Well we are here and in one piece, working out how to survive on a limited budget and enjoying being abroad.
We have always travelled mainly throughout Europe and the dream is to do that at a snails pace with no need to check return flights as we can keep going until we get too old and physically unable to continue, many many years away hopefully.
There are quite a few English speakers around apart from Brits who have boats or businesses here most dutch and Belgium’s speak very good English. One good piece of advice is whatever you do in Flemish Belgium is do not speak French, it does not go down well, and you tend to be ignored.
The picture is not of now, it is a picture of where we are now, but taken in the summer when we visited. I am afraid our camera is still out of action so until it gets fixed we are relying on old photos to tell our story.
We have met some really nice people, no horrible ones so far, which is a result. We belong to the DBA which is a barge association and it is surprising how many DBA flags you see on the barges as they go by. We have palled up with one in particular, Dick, he has an historic barge around 100 years old and well preserved, like myself really. Helped him move recently as he was having trouble with his water and electricity supplies, he moved to a large basin of site on the opposite of town, really good site with excellent facilities. We are tempted to move as there is a space for us and Dick has offered to crew to get us around town without too much trouble. We make a decision at the weekend.
Food shopping is interesting in that we started out making a shopping list, like we used to do in the UK, and going out to shop for recipes in our head, but that doesn’t work here, because prices are wildly different for many items. We now adopt a much simpler and cost effective solution. We shop first, locate good value items of food, and then design recipes around what is good value. Over the last two weeks we have reduced our food bill down to roughly what it was in the UK, but eating just as well if not better. Unfortunatly, beer and wine are cheaper over here so the temptation is to drink more than you eat, , ah well a packet of peanuts makes a good meal, he he.
This post was written by Terry Barrett
Photographs by Tes