Apparently we’re having one of the first spring days today ! Sun is shining brightly, and there’s a gentle breeze in the air. Took my bicycle and did some errants, it was lovely ! I didn’t even need any gloves or shawl or anything, and I did hang the laundry outside. Yay 🙂
Saw the first daffodils and crocuses showing their tender green heads too, just a shimmer of green in the earth. Nice. One has to love spring, no ?

Bart’s going to the loo, pretty unnoticed. He comes back to me, looking like a little boy, and stammers: ‘Err, could you give me a hand ?’
Surprised look on my face.
‘I’ve got these new pants on, and I can’t work the buckle of the belt. I don’t know that system. Can you open it for me ?’
Needless to say the first 30 seconds even I couldn’t work that buckle.
Poor hon.

Grrr…
Kinda pissed at unterm_galgen: he promised me he’d join me at the Scottish night at school. I have to be there, and keep open the whisky bar for an hour and the regular bar for another hour. If he were there, at least I’d have someone sensible -although that can be doubted- to talk to. I just called his house to ask what was keeping him, and his mom tells me he’s at the movies with some friends.

Thx for standing me up, man 🙁

* snow has gone… Completely. Shame

* started yesterday on a kind of a diet. It means cutting all sweets, sugar in my coffee, mayonaise-based salads, sugarloaded drinks,… Sticking to low-fat meat, veggies, oil instead of butter to fry with, that kinda thing. I’m trying to lose a bit of weight (should lose a lot, but hey, I’m a mere realist, not so much an optimist). Luckily I don’t seem as heavy as I am: X thought I weighed 15 kilos less than I actually do. Heh. Glad for that. But still very fat tho. Should actually lose 25 kilos (+- 50 lbs.) Gnawing on Bart’s arm at the moment. Frustrated. Grrr.

* have loads of correction work lately. Blergh

* Arm hurts severely again. Physiotherapist said it would, it would get worse before it gets better. Hmmm. Nearly had to take a painkiller after yesterday’s session.

Snow

Ye gods ! Snow is a weird thing: very dangerous, and yet so uplifting !
It started snowing a bit on Thursday, just enough to make a few odd snowballs, but by noon most of it had melted away, much to the regrets of the pupils at school, much to my rejoice, the supervising teacher at noon, and ideal target of course :-p

But no one counted on Friday: when I got out of bed, the world was white, and getting even whiter. During classes, it was snowing heavily, thick flakes, ideal to play with. The kids’ anticipation got almost unbearable: recess = snowballfights ! Yet I had to teach Latin, and yes, they obeyed. In fourth grade, I couldn’t resist tho: not that I could go outside without being killed by both the snowballs and the principal, but I could create a snow intermezzo: went down to the internet room, looked up Horace Ode I 9, printed that, copied it, and we read it in class. It’s all about this weather (keep in mind that Horatius lived 2000 years ago in Northern Italy, close to Mount Soracte) (not gonna put the Latin here nor the Dutch version).

You see how [Mount] Soracte stands out white
with deep snow, and the struggling trees can
no longer sustain the burden, and the rivers
are frozen with sharp ice.

Dispel the cold by liberally piling logs on
the fireplace, and draw out more generously,
o Thaliarchus, four-year-old unmixed wine
from the two-handled Sabine jar.

Entrust everything else to the gods; as soon as
they have stilled the winds battling on the heaving
sea, neither the cypress trees nor
the ancient ash trees are shaken.

Leave off asking what tomorrow will bring, and
whatever days fortune will give, count them
as profit, and while you’re young don’t scorn
sweet love affairs and dances,

so long as crabbed old age is far from
your vigor. Now let the playing field and the
public squares and soft whisperings at nightfall
(the appointed hour) be your pursuits;

now too the sweet laughter of a girl hiding
in a secret corner, which gives her away,
and a pledge snatched from her wrists
or her feebly resisting finger.

They liked it (usually is read in 5th grade) much to my liking.

Right now I’m at home, watching the snow once more: glad I didn’t go to Antwerp for an Elanor show, the roads are just too slippery with this snow falling. I suppose I’d better get dressed and clear the pavement outside. And I’ll feel a lot more at ease when Bart gets home from work: I don’t like him being out with the car in this weather.

Thursday evening most fun was had: Cthulhu game once more, and it’s nearly turning into a soap opera. We lost two characters tho, one of them being randallsilver‘s. He was pretty pissed off, stupidly got shot. Hey, whomever of you understands Dutch is most welcome to read our adventures at www.nyarlathotep.be, complete with pictures of me, Randall, and Grimlach/Nihil.

Yesterday after school I went -as usual- to Faust, and we had some coffee and some long talks once more. Then I picked up Bart and went for food: quiche with goat cheese, apples and honey – yum ! – in this nice little restaurant. We ended the day by watching some manga DVD: Blood The Last Vampire. Nice drawing there, tho the story itself wasn’t too great.

