The neighbour came by as I was talking outside to my parents who were leaving, and she told me that my cat Purrpurr, who has been missing for like three weeks, is dead…
She told me a lady accidentally drove over him, and that she waited, all shocked, beside him for the Animal Protection to show up. He must have been dead instantaneously, she says. Poor Purper…

I really really miss him: sleeping on my lap all day, gnawing my fingers, chasing my shoelaces, jumping on my lap in the morning when I went to the loo, waiting in the washing basin for me to come out of the shower…

I can’t even get a new kitten right now to pamper and make me forget, with the pregnancy and all…

Hmmm. As I had stated very clearly on the phone Saturday, UPS could pick up the package today between 1 and 3.30. At least, that’s what they promised me, for the zillionth time.

As I came home from school by 12.30, I found a note from UPS that they had been here at 11.30. Hmm. Apparently they don’t like the use of doorbells, cos yesterday Bart and I especially installed a new one that rings in the office, and both our business partner and the stagiair were there at that time, but heard no bell whatsoever.

‘Hello UPS ?’ ‘OH, but that hour limitation wasn’t mentioned here, so the driver has been by already. And that bell ? I wouldn’t know, ma’am.’ ‘Oh, are all of you apparently that incompetent ? Let me tell you the whole story.’ Silence, and then the sound of swallowing. ‘Listen, ma’am, I’ll make sure the driver picks up the package today before 6.00. If you have a moment or two, I’ll write down your entire story and make it an official complaint. Our complaint department will contact you later then. I’m truly deeply sorry.’

I really still need to see that laptop leave the house.

Problem is: if we don’t have it back and working by friday next week, we can’t leave for our holiday, cos Bart really needs that laptop. Nice… BLoody UPS !

9.00: ‘Hello UPS ? Oh, again a new person ? Let me explain…’ ‘Oh yes ma’am, I talked to a lady from Ireland yesterday morning about that. It’s still not picked up ? Hmmm. Sorry to say, but on a Saturday the package service itself is closed, there are no drivers atm. Can I send someone over to pick it up on Monday ?’

On Monday, both Bart and I are at work, and upstairs they don’t hear the bell (we’re gonna install one up there today, we clearly NEED one there !). So I told the guy I was gonna hire someone especially to sit around and wait for them to show up. They should be here between 1 and 3.30, at which hours I think I can be home. Hmmmm. Not gonna bet on it yet.

UPS

YOu’re not gonna believe this. For a fact: NEVER use UPS, for they’re totally incompetent morons. ‘Hmmm’, you might say, ‘a company that renowned ? I’d doubt it’.
Let me tell you what happened (still is happening) here with UPS.

Half a year ago, Bart (my husband) bought a ‘lean mean gaming machine’, as the laptop was described, and indeed turned out to be. Black, heavy, but fast as hell and WAYYY cool. Alienware.com, an Irish company, so yes, abroad shipping.

A week ago the hard disk decided to crash. Ok, such things happen, to the annoyance of everyone involved, but hey, such is life, and moreover, such is hardware. Alienware didn’t make a fuss at all, they would send UPS to pick up the machine, they would replace the hard disk, ship it back to us, and all would be well before we would go on our holiday in France. Right.

Alienware: ‘UPS will pick it up on Wednesday between 9 and 5, ok ?’ No problem, both Bart and I were home all day. Yet, no UPS. Oh well. Eager phonecall from Alienware to check if the laptop had been picked up, very astonished voice when it turned out it hadn’t.

Alienware: ‘UPS will pick it up on Thursday between 10 and 6, is that ok ?’ Hmm. Was a little less ok, but we managed to have someone in the home all day. I cancelled a trip to look for a gift for my father and managed to correct with purple ink instead of red. Yet, no UPS. Again a phonecall, pretty self-assured, from Alienware, which rapidly turned into mere consternation when it turned out UPS still hadn’t found our house worthy of a visit. Odd, to say the least.

Alienware (with tiny voice): ‘UPS assured us they will pick up the parcel between 8 and 12.00. I hope that’s still ok with you ?’ Grrrr. Bart’s at the bank today, so I kept the dog in all day (some visitors are frightened by a barking dog), stayed home (sorry Faust, no coffee yet), kept correcting with purple ink.

10.00: Alienware: ‘Did they pick it up yet?’ Nope. They gave me the ID numbers of the transaction and everything, called UPS Ireland once more, and I called UPS Belgium. ‘Hello, UPS ?’ ‘Oh, but our driver has been there on Wednesday, he said no one was home’. Bollocks ! ‘No problem, we will send someone over right away. If he hasn’t been there by 2.30, give us a call.’

