Monday, May 02, 2011

The sad, the good and the wonderful






This last weekend has been one of memories: memories recalled and memories made. The photos above were taken on 31 May 2004 when we took the Vereeniging on its first real 'tocht' upstream from Rotterdam. Koos took the photos and my guide and mentor on this trip was a very dear friend, Jan, whose funeral we sadly had to attend on Friday. It was cancer that took him. For my own part, I like to remember him as he was that day - healthier, happier and stronger than I had or have ever seen him. These photos are precious as a result.

Saturday here was Queen's day, a good and festive day for all cloggies. Koos and I didn't take much part in it as we were busy preparing the Vereeniging for another day out. Still, Koos managed to take this photo of preparations for the festivities in the harbour, I think it's great. There is a surreal quality about the girl and the balloons against the brickwork of the flats behind.



Sunday morning dawned bright, sunny and breezy, and at 12 o'clock we welcomed our friends on board, along with Mo, Craig and their spaniel, Charlie, who happens to be Sindy's best friend these days. Craig and Koos started the old motor going with one easy swing of the starting handle (the starter motor has packed up but that's another story), and the Vereeniging suddenly came to life, pulsing with energy and ready to go 'faring'. With the ropes cast off, the gangplank on the quay and everyone on board, Koos steered us expertly out of the the Oude Haven. We did a tour of the neighbouring harbours, and then it was out onto the river to test the new stabilizers Frits and Koos had made and Frits had welded on during the last 'hellingbeurt'. What a difference they make..no more rolling like a porpoise and nothing dislodged from inside. Brilliant. We went downstream a short distance and crossed the river to go round the Noordereiland by the Erasmus Bridge. A quick tour round Mo and Craig's habour, and then back to the river, upstream and round the end of the island. The Vereeniging then powered back across the river at an impressive speed and we re-entered our harbour complex at the eastern end. By the time we eased back into our berth, we'd been out for an hour and a half and enjoyed every second of it - well I had anyway. I just love being on the water, and with the weather and wind as it was, well, it was simply wonderful (if you'll excuse all the alliteration).

When we broke out the beers and a bottle of wine to celebrate, I made a silent toast to Jan. He would have loved it too. Go well, Jan. You were a real people person or 'mensen-man' as they say here, and I can bet you will be steering folks around the celestial seas from now on.

Wish you were still here, though.

19 comments:

  1. Beautiful tribute to your dear friend, Val. From the looks of it, he died much too young.

    Glad to read your Sindy is still loving Charlie, and that you're still riding the waves.

    xx
    AM

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  2. Val, beautiful post.

    I am sorry to hear of your dear friend. I send my thoughts and prayers.

    It brings me a smile that Sin and Charlie are still good friends! Just terrific.

    xox

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  3. Hello Val,
    I offer you my condolences on the death of your friend & shall remember you in my meditations.

    Your short trip was a fitting tribute to him, for there is nothing like being on the water to heal the spirit.

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  4. So good to see you back, Vally! Thanks for sharing my 85 year old boyfriend post! Makes us cherish our dear ones that my leave us soon.

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  5. Anne Marie, yes, he was only 60. Much too young.
    Sin and Charlie get on really well, which is a blessing. Jodie has just got herself a puppy too, so we'll be seeing how that goes as well! It will be a miracle if the relationship there is as good as this one.

    Grace, thank you. I know you speak from the heart too when it comes to the dogs' friendship.

    Mel, bless you, the water is definitely a soothing and calming place for the soul.

    Kim, great to see you too. I enjoyed your post immensely, especially seeing folks who have made it beyond the normal three score years and ten, and are still kicking their heels up. Good for them!

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  6. Oh Maman! So sorry to hear about Jan. I'm sure he would have loved to know that you took another trip in his honour.

    And lovely to hear you had such a grand day out and that Mo, Craig and Charlie could join you. It won't be long now until me, Baz and Beowulf can join you as well. The little tyke is becoming a huge tyke with each passing day and is getting much better and meeting new doggies, even big strong doggies, like Sin.

    Love to you all and hope you ahve a lovely week down in Westdopey.

    xxx

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  7. Lovely tribute to your friend.

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  8. Val, I will keep my fingers crossed that the new pup will join in with Sin and Charlie just fine. That would be terrific. x

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  9. @Grace, is that a Drentse Patrijs I spot in your profile pic?

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  10. Thanks Grace. I do too.

    Jo, no, Grace's dogs are Brittany Spaniels, but I agree, they look quite similar. I think they have a lighter build than the drentse patrijshond.

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  11. Jo, Val, I don't know the Drentse Patrijs breed. But I just googled it, and it is very similar. I think very closely bred. It is categorized as a "spaniel type" dog. The pic I came up with was very similar to my June's pic in my profile.

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  12. Yep, Grace and Mum, the Brittany Spaniel is a lot like the Drent in both appearance and character, it seems. Although where the Brittany seems to be more orangey brown in her spots, the Drent is dark chocolatey brown. Very similar figures though, and bred for a similar purpose.

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  13. Jo, Brittany's are typically Orange and White.(like my Summer) On occasion, like my June, you find a tri=colour, but as she ages, she is liver and white, (the orange around her face has very much dissapeared) June is mostly mistaken for a Springer. Rarely recognized as a Brittany.

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  14. I am so sorry to hear about your dear friend, Jan's, passing. Was he the one who set out fairing on his own a while back?
    This is a wonderful tribute and rememberance and, as usual, written from your heart, Val.
    It must feel so nice being out on the open water after being cooped up all winter!

    xx

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  15. Dale, how good to see you again! Thanks for your kind words. No, Jan wasn't the one you were thinking of. He and his wife had a beautiful two masted clipper, and he was quite a skilled sailor. He helped me a lot as a 'faring instructor'. I feel his death deeply.

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  16. I'm so sorry to hear about your friend. I think you've made a wonderful and fitting tribute by taking the barge out for a spin in his honour.

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  17. Thanks Melissa. That's sweet of you. Nice to be in touch again.

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  18. I found more photo's of the trip we took with Jan in my photo album yesterday. Such a lovely day, that was!

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