They talk differently here in Friesland, even our friends in Petten have trouble understanding the accent, what chance have we? Noel is a good mimic and is often heard muttering to himself, ‘Swartzsluis, near heligeen, near, hurdy gurdy, next to down town snikker likker!’ It must make him feel better . . . and the horses, oh the Friesland horses . . .
Canal boats don’t give you much for your buck. We’ve purchased two sailboats at different times, from different countries, that were different sizes – they were cheaper in relative comparison AND they could take us anywhere in the world (and did!). To us the pricing seems out of balance, but it would, as we are the ones digging in to our pockets! (And converting Aussie dollars to Euros).
We awake each morning with fresh excitement, is this the day we find our boat?, our home? We’ve not had our own home for ten months now. With sleepy eyes, I open up our emails to see what’s occurring in the world and this particular morning a strange email opens:
‘Your bid for the Valkruiser of $ . . . . Has not been accepted, keep trying!’
Noel looks a little sheepish when I question him. But the bid wasn’t huge – no harm in trying.
The next day, another email:
‘You can come to view the ferry this afternoon’ . . . . ferry? FERRY? I know I said I wanted more room, but a ferry?! My thoughts tune to TV channel blockers, one for boats, bidding and possibly ferries; one which has a maturity level perhaps.
Meanwhile, my maturity levels have gone the other way. Asking for our campsite address, so I could receive some mail, the office said, ‘as long as you are not mailing cocaine.’ Goodness, I thought, do I look like a druggy? I told Noel and worried about it for a day. We left the next day, not worrying about mail. ‘Now he must really think we are drug pushers!’
Back with friends in Petten, I told them the story. Their pitiful look was a little unnerving.
‘That’s the Dutch humour,’ says Den.
My scrambled brain and silliness then grabbed me by the throat and I nearly wet myself laughing. The guy in the campsite office was so straight faced, I thought he was serious. Oh dear, it’s time to lighten up!
So, we are back in Petten with our lovely friends. We’ve blown two fuses on the campervan, we need a break from boats and it’s time to re-group. We’ve given ourselves a week to make a decision on a boat. There are two ‘possibles’. We have eight more boats we’d like to see (and the list is growing) . . . then it will be time to take the plunge.
This week’s motto: Keep an eye on Noel’s antics and lighten up.