Many of you know that a couple of years ago, I bought a flat in Rotterdam after selling my barge in Belgium. Although principally a way of investing in my 'pension' (I have none here in NL), I intended to move into it and use my barge for weekend 'faring', but somehow I never took to the flat. I tried staying there, but was always too conscious of other people living around me. On a barge, you are on your own island and are thus insulated from the noises made by neighbours.
To cut a long story short, I have now sold my flat - very quickly, thankfully, and have bought this little house instead...and I am completely in love with it. It is in a village in the very far south of the Netherlands, which stretches about five kilometres along a dyke. It needs quite a lot of work as it's been sadly neglected over the years, but it's all do-able and I can do it bit by bit.
From the front, I look over the top of just one house opposite and can see straight across to the huge canal from Gent to Terneuzen. This is a sea canal, so very often we watch huge transport ships going past - a somewhat surreal experience as they look as if they are just sitting in the fields. The photo above is one that Koos took recently.
This is the view from the kitchen window at the back of the house. There is a beautiful creek, which is a nature reserve, and the fields usually have sheep and/or chickens pottering around and contentedly munching. Not just now, though.
And one of the things I love about the house is that it suits my taste for old country furniture and knick-knacks so well. The pine kist here is one I gave my mother many years ago, and I inherited back in a rather sorry state of repair. It's been great to nurture it back to glowing glory again. The ewer and basin is a 'find' from a local charity shop, and I think it's really pretty. I've also found a lovely old bookcase, an amazing clock and a gorgeous old wood burning stove (still to be installed), all bought for a song....and I didn't even have to sing them either ;-)
What this all means is that Koos and I still live on our barges in Rotterdam during the week, but most weekends from now on, we'll be absconding to the country and being village people..haha...even better, it is only a couple of kilometres from the Belgian border, so we can spend as much time as we like walking and exploring new parts of our favourite country..Ah yes, life can be sweet.