Friday, July 23, 2021

The tale of two weeks

Oh dear. It's nearly two weeks since I last wrote my blog and once again the time has flown by. One of the difficulties I face now is that there's been so much going on I hardly know where to begin. I think I'll have to start keeping a diary soon. That'll be a first. Mind you, I'll probably forget to write that as well, knowing me.

I know I can't even begin to talk about the past two weeks without mentioning the horrendous floods in the south-east of the Netherlands and across the borders in Germany and Belgium. Back in March, Koos and I spent a weekend in the affected area. We were at Valkenburg, near Maastricht. I was amazed at how beautiful and hilly it was in the region, as you can read here. While there, we went to the Drielandenpunt where the borders of the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium come together at the top of the Netherlands' highest hill.

Limburg is a long, narrow province, sandwiched between equally undulating parts of Germany and Belgium and Drielandenpunt is the end tip of this sliver of the Netherlands. Added to this, Limburg is the province through which the Meuse / Maas river runs on its way to its mouth in Rotterdam. It is also where Germany's Roer river merges with the Maas. Then there is the river Geul that threads its way through Valkenburg, which lies in its valley. So, a large river valley with at least two confluences, and high hills to the east and south are just the beginning. Add to that days of torrential rainfall in the region and you have all the ingredients for a flood disaster. I was in Valkenburg again at the end of May (see blog) with my daughter and we had glorious weather then, but with all the hills running down into town, I could easily see how it might be at risk.

As things stand now, the waters have receded and the rains have stopped, but the destruction has been too terrible. Luckily, there has been no loss of life in the Netherlands; that is not true of Germany and Belgium, both of which have serious death tolls and even worse damage. It's heartbreaking and tragic, and my thoughts remain with all those who have lost everything they own in the deluge.

Gloomy skies over Zeeland

Over on our side of the country, we were spared all but a couple of weeks of miserable weather; however, nothing out of the ordinary unless you consider that it's supposed to be summer, although this last week has been lovely. I was half expecting the high waters to reach Rotterdam at some point, but it seems to have been dispersed through the country's impressive water management systems before it reached us. We feel almost unfairly lucky. 

The weather might have been miserable but
the flowers still bloom

In other news, we are still working on the Hennie H and the Vereeniging in the hopes of getting away at some point this summer. An inspection by an expert yesterday revealed we still have some jobs to do for the HH's new engine to be deemed properly installed for insurance and warranty purposes. We shall prevail, though. As things stand, travel is difficult at the moment anyway. We can't go to France without fulfilling all sorts of conditions and maybe Belgium will follow suit. Who knows? The Netherlands is officially Code Red, so we may have to settle for pottering around locally. On the upside, the Vereeniging's engine ran well in its first test this year, as did the new boiler (have I mentioned that before?). I can hardly believe it's not leaking and that the fitting went so smoothly!

There is more to say and more to tell, but I think it will have to wait until next time. The witching hour is approaching and I am ready to hit the hay. Enjoy your weekend, allemaal, and I'll catch up with the news very soon. In the meantime, here's a photo or two for you all.



Our little Hennie H still fretting to fare

I might have posted this already, but who can spot
the new window I've installed?

The peace of a local creek lake





16 comments:

  1. Thoughtful impressions of our reality, beautifully written, Val.
    This life is worth living!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Koos! That's a lovely comment :) xx

      Delete
  2. Val, I am so happy that you guys were spared the scary weather patterns. We are experiencing wild fires in the West and storms in the South and East. Beautiful pictures and hope you have safe faring soon! Lynn

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh goodness, Lynn. These extreme patterns seem to be everywhere at the moment. Stay safe there yourself, my friend! Thank you for commenting. I really appreciate it! xx

      Delete
  3. Oh, Val, the flooding and loss of life is tragic, but I am selfishly glad that you and Koos and your precious watery homes are safe. (steph)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Steph. It has been heartbreaking to see and witness. And once it’s out of the news, these poor people will have months of hardship before things are back to normal, if ever.

      Delete
  4. What extraordinary times we live in, Val. You describe the harsh realities of recent events so well, my heart goes out to those poor folks involved in the floods. Well done for the continued progress you're making on the boat, I sincerely hope that you and Koos do get away, even if it is for local potterings. x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, thank you, Beth! Local putterings or potterings will do us nicely. I'm afraid we are having more rain this week, so I'm praying the east is being spared the worst.

      Delete
  5. Glad to know your region wasn't much affected by the rains.
    Here too in India, the western coast was battered by monsoon rains. There were quite a few deaths as well, in spite of efforts to secure people's lives. Here in Bangalore, it's been raining but not so heavily.
    I too haven't been getting the time to put up a post.
    I keep a diary. But I forget to write, and suddenly I remember that I have to write!
    In a way, it's good that there is so much keeping us occupied.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pradeep, I read about the floods in India too. It seems to be a really bad year for it. I've heard that Dubai and Oman have had sever flooding as well and China has too. I hope you stay dry in Bangalore! Yes, finding the time to write is difficult at the moment. It isn't for lack of will, though, as I'm sure is the case for you too! Thank you as always for commenting. It's lovely to see you here!

      Delete
  6. What a great story of your challenging days. I like the idea of a diary. I do that with my writing (in a way--my own version of a diary).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for visiting, Jacqui! I should keep a diary, I know, but since I've never done it, it will be a new discipline to get used to :)

      Delete
  7. Those photos look beautiful and calm and it's hard to imagine that not so very far away has been such awful destruction. Here in the UK London and the South have been deluged (not as badly as Germany but unusually so for the area) but here in Leicester we have had wall-to-wall sunshine and heat. This morning was the first rainfall in many weeks. Strange weather and even stranger year. Take care x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooh, Ros, you are blessed with your wall-to-wall sunshine. We are having a nice-ish day today, but it will rain again tomorrow. The weather is indeed upside down and very strange. At least we haven't had floods here and for that I am hugely thankful.

      Delete
  8. Dear Val, I was so shocked to see the recent floods in the media. Those poor countries, and poor people. I am glad you are safe and well, and the Hennie H is ready for Summer faring. I have been unable to access my reading list for days, and fortunately I have your blog on my side bar and can still access my favourites.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Patricia. Yes, it was awful, and probably still is for everyone affected. Poor things! What a nuisance about your reading list. I haven't checked mine lately because all my favourites are in my sidebar too. It's always lovely to see you here :)

      Delete

Apologies for switching on comment moderation, but this is to make sure everyone can comment without jumping through captcha hoops!

However, anonymous comments will not be published, so please would you sign your name. Even if you leave a nice, relevant comment, I won't publish it without a name.