Kafka

I was between jobs at that moment, and had to fill out some paperwork to get a compensation. I just didn’t know whether I needed to be at the RVA (general job administration) or the VDAB (more decentralised job centre where you can actually look for new jobs). The RVA was closest and most easy to get to, so I headed there at 2.30 PM, only to see a sign that the public could be served between 9 AM and 12 AM at the counter, and in the afternoon by telephone. Since I was there and the doors were open anyway, I ventured to the counter on the first floor. I only wanted to ask if it was the RVA I had to address for that specific matter, or the other office.

There was this big lady sitting at a desk behind the counter. I addressed her politely and asked if she could provide me with some information. Bluntly she pointed at the sign with the opening hours. I apologised, and said that I only wanted to know if it was this office I had to be in. She snapped back: ‘Can’t you read ? We’re open only before noon, in the afternoon you have to call !’
– ‘Err, sure, Ms., but now that I’m here in the flesh, I can ask the question as well, can’t I ?”
– ‘No ! Only by phone !’

So I stepped back a step or two, yanked out my cellphone, and dialed the number on the sign. Promptly, the phone in front of her started to ring. She looked at me as if I were a ghost, looked at her phone, looked back at me, looked back at the phone, and then kept staring at me, like a cow staring at a train. So I said to her: “Excuse me, Ms, could you please pick up your phone and answer my question ?”

She was flabberghasted, but eventually did answer my question. Turned out I had to be in the other office.

Right.

Thank you Ma’am.

Finally a decent update.

Last week on Tuesday, I started to feel crappy, and developped a terrible headache. Dragged myself through the classes, came home at 4 and lied on the couch for an hour. Left for parent night, and parents were lining up from 6 till 9.30, yay. Felt horrible when I got home, so went to bed. Stayed in bed next day, and on Thursday I called the doctor. Result: a very bad case of sinusitis, for which I had to take antibiotics and some other stuff too. Had to stay in, but really didn’t feel up like walking 100 feet either. I had to let my mom go to the sales in town on this beautiful sunny day all by herself, and she brought back some lovely clothes for Wolf, just like I had asked her to. Cancelled on roleplay that night (which, of course, turned out to be a great session) and stayed home on Friday too. Faust came by for coffee, so that day ended up not being too bad.

Back started aching though on Thursday, and it all got worse and worse. Nevertheless on Saturday I mounted my motorbike and drove into town to fetch LotR: Third Age for the Playstation (gift for Bart) and finally went to the sales too. Mom had spotted a very nice black overcoat (I needed one) and I ended up buying it, along with a very fluffy woollen vest, and a nice chique top for Bart’s dad’s 70th birthday party. Got Wolf another long sleeve too :-), a geeky one. We’re planning to turn him into a geek: PC, roleplay and books. Of course he needs to be cool as well, but that won’t be a problem :-p Of course I went to show off my new aquirements to my fav gay, and he gave his consent.

The entire trip made me feel very accomplished, but killed my back completely. So I spent the rest of the weekend mainly on the couch, leaving Bart to lift the baby all the time.

On Monday I went to school, but in a very stiff, lopsided and limpy way. Was ever so glad to be back home and on the couch after 7 hours of teaching, and so I cancelled a capella lessons that evening. Too bad, since they’re pretty pricey. More teaching and couch on Tuesday, and yesterday I went with Wolf to my parents for the VAT stuff for Netlash (my father being our accountant). Managed to sneak out for a bit to go and buy two nice pairs of trousers for Wolf on sale, and ended up popping in on my grandmother, who just came home the day before from her trip to her sister on Tenerife. She’s 93, and still doesn’t think much of grabbing a plane to go and visit her sister (91) who has an apartment there. She only stayed a month though, cos she was bored.

Today I’m in an exceptionally good mood. Dunno why, but I like it. Back is still aching, but I try to ignore that fact. Already did tons of household chores that were postponed over and over again, like folding up laundry, archiving invoices for Netlash, cleaning up my desk a bit…

And tonight Nephilim roleplay. Yay !

