Sunday, April 02, 2017

The meanness of cleanness

I know, I know. I mutter more than somewhat about cleaning the barges, but when you have one and a half boats to care for (don't ask), it can become a tad tedious. As I said elsewhere on social media, people who have boats and barges know that we do more scrubbing and scouring than a Victorian housemaid, and that's just for one.

Well to cut my mitherings short, since I posted last week about the new meaning of greening on the Vereeniging, I thought I'd tell you about the meanness of cleanness on the Hennie H this week. To clarify any confusion (if that's not a contradiction), my own barge is the Vereeniging in Rotterdam; it's where I live during the week when I'm at work. The Hennie H (pronounced Ha), which I share with Koos, is in a harbour at Sas van Gent on the Zeeuws Vlaanderen border with Belgium. Sas van Gent is about three and something kilometres from the crumbly cottage that I escape to at weekends. This is the holiday barge, the one that took us to France last year and will hopefully bear us east to Poland this year - although if we get that far remains to be seen. I only have three months, which is the absolute maximum time I can (not) afford not to work. That said, the Hennie H has been sitting twiddling its fenders since November, which was the last time we went out for a spuddle.

Our harbour at Sas
It will come as no surprise, then, that after such a long period of idle rest and despite a few wash downs throughout the colder months, the little barge was in much need of a spring clean. I started a couple of days ago, but I was dog-sitting and couldn't spend the time that I really needed as said pooch insisted on sitting on the hottest part of the deck. Not a good move for a small furry being. So since he went home, I've been able to spend more time on it and attack with some good Val verve and vigour. Fortunately, I don't have to climb any masts or hang myself over any precipitous sides with this one; it has those wonderful things called gunwales which allow me to walk with some dignity along the barge and mop down the sides rather than doing a fair impression of a vertically challenged spider as I do on the Vereeniging.

Factory backdrop
No the meanness of the cleanness on this barge is that everything visible is either white or cream. Add to that, the mooring is close to a number of factories that emit all sorts of noxious substances (well I might be exaggerating that a bit) that all end up as grime on my lovely gleaming roof (that part's true). And even worse, the fire brigade use the water next to us to clean out their tanks now and then. What I suspect strongly is that they also take gleeful pleasure in spraying all the surrounding boats and the Hennie H in particular with water dredged from the bottom of the canal when no one's there to catch them at it. The result is that now and then we arrive to find the barge covered in gritty black mud. Wonderful, isn't it? On a white barge. You can imagine how mean that makes me!

It's no wonder that barge skippers of yore always had brown sails and tarpaulins. It was probably in anticipation of this kind of meanness.

A nice clean HH

Anyway, after many hours graft today, this is how her roof looks! Doesn't that cleaning make it look gleaming ?





And just for fun, I've added a few extra photos of the surrounding countryside too. Have a great week everyone.

Looking over the fields on my walk

A fine old brick barn

Paddocks for the horses - there are a lot of them here

Spring in the trees



22 comments:

  1. What a lovely, happy post Val, wonderful photos and it must be very satisfying to have your Hennie H so clean and ready for Spring. A real breath if fresh air to read your post, have a lovely weekend x

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    1. Thank you, Angela. If it made you smile, then I definitely am happy. I love spring and it feels good to be making everything clean and shipshape :)

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  2. Hennie H does look wonderfully white and gleaming after a good clean. I do hope the factories don't spoil that for your next visit. Spuddling all the way to Poland sounds wonderfully adventurous to me. What a great way to see the world :)

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    1. Thank you, Patricia! I expect it will be just as dirty again next time. Even without the factories, the air is always full of dust everywhere we go, so it should be done every day!

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  3. How wonderfully sparkly it looks, Val, after all your efforts. (I clean when I can't stand the grime any longer - so am impressed by anyone who can knuckle down to it like you do!)

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    1. Thank you, Jo. My aversion to grime is only matched by my aversion to work...but when it comes to my barge, the aversion to grime is stronger!

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  4. Wow! Reading that did make me smile.
    We have a caravan and hubby was moaning and groaning about getting the moss off the roof after it's been sat over the winter...
    I shall advise him he is lucky he doesn't have to clean a barge!

    It does look good though doesn't it? And there is much satisfaction in that feeling. Not to mention the thinking time involved.
    Have a good week.

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    1. Thank you, Maria! I can sympathise with your husband, but the results are worth it, indeed! :)

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  5. Boats are really a full time job! Your Springtime pics are charming, and the HH looks fantastic!

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    1. Jenny, they are very time-consuming, but the rewards are great in the summer!

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  6. So beautifully clean. Must be very satisfying. Well done.

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    1. Thank you, Stephanie *small bow* :)

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  7. Nothing more pleasing to the eye than a well cared for boat.

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  8. You have TWO boats? Wow! Amazing! Lovely pics!

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    1. We always have had, CarolStar. At first it was his and mine; now it's mine and ours, the latter being much smaller than his was...if you get my drift.

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  9. What a lovely spot to be moored in. I can hardly keep on top of keeping one boat clean, let alone two! Why do boats produce three times as much dust as the average house? Add in a long haired dog and it's no wonder the vacuum gets regularly replaced xxx

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    1. It is lovely, Fran! But yes, you're right about boats. They take far more work than a house! xxx

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  10. It really is gleaming! I had no idea you could sail from where you are to Poland which is why I failed at geography.

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    1. Haha, Anne! I think I would have been the same before I came here. Even now, I'm not sure of where we are heading and how we will get there.

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  11. Hi Val, I do appreciated all the work it takes to keep the barges clean. So much more than a house on land I think and I know you have the cottage as well. I can see why you don't have A TV :) Thanks for the lovely photos xx

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    1. Julie, you're right! A TV would never get switched on even if I had one :) I'm so glad you like the photos. It's a lovely area here! xx

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