Follow The Fennel

A stupid Idea?

A few years ago I lived in an old house in a small village close to Regensburg. It was a 7 km bike ride to centre of Regensburg. I enjoyed it al lot. But with winter the streets were icy and blocked with snow. Since the bus operated not quite often it became a bit difficult. Hitchhiking and walking were part of the solution. It was also cold. The house had no central heating. Instead each room had a wood burning stove. In the bathroom was a gas heater and in the kitchen was a wooden stove for cooking and a gas stove, also for cooking, connected to a gas bottle.
We had warm water and for all the people who don’t know Germany: These are rare conditions nowadays.
Did I mention it was cold? The stove took its time to heat and would never heat through the night. I usually took on a jacked when I left my room. Cooking was either freezing when choosing gas, or time consuming when choosing the wooden stove. The wooden stove was very good for pizza, cake and roasted vegetables, by the way. I loved this way of living!

But when I got my cancer diagnoses it became clear that this kind of live was too much in my current condition. I could neither ride the bicycle nor chop wood or buy food.
So after almost one year I moved out. My next home was a little chamber in the city centre of Regensburg. It was so small that I had to choose between book shelves and a bed. There was a sink, two electric cooking plates and a gas heater connected to the grid and the chimney. The toilet and shower were in the stare hall and to be shared with someone else. It was an old house with four flats and two single rooms. Not renovated for decades. Once again, conditions very difficult to find in Germany. Living space gets modernised and more expensive. I loved living there. I was also really happy about this easy to handle heater. No more freezing! By the way: I enjoyed my book shelfes and slept in a hammock.
That was my last home before I started my vagabonds live. And I do miss my hammok.

From there on I lived in my mothers place in between travelling or on the boats I worked. April 2017 I returned to the Netherlands and worked as a mate on plattbodem ships in the Waddensea again. This time as a jumping mate, all the time jumping from ship to ship. I loved it. Never knowing what is coming, how ship and skipper will be and where to sleep in the gaps. But it was also exhausting.
I decided to stay the wintertime in the Netherlands and do the first year of the nautical college in Enkhuizen. Would I find a place to live? How will it be? I got a water poof suitcase and a tarp and brought my -4° sleeping bag from Germany. I prepared for camping outside. It got cooler and wetter. My cloths got the special boat smell, because the heaters were not working all the time. Then it gets wet and cold in the cabin. When I strolled through the old streets of some old and beautiful villages I could see right into the cosy homes. These old Dutch houses have big windows right on the ground level and for some reason not much curtain. I saw cosy, spacial living places with kitchens, sofas, book shelfs, pianos… even a cello once. How nice must it be to live in such a place? With a lovely family. A warm and cosy nest to return to after a simple and harsh time at sea? To have space for stretching or yoga, peace to play viola or recorder and a kitchen with plenty of spices.
I got lucky and found a chamber in cosy house in a beautiful historic village. How happy I was, and still I am. I have space for stretching / yoga, can play the recorder and exercise the viola, I have a good internet connection and a nice place to cook. I enjoy spending endless mornings in my big comfortable bed with my extra big comfortable blanked reading through the lessen materials from the nautical college. And most important: I get very well along with my landlady.
But there are just two tiny little downsides: Its a remote village 50km from school and I spend too much time indoors. That gave me unrest. Impulsive unrest. So I bought a boat to live on it.

Windfall is her name. She is an Invader 22, 6.70m long and 2.50m wide. She has bilge keels and a draught of 80cm. Bilge keels are two keels placed next to each other enabling the boat to stand on them. She is Spakenburg now and intend to move her to Enkhuizen. There I will live on-board, leaving my easy live in my cosy chamber with the comfortable dry bed. Did I mention how glad I always was when I moved to spacious place with decent heating? Now I voluntary going to live on a damp, cold, small home again, this time without my viola. What went wrong in my head? The dampness was not as bad when I saw her before I bought her. But when I saw her one week later mould was already growing. That gives me a headache at the moment. Well, first I have to move her to Enkhuizen.

So a new adventure begins and I am going to go where plenty of people gladly returned from…

1 Comment

  1. Dominik

    You are really crazy! 🙂


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