Bart is sick. Grmpf. We went to his parents today for New Year, got very nice presents and a delicious meal. Yet something must have been spoilt, because over dessert he started to feel queazy, and a bit later he started vomiting. Great. Wolf was tired but didn’t feel like sleeping all day. We were supposed to visit two great-aunts of his as well after coffee, but I said we would do that some other time: one little guy was sleeping in the car, one bigger guy was looking greenish and had to ask me to stop once to barf some more.
When we came home, he immediately went to bed. I took care of the little one, fed him, changed him into his pyamas, fed him once more, and installed him in bed. Then I started playing LotR: the Third Age. Quite nice indeed.

Tomorrow: work again 🙂
In the evening: an a-capella course :-))))
(Deze cursus is voor ieder die graag zingt en op en speelse manier zijn eigen stemcapaciteiten wil ontdekken en uitbuiten. Daarbij doe je een hoop ideeën op om samen te zingen en te improviseren. Ademhaling en lichaamshouding, stemtraining (stemzetting, articulatie, resonantie en expressie) en improvisatie, zijn de bouwstenen van deze lessenreeks. We leren bekende en minder bekende liederen aan. We proberen verschillende stijlen uit: Afrikaans, folk, jazz, pop, blues, gospel, enz…)

Been wanting to do that for quite a long time, and finally did it now. Hope all will go well.

No matter how I love spending quality time with my little one, I’ll be glad when school starts again and he can go back to the day care. It means I will have to work again (but I love my job, so…) but also that I will have some time for myself.
One can argue that I have time now too when he’s asleep. It’s just not the same. E.g. I want to hang shelves. I can’t do that while he’s awake, cos I can’t leave him alone for a long time. And I can’t start drilling holes in the room beneath his while he’s asleep, now can I ? And when Bart is taking care of him for 15 mins or so, it’s just not worth it getting all covered up in dust.
Also I will be able to go to the shops without him. Regular grocery shopping is ok, because he can sit in the cart and enjoy watching everyone and everything. I can’t go for smaller things, because when I have to wait in line, he gets bored. Also, he’s getting heavy to sit on my arm (my back doesn’t like that too much) and some shops don’t have enough room for the pram. Also: baby in carseat, me in car, parking, me out of car, baby out of carseat (with all the straps it’s not that simple), open up pram, strap baby in pram, get stuff (like just money from the atm), baby out of pram, baby in car seat, folding up pram, pram in car, me in car. Drive 1 km for like a newspaper: exact same scenario. Takes me longer to get him in and out of the car than to get the actual chore done. Ugh.

But I really love him, no doubt about that !

Terugblik

2004 is over, and a good year it was (personally, not globally speaking of course).

* My son Wolf was born in good health
* No one I know died, or got seriously ill
* Bart quit the bank and started working fulltime in his own business (instead of part time). He is way happier than before, and Netlash is blooming
* I finally got a lifelong contract in the school I’m working in right now, 5 km from my house.
* …

Of course there were bad moments as well, but when I look back, I can say that this was a year that I was happy in. I hope many of you can say the same.

Been two busy days 🙂 Finally finished the hall and stairwell, only need to finish the curtains once they have hanged out a little, and hang up some pictures and paintings. Started on an extra set of storage shelves in the storage room next to the kitchen, but had to call it a day because the drill makes an awful lot of noise, and Wolf’s in bed by now. Feel like a brick dust monster :-p.

NYE was great too: spent it at my cousin and his wife, just the four of us, and three children sleeping soundly upstairs. She just felt like cooking (even though she’s 5 months pregnant) so she was in the kitchen nearly all day, preparing a lovely meal, classic but festive.
– some small appetizers to go with the cocktail
– broccoli soup
– Sint-Jacobsvruchten (got no clue what that is in English) with tomatoes and basilicum
– doe roast, with pumpkin mash, celery mash, chicory, mushrooms and a stuffed pear
– grilled pineapple with almond cream
– coffee with chocolats and petit-fours

We were all sooooooo stuffed…

Kerstdag

Had a very nice Christmas eve and Christmas day 🙂

On Xmas eve, my parents and Bart’s parents came for dinner: foie gras for hors d’oeuvre, gourmet for main course, chocolate fondue (fresh fruit you dip in molten dark chocolate) for dessert. Was yummy, and a very pleasant evening.

