The creek close to the little house.
Finding the time to do everything I want to do and get enough sleep at the same time seems to be difficult. As I advance in years, I seem to need more sleep, not less, and this conflicts with the ideas I have of continuing to do everything at a break neck speed, or at the very least with some kind of efficiency.
Much as I love the spring, it always reveals a heap of things to be done outside that in my winter cocoon mode, I have either failed to notice or deliberately ignored. Spring can even be a depressing time when you live on a barge as the winter is never kind to boats and while the rest of the world is waking up fresh and renewed, boats tend to look at their shabbiest and most neglected by contrast.
Two weeks ago, I had the Vereeniging on the slips for bottom work and painting. No inspection this time, but I had two metres of plating added for the zekerheid as we say here in the Netherlands. Added to that, the marvellous Frits (who did the work, nobly assisted by Koos) added stabilising fins to each side of the bottom to stop it rolling quite so porpoisefully (haha) when out on the choppy waters of the river. Meanwhile, I scraped, sanded and painted. Even so, we only managed to get the hull done, although we did remove some more of the old tar off the rubbing rail and take all the red paint off the strip above it. Frits is coming tomorrow to do some patchwork here, as while Koos was stripping the paint off with our very effective needle scaler, he also managed to take off some rusty lumps of steel. Parts of the strip now look like open weave lace work as a result.
Besides this, we have both been working hard on the Hennie H, now back in its berth and with a bottom so strong it will see both of us out plus a few generations of our combined offspring to come. The bottom is Strong with a well deserved and very expensive capital S. We have both agreed we can't afford to sell it now, it's cost us so much, so our latest dream is to take it to England and explore the UK canal network. I even think it might just happen!
On top of that, there is maintenance on the little house to be done (one job a week) plus real work (!) to do to keep paying for all this, and then in October, I am starting a Master's degree in TESOL. Will there be time for a holiday this year? I don't know, but since every weekend in Zeeuws Vlaanderen is like a holiday anyway, maybe it doesn't matter so much. At least we can still do fun things like nipping off to France for lunch, and thanks to the fantastic (and most importantly, very cheap) Ryan Air, the odd weekend to Poland, Sardinia or Malta is still on the cards.
The weather here is gorgeous at the moment too, so I can't even complain about lack of sunshine.