Got an odd phonecall at 22.00: I recognised the voice of my ‘inspector’ as he said hello and identified himself. I say ‘inspector’, cos that’s how someone with his position in the education is known as. Strictly speaking he’s the ‘paedagogical advisor for Latin and Greek’, and I can turn to him whenever I have a major problem concerning the things I have to teach. He can also come and see in my classes if I teach whatever I need to teach in an appropriate way. I’m lucky he’s an amiable, yet strict man.
Anyway, he asked me if I wanted to participate in an international Comenius project, ‘ICT in Classics’. He had thought of me since he knows I’m pretty much a PC addict, and usually pretty enthousiastic about stuff. I accepted, first meeting is on Friday, and I’m kinda curious. Need to go to Brussels for that, but I’ll get the details later on this week.
I thanked him for thinking about me, to which he answered, in this very soft yet highly ironic voice: ‘Oh, but I think of you every night’. I started laughing, and replied: ‘Oh, sure you do :-p’.

Yet I feel honoured.

Oma

Went to visit my grandmother in hospital today, recovering from amputation of her leg. 5 years ago, she had some problems with her arteries in her legs, as so many elderly people have. She went to the doctor, and while he was observing the arteries, he noticed a spot that caused some concern, he said. Took a biopsy, and indeed, it turned out to be a melanome: very aggressive skin cancer. Most people die within two months. Luckily she’s not that young anymore (was 77 at the time) so the malignant cells don’t spread that easily. Nevertheless it did cause quite a bit of a panic. She did undergo treatment, as in chemo and radiation, and quite a serious bit of surgery. All seemed pretty allright. Yet, a year or so later it turned out the cancer hadn’t gone, but wasn’t spreading either. Odd, but very lucky so.
Last year two big tumors started developing on her leg, eventually growing to be the size of a tennis ball each. The wounds on them wouldn’t heal anymore, so she had to constantly put a bandage around her leg. Yet it didn’t hurt.
About a month ago, the oncologist started to worry again, saying that the cancer slowly was spreading, that chemo wouldn’t help anymore, and that the leg had to go. Of course this was quite a decision to make: she’s nearly 82, still married to and happily living together with my grandfather, who’s 90, in the house he was born in. As she’s nearly blind, being one-legged would mean an even bigger handicap. The surgeon said he wouldn’t have considered such a serious issue if she weren’t still as bright and clever and energetic as ever.
Thursday a week ago the decision was made, as the cancer was spreading faster now, and the injuries became even more serious. Not a moment too soon, as the leg started hurting and bleeding pretty seriously, without anyone being able to stop that. It finally came off on Wednesday. She’s taking it pretty well, taking everything into account. She’s not the moaning, whiney type, and she’s being pretty practical about how to handle things in the future. I’m very happy about that, cos of course all this has had me worry quite a bit. I’m glad she’s holding her spirits high. I’m not sure I would have been able to react the same serene way.
Thinking of you, gran. May God bless you… You’ll need it.

Garage

Somehow I felt very energetic today, so I took on a dirty job that was WAYY overdue: the garage. The working table was piled up a meter high with all kinds of tools, paint, sanding paper, vases… Most of the stuff Bart and Dirk had left just where they found a spot, after they had been working on the new office. I couldn’t find any of my tools anymore 🙁 Also a complete colony of spiders had taken over the garage as their new habitat, and covered every corner, hole and gap with their dusty webs. Very halloweenesque, but hardly appropriate for an in-house garage, especially since nearly everyone who comes in here on a regular basis uses the back door, which leads them through that same garage. Took me all day, I gathered an entire container of garbage and me myself I was as dusty and filthy as could be, but man, am I proud of that garage now ! Not exactly spotless yet (no intention that way either), but cobwebfree, pretty much dustfree, and most importantly, all things are back where they belong. I can use the table again, there is enough room for my bike to be stalled, washing machine, dryer and freezer are completely clean, and I can find whatever I need.
Good job. Tired now. Really tired now.

Just some thoughts…

* Cold is finally receding: I still have a headache and my lips are all raw, but the coughing and sniffing are getting less, and I’m feeling better in general. Hope I’ll be fine soon enough.

* Yesterday one of the colleagues at school, who saw me walking in, said that my belly started to show. It helps when you’re fat, of course, to keep it unnoticed a bit longer, but apparently it is expanding right now. Still can’t feel any movement though.

* Gonna have lunch with Faust tomorrow. Yay, finally !! I hardly see him these days, as he’s still very busy painting and such in his new house. Miss him…

* I love the sound of a roaring and crackling fire !! It was a bit chilly around the house, and most people would light the central heating, but I prefer the warmth of the wood. The warmth is definitely different, and the sounds and light effects are so much better. Mmmm… If only the dog weren’t so scared of the pops and snaps and small bangs the wood makes… Poor Catullus is shivering all over.

* Prunes are good… in so many ways.

