Friday, 28 February 2014

Harbour Ways

Ages ago I reviewed a book called Watery Ways by my lovely blogging pal, Valerie Poore.  It was about how she came to be living on a barge in Rotterdam and the adventures that she had as she fell in love with the way of life of the liggers (we call ourselves liveaboards here in the UK).  Val had a dream to own and go faring in her own barge and Harbour Ways is how Val worked so hard to realise that dream.  I have been eagerly awaiting this sequel and I can honestly say, with my hand on my heart, that I was not disappointed.  As soon as my copy arrived last Saturday, I sat in the armchair in front of the woodburner and that was where I stayed until I finished it.  I am absolutely amazed and completely in awe of the amount of hard work and all the skill that Val put into renovating her barge.  She took on jobs that I would not even consider doing, such as woodwork, plumbing and many other really hard traditionally 'male' jobs.  I laughed out loud in many places.  Whenever boat owners get together, eventually the conversation always turns to plumbing and toilets.  Boat plumbing is a whole new world and involves seacocks, macerators and lots of twists and turns in very awkward places.  Val describes her antics with Vereeniging's bathroom with a real tongue in cheek sense of humour, which I am sure covers up a lot of the swearing that probably took place!!! I also loved the various characters that Val introduces us to and all their quirky ways.  If you want to get a flavour of the work that goes in to living afloat and get a taste of living in Rotterdam I urge you to read this book as it comes with my top notch recommendation.  You can get a copy at or Amazon.  Thanks Val for such a good read x


  1. I can imagine how interesting the book is to you, yourself being a liveaboard (I've learnt a new word there today). I love to be so totally immersed in a book that I don't want to move until it's finished, a sign of a good book.

  2. Thank you so much, Fran. I am humbled, grateful and honoured for this review. I am also very glad you enjoyed it so much! Huge hugs xxx

  3. Oi Val and Fran.

    Thanks for the loan, what a read. I remember the year of 2003 well. It was when we moved onto the little boat whilst I took on the barge.

    Hat off to you Val, well done. Dearest Fran - thanks for a brilliant read.

  4. I cannot stand this, it's just not fair. Now there are two lovely people doing what I have wanted to do for years. I did something similar with a run down dilapidated static caravan once, but that was out of necessity not desire, so that doesn't count!
    All joking aside Ladies, more power to your elbows, I just love reading about all your efforts!

  5. Jo - I agree, you cannot beat having your nose stuck in a book. These days I have less time to do so, so when I do it is a real luxury xxx
    Val - you are more than welcome, I loved it xxx
    Billy - Don't you or Pete get any ideas about what Tracey and I should be doing! Hope you both feel better soon, is chicken soup needed? xxx
    Anita - Lovely to meet you, I think doing something with a caravan would be great, similar sorts of issues with space etc. Will come by and visit your website later xxx