Sunday, May 18, 2014

The first spuddle of the season

Today was a wonderful day for all sorts of reasons, but the main one was that we had our first spuddle of the season. It was the most beautiful May Sunday, and yesterday I spent hours painting and smooshing the Hennie H, our 'other' boat that we keep here in Zeeland. The spuddle was a much needed fillip for my efforts as small though this little barge is, it takes twice as much paint and work as the Vereeniging. Everything on it has to be painted - everything. And I don't have that much time, so it's always a race against everything else, not only the clock.

There is still so much to do, but one trip out and I'm revived, happy and willing to do the rest. Here are the photos with my pirate Koos at the helm. But of course, I had my own turn.

Koos, as I first met him - a skipper
not a photographer

Look at that roof. Took me hours to paint :) 
The mighty Gent-Terneuzen sea canal

Look what's coming up behind

Lovely to be on the water

And so it came past...

Yes, I love a turn at the wheel as well!

The crossing. it's a big canal and the commercials are
huge, so getting to the other side can be fun.

That said, things are looking up with the books. I'm so chuffed and honoured to have received the Silver Award for The Skipper's Child in The Wishing Shelf Awards and just as delighted to have been nominated in the e-festival of words for best memoir for Watery Ways. Harbour Ways is becoming relatively popular too and my Eccentrics are drawing some regular interest. My new writing projects are taking shape - slowly, it's true, but they are coming on. And I am getting stuck into my final dissertation now, the end of which should see me with that long awaited MA. Busy? You could say that...


  1. A wonderful post and it looks like to was a wonderful day out!! xxx

  2. You are a busy bee, aren't you Val.
    It looks like a spectacular day out there on the water, and quite warm, too, by the look of your outfit. I can smell the sea air!

  3. Busy is the best way to be. (Or is that bee?)

  4. Congratulations on your award, you deserve it. Looks like you had a lovely day out, all the cobwebs blown away now? Xxxx

  5. Thank you, Jo, it was a lovely spuddle! Another coming up on Wednesday :-)

    Patricia, it was perfect - about 25c - the best temperature to be on the water as too hot can burn you. I even managed shorts!

    Anne-Marie, I like the idea of a verb 'to bee' :-) xx

    Fran, it certainly did blow those cobwebs out. Thank you for the congratulations, lovely you! xx

  6. Spuddle! That's the word I was trying to remember,I love it and I'm going to use it as much as possible,ha,ha,. So Koos has went from Viking to pirate,he suits the look. It just looks so peaceful and must blow the cobwebs away having the wind in your face.

  7. Spuddle - what a wonderful word. I shall use it all the time now - maybe my daughters will think I'm up to something rude. I'll not disabuse them . . . or maybe I should just show them your lovely photos.

  8. love the photos of Captain Koos, and Captain Val.

    Happy Birthday Val. xo

  9. Anne, I remember you saying you liked that word :-) It was blissfully peaceful, you are right!

    Jo, haha, your daughters will be intrigued to say the least !

    Grace, thank you dear. I had a lovely day! xxx

  10. Lovely photos. Congratulations on the award and good luck with the dissertation. You sound even busier than me. Why do we do this to ourselves?

  11. Ros, I don't know…it's a bit much sometimes, isn't it?

  12. Hi Val - love the photos of you both and your smooth paint job - very impressive .. and as you say - it must be lovely just to be out and about ...

    Spuddle is an interesting word .. I had a squizz in Wiki not there .. but I'm not at home to check out other references .. still I'll check! anon ...

    Good luck with finishing off that dissertation ... and then a summer of freedom to return to watery ways and trips - enjoy .. time is just one of those things .. cheers Hilary

  13. For some reason, Val, when I go to follow your blog it never lets me do so! So I miss your posts unless I see them on Twitter. Please do tag me in new ones as I do like to read them!

    ps, roll on the summer holidays! You, I mean. AND I used your word 'faring' in my new novella - I was trying to think of the right word for how I felt about what a boat was doing, and it was the only one. I smiled and thought of you as I typed it! I looked it up and it says 'archaic' - oh well, that's me!!

  14. Hahaha, Terry, yes, it is an archaic word but just so FITTING isn't it? I'm trying to bring it back into modern use as if the Dutch can use their version of it 'varen' to mean travelling by water, then why can't we? Thanks for supporting my efforts, dear TT! We'll have it drop that archaic label yet :-)))

  15. PS Terry, very odd that you can't follow! I haven't made any privacy settings at all. Still, I'll tag you for sure. Love to see you here xxx

  16. Yes, don't know why I can't follow, I try to sign in via Google and it never works. Oh well, never mind! And yes, let us continue to fare! xx


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