Sunday, November 30, 2008

A not so lovely Sunday

Today's been horrible. Cold, damp, dripping. A typical November day to freeze you inside out. I have to say this kind of weather is my worst, and even the lovely view out of my back window looked forbidding - it had the look of a stone-eyed, grey haired spinster about it. Typical then that our neighbours in the harbour here in Sas van Gent decided that they wanted to shuffle boats around again. I don't know why it is but the collection of boaters down our end of the marina cannot seem to make up their minds about where they want to lie, and the trouble is, we are always involved in their plans for a re-shuffle.

I was just looking forward to a long snoozy lie-in  this morning when Koos, fresh back from Poland, reminded me that we had to get up in time to be at the harbour at 10.00 to fling ropes around while shoving the Hennie H out of its present cosy berth into another one further along the line. Looking out of the window, it was raining, and the mist was hanging low on the trees. Then it started snowing. Not that nice dry fluffy stuff they have in Canada and more continental climates, but wet, clammy snow that slaps irritably at your face with its flakes only just a half a degree below congealing point. Not designed for snow balls this, but more for extreme discomfort as it creeps down your collar and into your neck.

Well up we got and out we went, and once at the harbour, the neighbours greeted us with a cheerful bonhomie that I certainly wasn't feeling. 10.00 on a Sunday morning in this kind of weather was not going to inspire me to exchange anything more than a few ill tempered grunts at best. The neighbours in question - those that wanted us to move again in the first place, fired up their engine from the warmth of a snug wheel house and reversed out of the berth they didn't like; this being because they were in the shadow of a much larger vessel, which was one we'd swapped places with a few weeks before because they didn't like where they were either. Back the nieghbours went and kept on going until they reached a jetty at the entrance to the harbour. They tied up there.

Koos and I pushed and pulled and nudged the Hennie H round into its new spot, by which time my hands were numb with cold through my gloves and my nose had absconded - well, I couldn't find it or feel it on my face at any rate. Still, it all went smoothly enough and we tied up and plugged the electricity in again. Back on land, I watched to see if the neighbours were going to move back into our now vacated spot, but no. They didn't move. They stayed put. We watched a while longer and took Sin for a walk along the bank, but still they stayed. Eventually, Koos said that maybe they'd decided to stop there for a while. After all they were in no hurry. I struggled with this thought. If they were in no hurry, then, why had we had to rush down there at 10.00 on this frigid Sunday morning? If they were in no hurry, in fact, why were we?

Curse it, I thought. I could have been snoozing still, or at least still snuggled up under the duvet and merely watching the snow instead of being flailed by icy needles. The next time anyone asks us to move, I'll say fine, as long as there's no hurry......and the following good weather conditions can be met.......sun, blue cloudless skies, 20 degrees and rising, a gentle breeze...shall I go on?


  1. I am looking outside and my 75 degrees and sunny weather while reading your post! :) sorry, just had to through that in :)

    Hope the end of the day ended up warm and comfortable.

  2. Grace that's meeeeean!!! But yes, I am warm now :)

  3. sorry Val!
    ok....rays of sunshine being sent your way....repeat after me......


  4. Val, if it's any consolation, we had the same weather come in tonight. I took Whiskey to the park and we tossed the ball in the early afternoon while it was still just windy and cool. Now it's freezing rain and total crap out. Time to snuggle by the artificial fire. :)


  5. I didn't think one could pick their neighbours...

  6. Speaking of keeping warm...we are finally getting our load of firewood! It's been in the works for a good month now...
    Where did the days go where it was delivered within a day? Actually, we usually fetch our own, but got lazy, or something, this year.

    I, too, find it annoying when I end up doing someone else's bidding in a prompt and timely, even if inconvenient, manner.
    The least your "neighbours" could have done was show you respect and gratitude by being prompt and timely, even if inconvenient, themselves...

    I am glad you are warm - marking and preparing.

    "Talk" to you soon, Val!


  7. I should rephrase that to read I get annoyed when I do it and don't receive the thanks...

    You get the idea?

  8. Since you are in the Netherlands most of the time, local warming should do for you.

  9. i really should proof read...

    And I'd take Koos up on his offer, if I were you.


