Monday, 8 February 2016


4.5 out of 5 stars

Travel memoir, barge life, Belgium

On Amazon UK HERE
On Goodreads HERE

There's something about Val Poore's books that's always a bit magical, and this is no exception.  For three years in the last decade, she and her chap, Koos (and le chien terrible, Sindy), spent their weekends in Wallonia, the French-speaking part of Belgium, on their barge Volharding, and this book tells me more about that country than anything else I've read; yes, it's more than 'just a place you stop and buy refreshments on the way to France'!

I loved the descriptions of some of the places in Brussels, in particular; the run-down Bohemian atmosphere of The Marolles and the beauty of Parc Duden (yes, I'd like to live in either of those places, too!).  Just her accounts of normal days during those many wonderful weekends made me go 'ahhh' with longing, and nostalgia for her, too, now that circumstances has made them a thing of the past.

Many of Val's experiences can't have been fun (waking up to a canal with no water in it, Koos out on his own in a scooter in a blizzard, winter in a freezing on-board bedroom), but she relates them with the canal life, Belgian 'c'est la vie' attitude, if not humour, in this delightful tribute to a country she loves. If you have any interest in barge life, or indeed Belgium itself, I'd whole-heartedly recommend this book - but as with all of Val Poore's books, I'd recommend them to anyone, anywhere, anyway!

All other books by Valerie Poore reviewed by me HERE


  1. Terry, my eyes are pricking. You're turning me into a real daft thing. Thanks so so much. Finding this is the best thing ever to start my week, especially as I've had a mega frustrating day! And yes, nostalgia strikes quite often. I really miss my Belgian barge sometimes...sniff. Thank you again and again.

    1. As ever, the pleasure was mine! xxx Loved the walks and the idyllic bits... :)

  2. What a great book - 'waking up to a canal with no water in it' sounds a bit like life sometimes!

  3. Marvellous, another book by Val, am buying it now, hooray!

    1. Yes, it's great when there's another one, isn't it?