Had a really nice birthday yesterday 🙂

Got up late after a lot of talking and cuddling and goofing around in bed. Bart gave me his present, and I was even a bit shocked ! Must have cost him more than a month’s wages: a beautiful white golden bracelet with (coincidence he says) 32 diamonds on the front. It is gorgeous…
Bart went to get me ‘koffiekoeken’ (which would more or less translate as pastries or bagels), we read the paper while munching, and I did some general household stuff. Then as per request I made a ton of invoices for the company, got lots of phonecalls, was in game for quite a bit, and got ready for this big fancy dinner. I had promised Bart we’d go out to a well-known restaurant for our wedding anniversary, but by that time I was well pregnant and feeling very sick all the time. No point in wasting good money on a dinner I wouldn’t eat then.
So yesterday, on my birthday, four days after his birthday, I took him out there, and we had a wonderful dinner indeed, in a very nice setting with an excellent service. Doesn’t this sound delicious (sorry, Dutch menu, don’t feel much like translating):
– het Merendrees gelegenheids tripel Gerulfus (9% vol.) bier met degustatie bordje en voor mij vers fruitsap
– Terrine van reepastei en patrijzenpastei met medaillon van ganzenlever en chutney van passievruchten en abrikozen
– Bladerdeegkorfje van kalfszwezeriken en kampernoelies, verfijnd met mousseline
– Intermezzo van mandarijnen sorbet of Een Noordzee garnalen bisque (respectievelijk Bart en ik)
– Inlandse hazenrug in zijn jachtgarnituur, harlekijnsausje
– Gezellige chocoladefantasie
– Mokka, Italiaanse cappuccino of thee en versnaperingen

Bart had wine too with the entire menu, I stuck to water, as usual.

Was really delicious, and I had way too much to eat. Well worth it though. Yep yep, nice birthday. Have to start correcting now urgently, ugh.

God I love Bart :-)))

Yesterday when we were in bed, we apparently both didn’t feel like sleeping, so we cuddled and talked. He told me about all the company projects that are still awaiting, I told him about stuff I still have to do, we both fantasized about what it will be like with the baby around, and how we would revamp the bathroom (and a whole new floor on top of the garage) if we didn’t have practical and monetary issues to take into account… And we ended up singing lines from the soundtrack of ‘Alladin’ to one another, accompanied with all the funny voices and a lot of poking. We both ended up wide awake and laughing our heads off.

Never knew a person could have so much love for another, and get loved this much by that person. We’re so lucky…

Taught for one hour, came home again. I just didn’t feel up to it today. This morning I had a hard time getting up, but hey, usually it gets better once I’m in class. Dragged myself to school, did a good job in teaching that one hour, but even the kids remarked that I was rather silent. Dragged myself through that hour, hard to concentrate, feeling nauseous. Decided to go home after all. Couldn’t stand the thought of teaching 3 hours more.

Home now, mainly on the couch. Blergh.

On a brighter note: gave Bart a very nice birthday present yesterday: he for the first time felt the baby kick. You should have seen his smile 🙂

OK, long time no update, I see. Well, let’s get it on with then 🙂

The weekend before last I didn’t do much, actually. Didn’t feel all too great, I’m afraid. Basically some correction and such, played a bit AC, and had a family reunion on Saturday, and then I mean a reunion up to the level of my great-greatgrandmother. Was nice, in a way, but of course tons of new faces.

On Monday I had to teach 7 hours, and then I had -oh joy- a four hour parents night. Non-stop talking, met 33 parents of the first graders, who all wanted to know how splendid their daughter/son was. Of course some parents showed up of students who really had problems, and then it was worth while. But why on earth did some parents wait for over an hour in a queue when their offspring has an A+ ???? Why waste my time and energy too ???? I was completely beat when I got home, crashed on the couch, didn’t move. Same effect alas on Tuesday morning, so I called in sick. Slept nearly all day, guess I needed that.