  10. Thanks Grace! A few of the reached here today...just faint traces of what they were over your way, but sitll...better than what we had!

    Anne Marie, it is some consolation believe least I know I'm not suffering along ;-)

    Dale, thanks for all the comments! Starting from the top 1. Picking your neighbours is one of the benefits of living on the water...mostly 2. Wood delivered is a luxury we'd appreciate over here too, although sometimes they do it, I must say. 3. I don't think anyone, even Koos, realised how miserable I was, so I don't suppose they really thought they were inconveniencing me...I'm such a wimp about being cold ;-( 4. I'm wondering what Koos's offer actually is ;-)

    Koos, what exactly do you mean by local warming??

  11. If it would be of any comfort to you I'll tell you that our weather is exactly the same and our days are much darker then yours by now :)
    November should be struck out of the alamnack.

  12. Why did you have to move in the first place? Is there some sort of pecking order in the harbour that means they have to be wherever they like and you have to move...? Sounds like public school bullying..

  13. I'm not I?

  14. OOOOh, is this the bargee equivalent of disputes with landlubbers and their neighbours' fences? You have the patience of a saint, Vally - the fact that those guys didn't immediately slip their boat into the place you'd just vacated would have sent me into fits of indignation. I am very fond of my nice warm bed, and need a better reson to relinquish it than the whims of some floating malcontent!

    By the way, I just love your writing, and the followong reminds me that I am completely out of touch with Arie and must visit him again:

    "even the lovely view out of my back window looked forbidding - it had the look of a stone-eyed, grey haired spinster about it."

    Brilliantly drawn image.

    Local warming - now there's a euphemism I haven't heard before ...

  15. I think you should add a few more requisite things... such as a nice bottle of scotch, their own sweat equity, and perhaps even a nice batch of ginger cookies.
    I made ginger cookies last night. they were lovely.
    I hope your nose made it home ok...

  16. You have our full sympathies, we arrived back home from a night shift and walked down the towpath in the snow which was exactly as you described, Finally got on board and got the stove alight and within minutes it had changed to rain and was lashing down. Oh the joys of a coal fire in the winter

  17. Cannot leave you in the dark any longer now. I meant local as opposed to global warming, but now you come to mention it...

  18. Hans, I so agree with you. November's the pits...unfortunately December here is showing signs of being much the same. I was about to say 'is warming up to be'.....but realised that wouldn't be quite appropriate..;-)

    Chris, I don't think they really meant to be bullying..they just didn't take my personal antipathy to being cold into account, but yes, I wan't all that amused!

    Koosje, just you make sure you keep me locally warmed and we'll all be happy!

    Margie, bless you, I'll count on you to fight in my corner anytime, but I won't ask you to relinquish your bed for anything as trivial as my disgruntlement! I just made that one up... Merci du compliment.

    Stevie, my nose arrived home some time later after having indulged in a hot toddy down the pub. It was red and shiny and glowing nicely...hehe. Good idea about the ginger biccies!

    Geoff, I miss my coal fire now, but I must admit I'm very glad of my old Somy oil stove, and it's great for cooking on as well. The weather today has been just as horribley and my deck was like an ice rink this morning.

  19. your prep? you enjoying cooking Val?

  20. Haha, Grace, Dale will tell you what kind of response you get to that question from me.....but right now, I'll just say, no, I don't like cooking unless I can sprinkle it liberally with verbs ;-)

  21. Who's that?
    That's a relative, Claus!

  22. Customarily I'm late in commenting. My excuse is that I've been fiddling with the linux stuff.

    I know perfectly well the weather you are describing. It's all too common in Finland before the snow sets in. Which in southern Finland might be never these days, actually. I do hope it has been better this weekend for you. Here it thankfully was. Just about zero degrees, which caused the clouds to part. Additionally had combined Finnish independence day/my younger nephew's 4th birthday party so all in all good.

  23. Koos!!! Watch out or I'll preposition you....;-)

  24. Hi Maria, good to hear your temperatures are dropping and the clouds are parting. That is definitely preferable to all this rain...and a 4th birthday party to boot! Well that's really special ;-)

  25. uh huh! ok! missing something here.

    Anyway, sorry about the long video post, put a new one up from my hike today.


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