On Xmas day we were obliged to go to this formal dinner at one of Bart’s uncles. It’s an obligation, but not fun. The food isn’t great, the company even less. Luckily we had Wolf to entertain us, and Bart’s bro’s new girlfriend is much more livelier too than the former, so all in all it wasn’t dull at all.

Round 5 pm we managed to leave, and headed for one of my uncles, where all of my mom’s relatives were gathered, 37 people, for a much more enjoyable party. Wolf had the time of his life playing with the other kids, and by 8 we put him in bed in one of the upstairs rooms, where he slept untill at 10 we took him home. Was fun 🙂

As a gift, I got Hot Socks from Bart (special socks with cherry pits on the bottom, so these can be heated up in the microwave and make your feet comfortably warm), and that’s it. Hey, it’s still more than what I got for my birthday :-p Guess we’re just not the present type of people. Although… I got Bart a PS2, more Hot Socks for Bart’s parents, a little cat statue for my mom (which she had chosen herself during summer but had forgotten completely) and a calendar (annual gift, he adores them), the ‘Zeurkalender’ for my dad. I also sent out three little packages oversees. Only the Scots one has arrived and been accepted gladly. Oh, and of course orchids for the hostesses of the day.

But, in any case: have a merry Christmas ! (I didn’t send out cards, I don’t believe in them)

Happy

And once again, had a most enjoyable day 🙂 This evening I looked up to Bart and said: “Aren’t we just lucky ?” I really think we are 🙂

Wolf let us sleep till 8.30 this morning, and was very nice all day, playing and laughing and crawling over and under most anything. He’s really such a sweet (sometimes) ! In the morning I did all kinds of stuff, like having breakfast, doing some laundry, writing some invoices, but all at a very nice and slow pace. Cooked and had lunch (leftovers from Friday evening), watched Bart play some Tekken, curled up on the couch with a good cup of espresso… Then I left for the city, to pick up the babyphone at my aunt’s place (forgot it last night) and went in search of curtain fabric for the freshly painted hall/stairwell. Found just the ideal colour and fabric, very very pleased with it. Then I popped in on Faust, quite unexpectedly, but very welcome nonetheless. We just chatted while he and Jurryt had pizza, and then they started producing gifts ! First, a belated birthday present, the Da Vinci Code 🙂 Next, a most cute stuffed frog for Wolf, and then, to my astonishment, yet another present ! A set of three beautiful Japanese style red boxes 🙂 They went on a shopping spree last week, and thought them all so fitting and nice to give, so here I am 🙂 Made me very happy and grateful, lol and gay, those two guys are so sweet…

Came home to a sleeping Wolfie, so we started watching the extended version of Return of the King. When he woke, we all had our tea, Bart and I played a little with the little one, put him to bed, and watched the rest of the movie, while being under a blankie, with a roaring fire, some foie gras with Hanepoot (some excellent sweet white wine) and some chocolate for dessert.

Can you imagine us being happy ?

Yay, I do feel loved today 🙂

First, at school I got presents from two of my students. One gave me this lovely pair of Turkish hand-knit bed socks, in black with purple and yellow dots (inside joke with them), and the other one gave me Crash Bandicoot, a PS2 game. I had posted as a nick on MSN that I was in search of second hand games since I’m giving Bart a console as a present. She managed to made me say which ones I like, and I never gave it another thought. 🙂

When I came home, I picked up the mail, and there were very sweet Xmas cards from ambyguity and coyotegoth, which made me both very mellow. I love you both, and I really can’t wait to give you both a big hug (or knuffel, for that matter) for real. Then this friend of mine, Vallery, made the nicest card you can imagine. She’s a very beautiful girl, and also her boyfriend is one of the more handsome men around. They’re both dressed in white, sitting together, holding their cat, and with it goes the Latin sentence: “Vive virtute duce comite fortuna” by Cicero. It means: “Live with courage as your guide, and fortune as your companion”. Really really nice.

Me happy. Oh, and yes, the end of my correction work last night might have something to do with that too.

Moto!

I just bought myself a new motorbike !!!!

Well, it’s second-hand, but it’s spiffy and nearly mint 🙂 It’s exactly the same one as my former, so I’m a happy girl 🙂 Payed 3/4 of it today and got all the papers, need to collect it somewhere next week. First need to get a license plate and insurance.