Friday, May 29, 2009


I haven't updated my blog in the last week, mainly because there's been almost too much going on and I haven't known where to start, but I thought I'd better get down to it now, otherwise it will be too difficult to pick it up again, and that would never do, would it?

Well firstly, we have made the move, and Craig and Mo are now living on the Vereeniging. Just beforehand, though, I managed to finish a couple of jobs I'd been meaning to do since last summer when I had to re-do the panelling after the new steel sides were put in. There were two window frames I hadn't made and I also had to repair the kitchen panel which can still be removed. Getting these things done felt good.

Mo and Craig have really changed the interior a lot, and although it's not me, it looks great. Very spacious and uncluttered (definitely not me!). Earlier in the month, I'd also got our Bruce to cut a small doorway through to the roef at the back behind the engine room, so now Craig has that as his den, and it's fantastic. I wish I'd had this done before as it's opened up the whole barge and made the roef part of the llving space. I'm already coveting it as my office. The vooronder isn't clear yet, but probably will be in the next week, and then we can start that conversion too.

I've moved my office and some of my other things onto the Luxor, but the rest has come south to the cottage. The living room here looks rather grand now that it's sporting two sofas. I managed to buy a nice old blanket chest to use as a coffee table instead of the slightly too large pine one I had - which is now redundant. I also had to buy yet another bookcase to house all my books and a whole heap of Koos's too. Luckily I managed to find one that matches the other two I'd bought before. This was was an even better bargain at €25, so I was really chuffed with that.

I do absolutely love Marktplaats. It's the Dutch version of e-bay, and I buy almost everything I need this way. Scouring the stuff for sale on the web is almost my favourite do-nothing pastime. An incorrigible bargain hunter I am! Anyway, the two pics below were ones I have just taken with my phone, so they are really current images of what the living room looks like now.

I also need to update my house blog, as there's been a lot of activity on that front recently, although the latest developments haven't been so good. I had the gutters replaced because the old lead ones were rotten, but now there's something wrong with the construction and I've got huge damp patches on the walls in the bathroom, kitchen and living room as a result. Needless to say, the builder has been summoned!

Anyway, back to the Luxor, I am hoping to do some 'modernisation' there too, and will be insulating the sides and building in some cupboards to make it more space efficient. Koos has plans to put into action too. Ho hum, lots to do. Anyway, that aside, I'm still teaching during the week and have been quite busy lately with individual coaching sessions. I'm also giving some business writing workshops, which are great fun, but come the end of July, I'll stop for a month and then hopefully go to France for a few days to see my sister in their holiday home down south. Really, really looking forward to it.

There are other things in the pipeline too, but I think this is enough for one post. I'll leave you with some photos I took last Monday from Fort Lievenshoek, an old 18th century fortified settlement on the south bank of the Schelde. Like its opposite number on the north side, Lillo, it's a charming historic oasis in amongst the industry of Antwerp's docklands. Have a good weekend everyone!


  1. Hi Val,
    wow, lots of big changes are afoot. Here too, as we are just settling into the new house. I absolutely love it already, and Whiskey is so happy in the yard.

    Sorry the house is giving you such problems. We're just getting used to everything here, and I'm sure we'll have some of our own.

    Have a great weekend!


  2. Hi Val

    Lots to do, but it sounds like you are pulling it all together nicely. :)

    enjoy your weekend. xo

  3. Nice update - I am sitting in mine also...hey, you, me and AM are all in the same boat! x

  4. Aha! These online auction sites are addictive. My brother is absolutely addicted to a Finnish version of Ebay, enough to get on his wife's nerves. However, to his credit, he has also got lots of things sold on the site.

    Myself, I have nothing against the places. I believe in recycling, so why buy new when you can buy perfectly good recycled at a lower price? It is economical and ecological.

    Sorry to hear about your house problems, I do hope they get solved without too much grief.

  5. Sounds like you have a lot on your plate but also that you are enjoying having a good amount of stuff to do! The cottage is looking lovely! Good luck on your endeavors!

  6. Thanks Anne Marie, the weekend's over now, and we are all back to work tomorrow. It's been nice to have the extra day off, so only a four day week this week! Hoping you are settling down in your lovely new home.

    Yes, Grace, there's always lots to do. Hopefully it well get less in due course as I'd love to have more time just to chill and write!

    String! How are things for you in your new home?? I chuckled when you said we were in the same boat...I really am ;-)

    Maria, I guess I am a bit of an addict, but I have also sold quite a few things too, so it's not all one way this way ;-) I also don't believe in buying new when I can get good second hand stuff. Normally, it has more of the character I like too!

    Thanks for coming by Lemon. Luckily the cottage is very close to the water on both sides, or I'd never have bought it, but on balance, I still feel more of a boat person. That could change in future - when I want to have less to do!

  7. A lovely looking spot. Thats the best thing about the canals, there is so much variation and changing scenes

  8. Hi Val,

    your home looks beautiful. I see you have a lot of books, what are you reading at this moment? (Ha,ha, it's a bookworm question.)
    I'm not a ebay friend, because this online house destroy the specialist shops. The customers only visiting us, if they have a question or someting is going wrong. This will be the death of the most shops.

    Wish you a good weekend on your barge.


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  10. Hi Val!
    So, you've finally moved in!
    It sounds like lots of good, positive changes over your way. Hope you're not making too many waves in your fabulous floating community!
    I'd love to see some photos of the Vereeniging - with Craig and Mo's permission, of course.
    Your wee house looks so cosy with the added furniture and such. I am envious! lol
    Lots of changes at my end, of which I will blog when everything is in place. I was in a bad space for a while, but I'm looking forward to good stuff now.
    I've also noticed you've changed the name of your blog - rather fitting, I might add.
    Keep well and give my love to Koos.


  11. another weekend is here, boy these weeks are flying by!

    hope you are well xo


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