On Wednesday I still wasn’t feeling too great, still very tired, so I went to teach, but cancelled the Tolkien storytelling session in the afternoon. It really felt like a burden, so I decided not to. At night I felt a little better, so I checked out this new choir, in the near village. They’re not bad at all, but the director made me sing alto, whereas I’m used to sing tenor, and I love that. I suppose a woman singing tenor was too innovative and out of the box. Doubting whether I’ll go tonight. I really don’t like alto.

Thursday: another lazy day, since I seem to have run out of stamina. Completely. Did do some correction and house work, but nothing more. At night we had Cthulhu, which was no short than hilarious ! Somehow we don’t seem to grasp the atmosphere Lovecraft had in mind, but these evenings are always fun. My belly was aching in laughing.

Friday: tough day of teaching: it started to snow, very unexpectedly, and that on a day before a vacation ! No need to tell you the kids went wild. Go me. I managed to survive, and when I got home, I packed some stuff and Bart and I went away for the weekend :-))))))

We stayed in a little hotel with an excellent kitchen in Luxemburg. Just had way too much to eat, saw a great castle which was very impressive, visited Luxemburg City with its casemats, made some walks, had fun and relaxed. Especially relaxed. Did us both well 🙂

Fetched the dog on Monday on our way home: he had stayed with Bart’s parents for the first time, had never been without either one of us for longer than two days, and never out of our own house. Glad everyone survived the experiment that well.
At night an appointment with the gynaecologist, and as stated before, all is very well, and it’s apparently a boy, the doc was very positive about that. Heh. And here we were, thinking it was a girl. Doesn’t matter, as long as it’s a kid, and it’s healthy.

Yesterday my mom came over to help: we stripped the baby room of the wallpaper and plastered a bit where necessary. Had planned on painting most of it today, but just couldn’t get myself in gear. At all. Only washed off the ceiling so far. Need to do some more plastering, I found out. Hmm. Yuck.

Guess that’s it for now. Wanna sleep. Need to plaster and fetch paint. Sigh.

Just showered, so I might just as well write an update while my hair is drying a little.

This week was luckily not as intense as last week. Busy, yes, but less stressed. Last Friday was hell: I was sooooo tired and all things that could go wrong (little things) did go wrong. Murphy had a joyful day. This resulted in my being very short-tempered at school, and crashing on the couch afterwards. At night I had a quiz at school, was actually too tired for it, but hey. Had fun anyway, but came home right away after the end and went to bed.

Saturday was doing general stuff (laundry, correction, bla bla) and a story telling session for Elanor, the Flemish Tolkien Society, at quite a large fantasy/sci fi event (I’d rather call it a merchandise market, but hey). Unfortunately, no story telling cos the organisers hadn’t provided a room for it, as they had promised. Hmmm. Had a nice day anyway. At night we went for dinner at Gwen and Erik, which turned out to be a lovely evening as usual.

Sunday: story telling in the afternoon, this time I DID manage to do some parts, for a small but very dedicated audience. Yes yes, was very fulfilling. John Rhys-Davies, the actor who plays Gimli in Jackson’s Lord of the Rings, turned out to be a very amiable man, with a fondness for tickling poor defenseless hobbits. The pics are nice 🙂 All in all, Sunday was fun and relaxing.

Monday-Tuesday: two hard working days, with an extra class council in the evening, but I survived better than I had hoped for. Yay me. On Tuesday evening, as I was doing the books for Netlash, I had this strange sensation in my belly, which definitely weren’t my bowels ! I was sooooooooo excited !!! Since then I have felt the little one move quite a few times. It usually startles me, but still fills me with lots of joy.

Wednesday: work – grocery shopping – books at my father’s. We ended up in a fight, as usual. Tiring day, but ok.

