Sunday, February 09, 2014

Out of harbour's way

In just over a week, I will be releasing my new book, Harbour Ways. I must confess that the closer the date comes, the more unsure I am about publishing. It's probably because it's a sequel. There's always the possibility that those who have read Watery Ways and enjoyed it will be disappointed because it's not the same. Well of course it isn't, and I know no one would want it to be the same really. I'm just getting jittery, that's all.

But while I wait for the big day, there is plenty of other work to do. This is an exceptionally busy time of year for me, and I've spent the weekend immersed, or rather submerged, in student assignments (what's new? you might well ask). Today, then, we decided to get out of harbour's way (sorry, couldn't resist that) and go to the estuary to blow away some cobwebs.

We drove to Terneuzen where you can stand on the headland and watch the ships coming into harbour. There are three huge locks, two of which are big enough to hold the massive transporters and sea-going tankers that make their way inland to Ghent. On their way, they pass the village where I have my weekend getaway, and we can see them clearly from the bedroom window.

Today, the sun was shining brightly, but the wind was unbelievable. I could barely hold myself straight and I've had to throw half the photos I took away as I couldn't keep my hands still. It was like having a monster paw in the middle of my back propelling me along. It did the trick though. If I was harbouring any cobwebs, they were swept clean away within seconds. Poor Sin nearly lost her ears too. Oddly enough the water wasn't that choppy - not on our side anyway, so there were no dramatic waves, not that we get them very often anyway, but I would have expected more white caps at least with the power of the wind.

Sindy squinting against the wind

It's amazing that Koos kept his hat on

It did me good, though, and Koos and I went home feeling much more refreshed. Here are just a few photos to show how brilliant the light in the estuary and harbour was. Apparently Zeeuwse skies and light are well known, so it's not surprising I love it so much here. The skies are just beautiful. An outing like this will keep me going for the rest of the week. Just as well as it's pouring again now!

The headland where we were walking took all
the wind that was going

A loaded barge heading into harbour and the locks that lead
into the Terneuzen to Ghent canal 
Tugboats moored up outside the locks. They are
used to guide the big ships up the canal.

Dow Chemical factory. Even this is beautiful in
Zeeuse light

The Headland


  1. Thanks for putting this up, Val. I always love seeing your day trip photos. I'm looking forward to your new release!

  2. Very glad you're having some "decent" weather; nothing here but bitter cold and lots of snow... We're waiting for the new book; it should be out by the time I go back to work on the 19th.
    Tom & Lorraine

  3. What great harbour views, Val. I can almost feel the wind, and it certainly would blow away the cobwebs. I'm sure the book launch will go very well for you.

  4. Hi Val .. yes good luck with the publication and promotion .. lovely photos - especially the blue sky.

    Cheers from a very wet UK .. Hilary

  5. OOhh I love reading about your life!!! And pretending it is me!!! Good luck with new book. As you know, I am writing sequel to D&D and yes, there is always that feeling that it will disappoint, but one must couple it with the feeling that people REALLY want to read more...because, in your case, they clearly do! XX

  6. Thank you, Anne Marie, Tom, Patricia, Hilary and Carol!

    I am glad you like the photos. The blue skies are a blessing I must say and it was lovely to be out even though the wind got too much in the end. We are lucky that we rarely have the grey blankets that are so much my memory of the UK. The wind keeps the skies varied and brighter over here!

    I hope the winter ends for you soon, Tom and Anne Marie, and that the rain stops for you, Hilary and Carol. I'm guessing that an end to the heat would probably be welcome for you, Patricia!

  7. Great photos, Val - in spite of the wind.

    We'll all be biting our fingers with you this week - good luck with the new book (and huge congrats on the success of the other one!)

  8. There's nothing like a bracing walk for lifting the spirits. Not surprised you had problems with camera shake. I always count myself as lucky if I get one good shot, anywhere, anytime. You got more than that! And you will never disappoint anyone with your writing, Val!

  9. The pictures are lovely, please can we have some of those blue skies and that yellow ball thing up there sent over here please, all we get is rain! I am sure that the book won't disappoint, all your writing is so good xxx

  10. Thank you, Jo. So good to see you back in blogland again!

    Lynn, you are a real dear. Thank you on both counts! Hug!

    Fran, it's so odd that we are so close but our weather is so different. Of course we've had a lot of rain here too, but rarely for the whole day and more often it is at night. Thank you for your kind words too, dear xx

  11. Some nice shots.

    Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.

  12. Oh Val you live near so many lovely places,I don't know when I last saw a truely blue sky.Love the doggie.

  13. Lovely to have that light and a blowy day. I hope it hasn't been quite so blowy for you as here in the UK though recently as it has been rather beyond a joke. I am sure the book will do well, jitters are natural!!

  14. Thanks, Andrew!

    Anne, we *are* lucky to have so many lovely places nearby, and yes, we haven't had nearly such bad weather as you have. Tomorrow, I hear we are getting a big storm, though. That means the UK is likely to have it first. I'm so sorry!

    Jenny, thank you, and yes, you have my deepest sympathy over there. It's way beyond a joke!

  15. You must be so excited. Enjoy your book launch! And as for having cobwebs blown away, I can't believe Koos kept his hat. There has been no walking with hats on in this country this week unless they're tightly secured under the chin! Lovely photos. So blue!

  16. Thanks, dear Ros. Yes, I was amazed Koos kept his hat on too. I didn't think about it until afterwards - I was too busy just dealing with the wind, but when I saw this photo, I was astonished it had stayed glued to his head :-) Thank you for your good wishes! I'm looking forward to hearing about your publication too!


Apologies for switching on comment moderation, but this is to make sure everyone can comment without jumping through captcha hoops!

However, anonymous comments will not be published, so please would you sign your name. Even if you leave a nice, relevant comment, I won't publish it without a name.