* Wanted to give Ambyguity a call, but her phone line is still broken. Grrr !!! Then thought of finally giving Coyote a call, but he forgot to send me his number. Way to go, pal !!! Think I’ll see if Vasa is at home: I’ve always wondered what his voice would sound like, considering the tall handsome guy he is…

* Bart is the greatest 🙂

Symphony for nose, throat and Kleenex

Music: The Blue Danube

Snif snif kof kof koffff
Tchoo tchoo
Tchoo tchoo

Kof kof snif snif sniffff
Pwééé pwééé
Pwééé pwééé

Snif snif snif snif snifff
Kof kof uche uch

Snif snif snif snif sniffffffffff
Kof kof kooooooooooooooooffff
Snif snif snif snif
Tchoooo pwéé pwéééééééééééééééééééé

Just went out for dinner, and it was most lovely ! I didn’t have a big appetite, so we went to the Buddha Bar, a new place in the city. Very slick, very stylish, rather minimalistic, we loved it ! The food’s exotic (Chinese, Thai, Japanese, Indian, …) and there is even a tapa bar on a conveyor. Not too expensive either: Bart had a main course, I had two starters (which were both excellent) and we both had a drink, for € 25. Yep yep, we’re gonna return there, that’s for sure.

I needed to wind down, cos in the afternoon things were quite a bit worse. I had to get my car checked by the government administration, to see whether it’s still safe to be on the road. As I pulled up there, and reached for my car documents, they were gone !!! I searched the whole car, no documents !! Grrr !! Couldn’t get it checked of course, and I drove to the police to file a complaint and such. The papers must have been stolen, they never leave the car, are always in the glove compartment. Took me quite a while, so I was in the coffee lounge only at 6.30, instead of the usual 5. Of course for this once a friend had decided to come by, and was waiting there for me. Grrr !!!

Oh well. At least the car hasn’t been damaged, and I have a replacement paper for now for everything that is gone. And the food was delicious. Happy girl again.

____________________________

Just put up a helluva fight with my dog :-)) Now we’re both panting like hell, but man, it’s so nice to do it. Couldn’t do him a bigger favour, I guess. We use a rope that is tied in an eight, and he’s pulling while I pull the other way and try to push him off with my shoulder, much like playing rugby. He’s been nagging for that game for months, but I was always feeling too sick or tired.
Today I just couldn’t resist his big brown eyes 🙂

Got a present too today (I know my mind is reeling) from a colleague/friend: she bought me one of those little pregnancy bells that sooth the baby. It’s black with golden stars and moons on it, and it tingles ever so lightly. Can’t wear it yet though, since the students still don’t know I’m pregnant, and it’s not really showing either. I think, being not skinny (to say the least) that I can hide it for quite another time.

Yesterday was another weird day: Faust came over for lunch and enjoyed it a lot. He had to leave soon though, since he still has to paint a lot in his new house, and the weekends are the only time he can do it. Along with my electric drill he buzzed away on ‘Le petit Bleu’, his bright blue little moped. God, he’s so funny on it 🙂

In the late afternoon Bart had to fetch Dirk (his colleague/companion/business partner/best friend) and his wife from the airport, and they arrived here round 7.00. I think that after two weeks abroad I would be happy to be back home, but they stayed for a drink, and when I invited them for a meal (ordinary bread and spreads) they gladly accepted. Stayed till about 10.00, and it was really nice indeed. Made me real tired tho. Still not sleeping great, but hey… I’ll manage.

Gonna take something against that maledicted headache, change into my nightgown, and read a bit more. Cosy evening ahead indeed.

Had a quite ordinary day of teaching. After one class a girl came up to me, and asked me, very politely and a bit shy:
– Mistress, can I ask you something ?
– Sure, go ahead.
– Do you have a cat ?
That was not exactly a question I had expected.
– Err, I did, but it got run over by a car. Why ?
– Well, last year I had to give a speech in class, about witches…
At which point I started laughing and confirmed that all my cats so far have been black, that I knew that my nickname was Witch, and that I really didn’t mind about that. I did assure her though that I wasn’t. She pointed out that on behalf of my clothes, my amulet, my cat… Hehe 🙂

In the afternoon, after work, the sun was still shining gloriously, so I opened the big window door, turned my couch, and in my bra and undies I curled up in the sunshine with a book. I just felt like a big fat lazy cat, and I nearly started purring.

Just came home from the doc, and everything is still picco bello with the little one 🙂 We saw its face, liver, legs, spine, ribs… Was a tad too early to see its gender, but to us it’s still a girl.
It was even mimicing my movements, which made us all laugh: I was holding my hand behind my head, and it was doing the exact same thing. Was kinda funny 🙂

So yes, so far everything is going well. Go me 🙂

I’d better get my butt in gear after such a lazy morning of playing games, chatting to my mom on the phone, and generally doing nothing. Faust is coming for lunch, so I’d better get an idea of the ingredients I have in the house. Heh, feel like cooking even. Nothing special, mushroom soup, roast beef with asparagus and croquettes, and pear flan. That is if I can get hold of any pears :-p

Gonna shave Bart’s hair first. Woohoo, hair to play with !