Thursday: really nice day ! Long lie, and then Faust came over for lunch, which was real nice, as usual too. I cooked an elaborate meal for the three of us :-). I still really like the guy. He helped Bart in getting the couch upstairs. Shouldn’t have been one inch broader, or it wouldn’t have worked. Then I went to the hospital to visit my gran. She’s doing fine, all in all, and already exercising each day with her prothesis. I hope this works out. At night I had game of Nephilim, in which we really did quite a lot. Was fun too :-). Busy, but relaxing day.

Friday: nice day at work, and at night Bart and I went for a meal in a little Italian restaurant, which was really good. We ended the day on the couch, watching the DVD of the Animatrix. Recommendable for all Matrix fans.

Conclusion: me happy girl these days. Life is treating me well.

* just had a very thrilling Cthulhu session, which started out real slow, but then turned out to be rather lethal: we lost two of our characters, one being fairly new and having quite a large amount of sanity in the early evening. Too bad both the owners of the characters weren’t around, it really wasn’t our fault, just bad luck. I, on the other hand, was very lucky: in 4 sanity rolls I managed to lose only 7 sanity, where I could have lost multiple times 100.

* had a VERY busy week, nearly crashed on wednesday. The weekend, with all the meetings for that international project, had worn me out, and on Sunday I first went to my parents to buy two pairs of shoes (well, one of them being nice chique boots) in the local shop, and then went for elaborate and very yummy dinner at my parents-in-law. Back home I had to correct some, hence not really a peaceful weekend. Monday I went to teach an entire day, and in the evening went to see the gynaecologist. All is still very much allright with the baby, he/she is growing very nicely and doing just fine. Me happy. We saw the nicest image of the little face…

* On Tuesday, another busy teaching day which really tired me out, and back home I had to leave for the accountant… Discussed the books of the company all evening long, luckily the accountant is my dad… Was dead tired when I got home.

* On Wednesday I came home from school to find our new, very wide, very comfy new couch. I immediately crashed on it and enjoyed it to the fullest. Was a very very wise decision to buy that one 🙂

* Today I had my day off, yet I did a ‘correctathon’, since the rest of the week I didn’t have any time at all to do all my corrections. Then left for the game. Tired again, but satisfied. Had a relaxing evening after all.

Still very happy over the baby – my belly is starting to show, yet the students didn’t notice yet – and over the new couch. Heh 🙂

Yesterday evening I got this phonecall, as I said in my last update. So after school I went to the principal to inform him of the fact that I wouldn’t be at school on Friday. He gave me permission, and then asked me to sit down, as he had some bad news for me.
I have been teaching for 9 years now, and still have a temporary contract, due to a mistake I made 5 years ago, and a series of mishaps since. I was finally in the running for a steady contract (it’s quite a difficult and hard procedure) at my current school, but… The only thing that could prevent me from getting the contract, was a very special case, cos I was prior to all except one, hardly existing case. Yep, it did occur. As the Belgian army gave up all its bases in Germany, the schools there have been closed as well. One elderly teacher, one year before retirement, needed a new allocation that way, and she chose, indeed, our school. Hence, no room anymore for a new contract. Great !!! Hopefully next year… Damn, I should have gotten that contract 5 years ago !!!

In the afternoon, some emails arrived on the subject of that European project. Cough !! I thought it would be a very informal meeting on Friday with some Belgian colleagues. Apparently it’s already WAY beyound that, it’s a meeting with the Italian, Greek, English, French and Danish partners, which all have a very impressive resume. Budget of the entire project, which is meant to take three years: 300.000 euro (approx. the same in dollar, approx. 12 million Belgian Franks). I had to swallow !!! What the hell am I getting involved in again ??? It seems fun to do, but I doubt I will fit in. Bart sez I will do just fine, but I’m not that self assured. Hey, we’ll see…

On another note: I noticed there’s a leak in my electric water boiler. Hmmm. Trying to figure out what’s wrong, not planning on buying a new one yet. Hope it’s nothing too serious. Nice…

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.


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.


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.