3.00: ‘Hello, UPS ? If this game of yours continues much longer, I’ll send you the check for all the appointments cancelled.’ A big mouth sometimes helps. ‘Really ??? Still no one ? Odd. Please, ma’am, can you stay just half an hour longer ? I’ll make sure the driver is there within half an hour.’

3.30: ‘Hello, UPS ? Well ?’ ‘Errrr, ma’am, we’re ashamed to admit that due to a little system error there has been a slight mistake. The printout the driver got somehow dropped the last character of your address, being the number of your house. He has called upon number 2 several times today, instead of number 24. We are very very sorry. Can you please stay at home a little longer ? We just found out cos the driver is already in, but we can dispatch a new one right away. It will take some time for him to get there tho, so you can expect him at your door at 5.30. Oh, you will be out for a while, but will be back in by 4.30 ? No problem, I’ll mention that it can be picked up from 4.30 onwards. Thank you.’

4.05: I come home from some errands, and what do I find at my door . A note from UPS, who had been there at 4.00 sharp. ‘Hello UPS ?’ ‘Oh sorry ma’am, but the computer says that someone would be in from 3.30 onwards. Oh, you phoned at 3.30 ? Hmmm. You know what ? We’ll dispatch someone and he’ll pick it up before 6.00. We’re very sorry for the inconvenience.’

GRRRRRR !

Undoubtedly to be continued !

_________________

6.05: ‘Hello UPS ?’ ‘Sorry, our offices are closed at the moment. You can reach us every day between 8 and 6, and on Saturday between 8 and 1. We’re closed on Sunday. Thank you’.

GRRRRRRRRRRRRRR !

Just cooked the most delicious dinner for just Bart and me. No, no candlelight romantic thing (we were both too tired to dress up the table), just very yummy food which took me 3 hours in the kitchen. I think it was worth it though.
For starters: escargots (snails) in garlic butter with fresh baked ciabatta bread with nuts in it.
Main dish: sweetbread (zwezeriken) in a mushroom-foie gras topping and a rich brown port sauce with foie gras on the side and more ciabatta.
Dessert: none, since we both already have eaten too much.

Tired now, but very well fed 🙂

Heh. Guess I just didn’t feel like updating properly lately.

I’ve had all these troubles with Bart’s appendix, and that kinda ‘ruined’ my Easter holidays. Since I had to cancel on my 5 day trip to Scotland, I could execute all the plans I had had nonetheless :-). The weather was splendid, so I did work in the garden a bit, planted flowers everywhere, especially in the upstairs veranda, finished that damned guest room (but it was worth while, looks good), worked a bit on the Netlash offices, played PC games :-).
Went on a marvellous larp weekend again too, as NPC: I was a very good and very sweet priestess of life all weekend long, and most players didn’t trust me just because I was me *grin*. Needed to get away from things, so that worked just fine.

Had friends over for elaborate dinner too, and I must say, it was a pleasant evening. I like cooking when it’s appreciated. Just too bad all the special black dishes and the crystal need to be washed by hand. Guess the machine spoilt me on that one.

Teaching is going well these days. The kids are still pretty fond of me, I gather. I do make them work hard tho, but they don’t complain. Been to another field trip too, an open air museum of houses and the way of living in our country 100-150 years ago. We were lucky to have nice weather, it was a fine day.

Just worried about one student: she’s 15, and has serious problems. She contacted me over it, and I try to help her out as much as I can, but there’s only so much I can do. I’m not a psychologist or anything. She has serious problems with her parents, who don’t give her love or attention, just materialistic things. She developed a serious drinking problem (yes, at 15) and lately she started to mutilate herself too, slitting open her wrists. I think she’s a good kid tho, and I hope I can help her out. At least she listens to me and takes my advice, and is willing to seek professional help. That is, not the psychiatrists her parents sent her to, cos he’s a twat, and doesn’t know a bloody thing about adolescent behaviour, but one that acts closely with the school and won’t tell everything to her parents, since they’re part of the problem. Sigh.

On another note: rented X-Men yesterday, watched it for the first time at 7, then decided to go and see the second one at 10.30 on opening day. Heh. Second is even better than the first, to my humble opinion.

And a very pleasant thing: Faust probably found a house 🙂 He’s looking into all the formalities of buying it. Decent price too (86.000 euro/dollar), but alas, no garden, so no dog.

