Thursday, October 23, 2008

Happy Travels Philip!

The video clip below is one that Koos made of our dear friend Philip last year. To me, it is the essence of this very special man who has been one of the truest, but least demanding friends I have known in my life.

This last Sunday, Philip left the harbour for an extended trip down the waterways of Holland and Belgium and into France where he intends to spend several months, if not a year or more. It has been his dream for as long as I can remember, and despite all the sceptics, he has finally embarked on his travels, along with Joop his little jack Russel-cross, and Bram, his cat with no tail. We shall all miss him. He has been so much part of the colour of our life that the harbour will seem a greyer place without him.

The boat in the clip is not the one he is travelling on! I can just imagine you all picturing him folding himself into this tiny, this is just his 'toy' albeit a useful one, and his own, rather beautiful barge is about 24 metres long and 4.5 metres wide with plenty of living space in the hold. I'm sure he will be very comfortable there with Joop and Bram, as he has recently finished the interior and it looks stunning from the photos Koos took of it.

To quote what I wrote in my book Watery Ways "Philip is distinguished by his almost ever present smile. It is wide and dominated by very white teeth. The rest of him varies from dark to black depending on how much welding he has been doing when you happen to bump into him." Well, the film clip and the photo here bear me out forcibly, don't they?

Philip has started a blog of his own, so hopefully it will keep us up to date on his adventures....but since he is known rather more for his kindness and generosity than for his good memory and reliability, we shall see, won't we?

All I would really like to say here is to wish him a wonderful journey and the fulfilment of the dream that he is finally following.


  1. Hi Val!
    I do remember Philip from your adventures in "Watery Ways"! He was such a friend when you were on your own in the new watery world of Oude Haven. He is just as you described him!

    Good Luck and Bon Voyage, Philip!

    Does he actually sleep on that tiny vessel?

  2. I'm not anonymous!
    It's me, Dale...

    What has happened to Blogger?

    now i must fix

  3. LOL Dale, thanks so much for coming round. I've missed you a lot. Blogland has been far too quiet of late.

    Anyway, about Philip, the boat in the clip is not the one he's gone away on...oh no! That's far too small for such a journey. That's just his toy in fact. His live aboard ship and the one he's travelling to France on is about 22 metres long and 4 metres wide and is very roomy inside! If you are interested in following his travels, you can visit his blog (just started) on

    I don;t know how often he will write anything, and it will all be in Dutch but you might find it interesting.

    Hugs and love to you, dear Dale. Don't be a stranger xxx

  4. Hi Val

    A fantastic little clip and a fantastic looking boat and skipper. That seems to be the beauty of waterways the world over, The fantastic people and friends that you meet.
    Ive clocked the blogsite and will follow his travels, I might need my google translator most of it


  5. hiya vallyp!!
    lovely vid and he looks like a wonderful friend. i wish him all the best in his travels. i'll try and catch his blog (if he blogs;) but i think i will be leaving blogland at the turn of new year. but we'll see!?
    wanted to mention, if you or Koos are members of they are selling tickets for two shows the boys are doing in London in Dec. and i think they went on sale today. i have a feeling way deep inside that these shows are going to be extra, extra special!
    oh, and speaking of traveling friends....have you heard from Gypsy?
    well, i've taken up enough of your space here....i wish you well and hope your weekend is wonderous!

  6. Safe travels, happy trails to your friend Philip.


  7. Thanks Geoff, It's good to know that you've been here and know what this harbour is all about, and yes, the waterways are home to some really great people aren't they?

    Cheryl Ann, thanks so much for the tip about the Who concerts! I do hear from Gypsy, but mostly via Facebook now. She's fine and doing very well. I'm sad to hear you might not be blogging before long, though. Blogdom is not the place it used to's all gone a bit quiet these days.

    Thanks grace, I'll pass the good wishes on!

  8. Hi Val,

    now it's time and I'm here to read your old posts. Sometimes I try to visit your blog, but I don't find the right mood.

    Such a small boat from Philip. Is he driving with this one? I can't believe.

    Read, you could see Coldplay. I love her music, too. Thought to see them in Germany, but I haven't the time to go, because they were playing not near my hometown.

    Do you and Koos go to the WHO gig in London (December)?

    I booked tickets for Charlotte and me.

    Wish you a great sunday evening.



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