Today we sat in MacDonalds, for hours, over one cup of coffee, just to use the internet – well we did end up have a sandwich (and indigestion!).
Searching searching, searching, barges too dear, too dilapidated. Boats with just one cabin arouse mutters of, ‘well, sod the visitors.’ New boats come on the market are in Belgium or France.
Hmmmm now, there’s a thought, France. I love France. I’ve been run-over in France (not the reason I like it), but when I was lying on the road in the middle of Paris and while the entire traffic network ground to a halt, a tall dark gentleman (who was a bit like Charles Aznavour) scooped down and picked me up.
‘Madam, you ‘ave come all this way to my country, and look what we do to you . . . you fell through the air like a ballerina . . .’
I was GONE . . . bicycles, traffic and husband forgotten.
LUCKILY(!), Noel elbowed me from Charles’ clutches just in the nick of time!
It’s all detailed in our next book, Of Foreign Build, which is in edit mode at the moment. With our road tour around Holland, I am finding the time to edit the pages.
Of Foreign Build is about our time together on Mariah, sailing the world, but with a focus on my life. How (after a heart wrenching bereavement), I changed from not knowing one end of the boat from the other, to becoming a professional skipper and a maritime teacher. I can’t believe how much I’ve changed. Not just grey hairs, wrinkles and middle-aged spread, but my values, morals and outlook on life too.
I read parts of the book to Noel as he is driving – we both laugh a lot and sometimes we cry. It’s been a work in progress for many many years, it’s deeply personal, and I am becoming rather proud of it. It should be available later this year.
Now April is galloping along and May is on the horizon. Boats are being shaken from their winter hibernation and prices are starting to hold firmer. Yikes.
‘The thing to do is not to panic,’ I said.
‘That’s a good idea’ said Noel, ‘someone’s got to hold my hand.’
Back in Australia we had started with a generous boat budget. We ‘watched’ boats advertised for sale on the internet that were all decked out, looking supreme and complete. We have now, realistically, reduced our desired out-goings and started to think ‘well just a little paint.’ By the time we close on a deal I have the feeling we shall be inheriting a bucket of bolts with a wind up propulsion system.
We have gone from, ‘Arhhhh, this is nice dear, travelling through Holland looking at boats, everything is very pretty isn’t it?’
To, ‘Just where the ferk is this bloody turnoff? That bloody boat was a heap of shite, and look at this, another bloody suicide bloody wanker on a push-bike demanding right of bloody way on a bloody ferking round-a-bout!’
We’ve read every boat advert in Europe. Now, when I find an interesting boat with just ONE picture , I just can’t help writing, ‘Why are you advertising a boat to sell without pictures?’ then I wonder why they don’t write back. I am sure the entire contingent of Dutch yacht brokers has us on their ‘unwanted’ list. However, I am keeping my husband happy.
‘I’ll do dinner,’ says Noel.
‘Okay, while you do that, I’ll see if this broker can drum up more than one fuzzy, low pixelated, waste of time photo,’ says I.
‘That’s my girl, as long as you are abusing someone else and not me!’
I tell you, the wine cellar is being depleted at rather an alarming rate. And that’s before breakfast.
The Dutch are very forgiving at our ‘steady’ speed in the campervan and we have had only one horn blowing, arm shacking incident. Well we did nearly cut him in half. Noel had trouble differentiating between the wiper and blinker toggle, it was raining off and on, the other road user thought we were going port when in actual fact (had he of cared to look and listen) our Tom-Tom was broadcasting a rather urgent shriek for starboard. Streuth!
On a positive note, trying to learn the lingo is a great way to clear any gunk from the back of your throat.
As we keep saying, ‘It’s all very Dutch!’
. . . oh, and we’ve just put an offer in on a boat!! . . .