Anyway, going to a ‘party’ this afternoon for a colleague who has adopted a little girl from Calcutta and giving this big celebration thing, then going for waffles at my grandmother’s. Brother and his girl will be there too, and my nephew and his wife 🙂 Promises to be a fun evening. Prolly the last time for waffles (it’s an annual event) since she has severe cancer. God I hope she stays with us a long time still. Yet, she’s 81, so…. It would kill my grandfather too: he turned 90 and still lives in the house he was born in. Heh. I really hope Bart and I grow old the way they did. One can still see the love they share. I’m a happy girl.

* Bart’s finally doing better 🙂 Till yesterday 3.00 pm he felt awful and sounded like he was gonna die or something: moaning, sighing, nagging… I spent 15 mins there round noon and got all worked up and frustrated. So I decided to go back in the evening before game for like another 15 mins, since I seemed to annoy him anyway. Got a phonecall round 7.30: ‘Hey, honey, where are you ? What’s keeping you ?’ He obviously had come through: sat upright, felt better, even tried to eat sth. Big relief. Felt guilty for not being able to spend more time there yesterday then.

* Cthulhu game was hilarious. I know it’s meant to be creepy and scary, and yes, some of the things we encountered weren’t exactly what I’d like to see on a sunday afternoon, but… Somehow we always manage to screw things up so that they become hilarious. I must admit tho: even tho we made Lovercraft spin in his grave, it was a most enjoyable evening *grin*

* borrowed the first series of Farscape from Wim last week. Somehow managed to watch all 22 episodes in 7 days, cos yesterday I took the second series home. Came home from game by midnight, watched three more episodes while finishing the ironing. Is this addiction dangerous ?

* Gonna go to the larp this weekend after all. Had cancelled on behalf of Bart being ill, but since yesterday it seemed that he wasn’t recovering well at all and had to stay in the hospital for a couple of days more, leaving me behind gritting my teeth and all hug-deprived, I called game crew and asked if my part was still available. Since it was, I said I would go anyway. Now that Bart has recovered so well, I’ll need to come home on Saturday to get him home and installed and everything, and I’ll leave again on Saturday night till sunday afternoon. Am I being a heartless bitch now ? I’ll leave him well-tended, with tons of food in the fridge and a friend checking on him. And it will only be for one night, so he can sleep soundly.

Ok, need to get my butt in gear and do stuff now. Yuck. Don’t feel like doing chores. Can someone lend me a nice leprechaun who will do them for me ?

I would have been in Scotland right now, if it weren’t for the appendicitis of Bart 🙁 The weather is lovely over there, just as it is here.

I’m making the best of my free time tho:
– planted a number of plants and flowers in the 1st floor veranda. Gonna be blooming
– gonna make a new fence with little gate so that the dog doesn’t jump on every visitor and people actually dare to come to our front door. Lots of work 🙁
– finishing – finally !- the spare room. Still needs partial painting
– dedusting (can’t find a better word) of the 2nd floor new room that has been covered with plaster boards and been used tons of joint filler on. White dust is everywhere now 🙁

I miss my love though…

Bart never fails to amaze me. Yesterday, while on the couch on account of my sprained ankle, I asked him for a can of Ice Tea. Mind, the Dutch phrase was ‘kan je me een blikje versieren ? ‘or, literally translated: can you decorate me a can ?

After a couple of minutes he comes back, to my astonishment, with a gift. Wrapping paper, little coloured bow, the works. My can.

Silly, lovely guy !

Project week at school: Heart of Europe. That’s me with four other colleagues managing 68 hormone-filled adolescents of 14 years old in Springtime. Yay.

Monday we went to Dover Castle and Canterbury. Got stuck in traffic for over an hour, so we couldn’t complete the whole programme. Exhausted after a 6.45 – 22.30 day.

Tuesday: slept long, was in the Laser-shooting pub at 13.30u. Great great fun was had ! Me with 13 of those little mongrels in the game, and I fucking won ! They hunted me all over the place, I had the most fun ! One minor thingy tho: managed to sprain my ankle once more. Nothing too serious, I thought, so went shopping, cooked, put the ankle in an elevated position, iced it, and that was that.

Right. At night it started hurting really bad, and the swelling was getting bigger too. Tough girl here tho:

Wednesday: 6.15 lift off to Trier: a beautiful German city with ancient Roman remnants. Way cool. Beautiful day was had, limping away across town. Got home by 23.00. Fell asleep instantly.

Today: slept long (heh), went to see the doctor: foot’s in a kind of plaster right now, need to walk with crutches once more. Foot is starting to piss me off. Grr. I see surgery in the future…
Off to school now again to work on the project.