washing machine, a fridge a water softener. And we found ourselves getting involved in clearing a lot of clutter out of Grace's den, which has turned into all sorts of other, incidental tasks - you know how it is. I think that living on a narrowboat has made me appreciate the minimalist lifestyle, and I itch to apply the principles here as well, as I move from room to room. It's in my mind, also, that the day will come, though we have no idea when, when we'll want to leave Kantara, sell the house and move to a smaller one. It'd be really good to have down-sized the house contents before we downsize the house!

It's going to be a tad chilly on the marina tonight. Part of me would really love to be there!

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