Watery Ways
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More About This Title Watery Ways


One of the first things you learn about living on a boat is that an awful lot of stuff is going to end up in the water!
In 2001, newly divorced 40-something Englishwoman Valerie Poore exchanges life in the fast lane of corporate Johannesburg for the charm of the Dutch waterways. With no prior knowledge whatsoever, but desperate for somewhere to live, Val undertakes restoration of an historic barge, existing in cramped and extreme conditions on the boat in Rotterdam's Oude Haven while renovating in lieu of rent.
Each month brings new challenges, obstacles and experiences. She meets a world of fascinating people, not least of whom are her endlessly smiling but absent-minded 'landlord', an intellectual but quirky friend and confidante, and an olde-worlde charmer whose mastery at the helm wins more than just her respect. She also learns how to cope with the sometimes strenuous demands of acting as skipper's mate during numerous nail-biting watery adventures!
When the Hoop is sold from underneath her, Valerie relishes the new challenge of hunting down the Vereeniging, another picturesque barge – this time bought for herself, and aboard which she builds herself a new home and learns that, when life on the waterways is threatened by rust and insurance critics, it is always those who band around you which make the lifestyle so worthwhile.
Valerie’s touchingly sincere story, told with quirkiness and humour, is one of discovery and friendship, endurance and love and, most importantly, never allowing the landlubbers to get you down!


Valerie Poore was born and brought up in the UK, and has lived in South Africa for twenty years, Belgium for three years, and in the Netherlands for the last 12 years. She is a writer first and foremost and has written two memoirs and a kidult novel. She has also written stories for young children and several short stories and radio plays. She loves reading, and writes mainly what she likes to read. These days, her reading is largely history, but she also loves books about living in other countries, especially France!