Monday, 12 May 2014

Another Light Relief Post

I have blatantly nicked the idea for this post from by blogging pal Val who also lives on a barge in Rotterdam.  You can read her very humourous post about the necessity of light and the ways she has overcome the restrictions of living on a historic barge here.
We are lucky that we can put windows pretty much where we like, but you actually have to put the windows in to get the light!  When we first moved to our home berth we only had windows down one side of the bedroom.  Our poor neighbour, Sue,  complained that it was lovely to have a neighbour at last, but once darkness came she could not even see a glimmer of light from our boat, so still felt totally alone!  Even with his stubbornness, Pete could not hold out on two nagging women, so he put the windows in the other side of the bedroom.  They are not yet finished but they do let in an amazing amount of light.  Only problem is that now with the lighter nights and mornings I am going to have to think of something to block out the light whilst we sleep.  I am thinking shutters rather than curtains, what do you think?

We were very lucky with window frames, in that we got them from the local salvage yard.  They were brand new and exactly the right size.  We added double glazed glass to the frames and hey presto, lovely windows at a quarter of the price we had been quoted.  We also have enough frames for the wheelhouse, although they need a little bit of playing around with to make them fit. He has now also put most of the windows in the galley except one which is going to be an opener.  Still in the meantime, it makes a handy shelf!

When Pete first put the roof on the barge, he built in a large hatch that was big enough to get most things down.  It was through this that the washing machine, fridge/freezer etc was craned in.  Eventually it is going to have a beautiful domed window that opens out to the skies.  But that is going to cost a fair bit, so in the meantime it is covered by a wooden hatch, which restricts the light in the snug area.  I don't like always having to have a light on, so he is putting a piece of Perspex in for the time being.  It will be a lot nicer to have some natural light.

The last photo is supposedly to show you the darkness in the snug, but really it is to show off my latest eBay purchase - a lovely sofa bed.  So now the snug is our lounge, dining room and spare bedroom (and sometimes laundry drying room). Amazing what you can get in a small area.


  1. Looking Gooooooood. Shutters don't you think? They would also be more secure if you leave the barge to go sailing for a week or three. TM

  2. Fabulous. I'd go with shutters, I think they'll look great. I like the idea of the domed window, that will let lots of light in, as well as looking fab.

  3. If you currently have things stored in the window recess you might like to think about curtains, but they might look silly being so short. It depends on whether the things in the storage area of the window would have to be moved forward to allow the shutter/blind to operate?

  4. Hi Fran, well I guess that I will throw my opinion in the hat, too. I think because it is a boat that shutters would be a better fix, but because you also have the sailboat, you might be wanting the barge to be more homey and less boaty (new word, LOL). Then I think that curtains would be a better choice. You need to think about the feeling you want when your cozied up in the barge for the night :)
    Have a great week,
    Your blogging sis, Connie :)

  5. Hello Fran!

    Your first sentence seems to suggest that you and Val live on barges in Rotterdam but you don't, do you ? :-)

    I like the idea of a domed skylight in the hatch, I have seen something like that in builders merchants over here (Ireland).

    Nice looking couch in the snug.

  6. How lovely to have so many windows, Fran!! I would just love that! Pete is so skilled to, Can I borrow him when I do my roof light windows? :-) Your snug looks just that! Wonderfully snug and the sofa bed is just lovely!

  7. Tam - that's a good reason for shutters, hadn't thought of that xxx
    Jo - that's vote no 2 for shutters. The domed window will be fabulous, eventually xxx
    DC - mmm, that's definitely food for thought xxx
    Connie - you are right, curtains are more cosy, I'm thinking red velvet xxxx
    Mel - okay, do you really expect good grammar from an English teacher !!! xxx
    Val - of course you can have Pete, but only on loan, I want him back!!!! Xxx

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  9. Your Pete is very clever! The windows are looking good. I don't like living in dark places and I like being able to have natural light but I appreciate the problem of early morning brightness. Sunrise is before 5.30 and that is a bit early for getting up (for me anyway). I'm not sure on shutters versus curtains. Would blinds be out of the question? I'm not sure what shutters look like in your situation. I'm looking forward to hearing your decision.

  10. Jo - Pete is rather clever but ssshhhh don't tell him we mustn't let him get big headed! Unfortunately I think the windows are too small for blinds xxx

  11. Maybe these:

  12. Or this:

  13. Things are coming along nicely. Love you little sofa find. - Margy