Saturday, September 07, 2013

A day to remember: From an International Pink Sofa to World Harbour Days

Today was something I think you could describe as a Red Letter Day, or should I rather call it a Pink Sofa Day. It started with a visit I have long anticipated with great excitement. I found myself at eight o'clock this morning on the famous and fabulous Pink Sofa that crowns Hedges Towers somewhere around the exalted heights of Harpenden, UK (I'm not sure if Harpenden is exalted or high, but it sounds good!). It was a huge thrill to be there and Carol welcomed me royally with lekker Dutch coffee and a divine strawberry cheesecake. We had a wonderful chat and I can't wait to go back and see her again.

But, duty called, cut short my visit, and I had to go haring back to Rotterdam to take part in our annual harbour festival, World Harbour Days.

On our way
We have a tradition that we always take the Vereeniging out and do a lap of honour round the harbours on WHD. As my lovely old barge is a monument in motion (een varend monument) we feel it is fitting that we should demonstrate our Dutch heritage in the manner it deserves - by manoeuvring it around the waterways network that comprises Rotterdam's historic harbours. This is a trip we have done every year (almost) since I have had the barge and I just love being part of the noisy chaotic water activity that is such a feature of these special days.

Looking back
It's a shame we are not allowed out on the river as that is where they main action takes place, but we went out to take a brief look. The photos below tell the story in one way, but in another, they don't show what fun it is to wave to neighbours, talk to passing boaters and laughingly avoid slightly inebriated paddlers in a variety of floating vehicles - on World Harbour Days anything goes. The photos also miss the roar of the helicopters, the blast of spray from the fire ships and the antics of the port vessels as they perform tricks of manoeuvring they would never normally be permitted to do. That said, they do give a glimpse of the colour and liveliness of this wonderful event. I hope you like them!

Loads of boats on the river

A marvellous old historic dredger

Tugboats galore

More boats than you can sort out

A beautiful historic steam tug

A floating hot tub filled with students. The chimney is real!

We only just caught the tide right.
Half an hour later, we wouldn't have made it.

Waiting to go back into the harbour
I took quite a bit of film as well, so I'll edit it as quickly as possible and upload a video of the main features soon. What a lovely day it's been!

Oh and not to forget! Last night, I guest posted on Jill Edmondson's book blog. Jill is a Canadian book blogger based in Toronto and I was lucky enough to be invited to expound on her page. If you're interested, I muse there about the advantages for me of being a hybrid author.


  1. What a fantastic day out on the water. Wish I was there!

  2. Happy day! :)

  3. You have been getting around and been busy. WHD looks like great fun, love the students' tub! Xxx

  4. I just love your life..please can I be you. The PINK SOFA has mastered some Dutch and is now packing for a visit. (The Dutch seems to be: How much is a beer?' so don't hold out too much hope for an intellectual conversation). Honour to host you.

  5. Thanks Chris, Fran and Christina! It was a truly lovely day.

    Carol, dearest, my English is a bit dodgy these days, but when you do visit, we will manage to put on a very intellectual front - at least for the photos :-)

  6. What a great day you had. And that hot tub - what a great idea. Weren't you tempted to join them?

  7. Yes, Jo, it looked very tempting! They were such nice kids as well. They had no idea how to steer the thing and they nearly ran into us, but it was all good humoured fun. I'd love to do that!

  8. Something absolutely wonderful about seeing lots of boats on the water all at once, and it must be even more delightful to be part of the excitement!

  9. First time visitor to Watery Ways, but certainly not the last, Val! How exciting that you live on that great barge and can cruise the waterways - it looks fancy free and lots of fun.. Great photos, and I like the look of Rotterdam too. Patricia.
    PS thank you for your nice comment on my Blog.

  10. Lovely to see you at Hedges Towers. The photos of World Harbour Day certainly gives a taste of the fun you were having there. I wish we could have joined in. I do love 'messing about on the river'.

    p.s. Shame the shot of the students only caught their heads!!!

  11. Hi Ros, yes it is a shame you can't see more of those students isn't it? But even if I'd got closer, It would have been difficult to see more as they were more or less fully submerged in their hot tub water. Such a good idea!

  12. Thanks Jenny and Patricia too! I nearly missed your comments. I am sorry!

    Jenny, it is lovely to be part of it all. One of the reasons we do our tour every year :-)

    Patricia, I enjoyed your blog too, so it looks as if we will see each other again!

  13. Wonderful! And so is Rotterdam. Praps we'll be there for 2014.

  14. It looks like you had an amazing day! Wonderful photos, and of course the hot tub was my favorite!


  15. Anne can't wait to see you again!

    Julie, I think that hot tub i set to be a huge favourite here. I've never seen one before!


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