Sunday, March 20, 2016

Spring cleaning

I've been too busy to write a blog post this week. Work is making inroads on my free time again. There are exams to mark and deadlines to keep, so I'm having trouble keeping up with my blogging and tweeting. I'm also teaching some PhDers and that requires my brain, which I need to take to work with me (much of the time I leave it on board, and I'm not joking. I'd much rather be there anyway).

Anyhow, today I took some time out and went off to clean our 'other' barge, the little Hennie H (pronounced Hennie Ha here). We are planning a longish trip this year. Originally Poland was the intended destination, but we've decided that maybe it's too ambitious given my work commitments and the time it would take to get there. So...we've decided to become experts on northern France instead...every nook and cranny that can be explored will be!

But back to the Hennie H, I confess I haven't been very good to her this winter and she has been sorely neglected. We keep her at the marina in Sas van Gent, which is close to our weekend getaway and each time I go to the supermarket, I pass her and wave. In the past few weeks, though, I've been ducking and hoping she hasn't seen me as I know I've let her get dreadfully grubby and green.

Then yesterday, when I went to have our fire extinguishers checked and certified at the marina office (another story involving a bunch of delightful old boys who kept me waiting for two hours in the cold, but told me some good stories as entertainment), I felt too ashamed to let it go another day.

Today, then, I walked the three kilometres from our place to the barge and set about a thorough clean up. The green was mean but I rubbed and scrubbed till I could rinse it all away. Two and something hours later, this was the result.



A scrupulously clean little barge - well there are a few nooks and crannies still to be done, but I was very cold by the time I'd finished, and more than a bit wet too, so the three kilometre trek home was needed to get my coagulated blood moving again.

That apart, I believe it's the first day of spring today or tomorrow, so I thought I'd show you the daffs that are out in force in the harbour, despite the bitter wind.


And then below is a nice old tug boat moored near us. The owners were sitting in their wheelhouse enjoying their afternoon tea. Sometimes I wish I had a wheelhouse too. It's such a lovely place to sit especially in this weather!



And just because it was there, I took a photo of one of the biggies going through the bridge - which was open I hasten to add - on the Gent-Terneuzen Canal. Our marina is a harbour just off this marvellous waterway.



Well that's it for this week. More stories from the wet and wondrous next weekend, but for now, I hope it warms up for everyone in the coming days. I will confess it's just a bit too cold for me right now!

18 comments:

  1. What a lovely post Val, happy spring time and have fun on Hennie H x

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    1. Thank you, Angela! I hope we will :)

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  2. Hi Val - you have got a lot going on. Well done on getting Hennie sorted out ... then the thought of your trip -sounds a great idea ... and I shall look forward to the stories and photos ...

    Spring is coming here - but it's still cold as you know .. cheers Hilary

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    1. The daffodils give me hope, Hilary! Thanks for the good cheer, and I'll catch up with your blog sooon!

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  3. Love love love that little red and green boat .... and daffodils!
    Happy Springtime Val.

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    1. Why thank you, Patricia! I shall pass on the compliments to Hennie H! x

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  4. It's mch brighter here this morning, so your lovely barge should be sparkling in sunshine today.

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    1. I wish, Jo! I'm afraid it was raining and even greyer this morning!

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  5. Great post, as ever. I still haven't quite got a handle on the extent of your 'empire'. Two? barges, a weekend hideaway? What else is lurking - a French chateau? a little apartment in Venice? A pied a terre in Paris?

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    1. Haha, Stephanie. It's an empire for pygmies then, because everything is ultra small: my barge (just big enough for me to live on), small house (only just big enough for the OH and me to share and no one else to stay) and the Hennie H is too small for anyone to stand up in, let alone live on - weekends and holidays only :) I'd love an apartment in Venice…now there's a thought…France, however, is so close the Hennie H will do instead of the chateau….can't be greedy now, can we?

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  6. Worn out reading this, but it looks fab so very worth it. Life sounds fab.

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    1. Have a rest on me, Jane. It is worth it, though and it's just as well I enjoy it.

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  7. You are amazing, Val! I'm afraid I would whimp out in the kind of weather you are having - not to mention your work schedule. Lovely barge...great job. But you are simply amazing. You continue to astound me!(And other people, I hasten to add!) Have a great rest of the week. You more than deserve it!

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    1. I enjoy it Steph...it's only the weather that puts me off doing a lot more! But thank you, dear :)

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  8. Gosh you seem to spend a lot of time painting, baling out and cleaning the barge! Dunno how you have any time left for all your other lives! LOVE the pictures though.

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    1. I'm actually a cat, Carol....with a few tails and a few tales...tall ones too :)

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  9. Henie H now looks very pretty, I am sure she appreciates your loving care. I love our wheelhouse, the landscape changes all the time you are sitting in there. I am thinking about some fairy lights to make it magical in the evening too. Daffodils aren't my mum's favourite and we had daffs in the garden before Christmas when the weather was so mild. The downside to that is that we haven't had any in spring xxx

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  10. Daffs ARE my mum's favourite lol xxx

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