This weekend nothing much has been planned: need to help Bart with a site that is due shortly, and maybe pop in on my grandma who’s in the hospital. Her cancer is getting worse again. But to put it bluntly, as one of the doctors once said: she should have died two years ago. We’re glad we still have her, and apart from that one leg, she’s in very good health and spirits.

Oh, and one last remark: I hate it when Bart forgets to turn on the heating in the morning: I slept long, got up at 11.30h and it was like 12° in here. Has now gone up to 17°, but that is still cold. Grr !

When a tomcat gets castrated, they don’t shave his balls (skin is too weak), no, instead they pluck the hair off like when you’d pluck a chicken.
Even I whinced when I saw that.

En als ik dood ga,
huil maar niet.
Ik ben niet echt dood,
moet je weten.
’t Is maar een lichaam
dat ik achterliet.
Dood ben ik pas als jij me bent vergeten.

En als ik dood ga, treur maar niet.
Ik ben niet echt weg,
moet je weten.
Het is de heimwee
die ik achterliet.
Dood ben ik pas als jij dat bent vergeten.

En als ik dood ga,
huil maar niet.
Ik ben niet echt dood,
moet je weten.
’t Is het verlangen
dat ik achterliet.
Dood ben ik pas als jij dat bent vergeten.
Dood ben ik pas als jij dat bent vergeten.
Bram Vermeulen

And when I die,
don’t cry.
I’m not really dead,
you know.
It’s only a body
that I left behind.
I’ll be truly dead when you forget about me.

And when I die,
don’t mourn.
I’m not really gone,
you know.
It’s the homesickness
that I left behind.
I’ll be truly dead when you forget about that.

And when I die,
don’t cry.
I’m not really dead,
you know.
It’s the longing that I left behind.
I’ll be truly dead when you forget about that.
I’ll be truly dead when you forget about that.

Funny stories, and an indefinitely sad one…

It has been a stressfull week at school, don’t know why. Had some great laughs tho over the week, along with tons of corrections and lots of work doing the books for our company.

With my two classes of fourth graders (16 year olds) I’m reading the history of the conspiracy of Catilina (63 BC) in Latin, and also this very famous speech by Cicero, in which he gets really furious and all worked up in the senate. I always try to make it as real as possible, with a booming voice, a face contorted in anger, and so on. Two of the guys were getting on my nerves, and I punished them by making them learn by heart the first 10 lines of the speech, to be delivered next day, with intonation and expression. They both did it, but… As one of them came up to the front, I made him stand behind my desk. One of the other students remarked: ‘Hey, Jef, with your red jacket, your skating trousers, your hat on, behind that desk, you look like an MC’. A sparkle appeared in the guy’s eye, and yes… It’s the first time ever that I heard that speech being delivered in a rap style, with human beatbox noises and lots of ‘yo’s and ‘man’s and all the appropriate moves. God I laughed myself to tears ! It was so silly and yet great.

Game on Thursday night was swell too. We didn’t do that much, but big fun was had by all. I think Lovecraft lies spinning in the grave :-p

Finally Faust has gone to the bank to see what he could afford as a loan. He’s planning on finally buying a small house of his own. He can’t afford much, but it should be feasible. Yesterday we started looking thru the papers and the sites for sth interesting, but they’re all a bit far off the station. Since he doesn’t have a car and works at impossible hours, it should be within walking distance. He’s a train chef, btw. Heh, we got bored after a few hours yesterday, and started a decent tickling fight ! Always good fun, hehe.

On Monday me and Faust had a date too: going into town, to the sales, to find a black overcoat for him and some stuff for me. In and out of every store, only to discover they had no coats, or not the right colour, or not the right size. With every store Faust grew a bit grumpier, was so funny ! I got myself some pyamas (was so cold the last couple of weeks when it was freezing outside that much) and we both bought a minimalistic glass wallclock. Bought a real nice pair of black pants too, don’t look too fat in them (heh, my weight you just can’t hide, but I can make it look less bad), and some books. When I came home, I found out they had forgotten one of those safety clips on the pijjies, and the clock had some major scratches on them. Grrr ! Headed back to those shops the next morning to turn in the clock and get another one and get the clip removed. Found two more pyamas, a very cool gray little sleevless vest (Bart sez I look hip :-p), a black pullover, a gray fleece for Bart. Alas, no black coat.

On a much sadder note: the Latin teacher whom I substituted for in September 2001, a 42-year old mom of three, of which the oldest one died at 15 from an aneurysm, is to be buried today. Her youngest son is one of my first-graders. It was brain cancer, and I’ve seen her deteriorate. God, it was awful, and so hard on her two boys: 14 and 12 (and her husband of course).
Jason took it pretty well, I think. It’s not like it was unexpected: she came to the Christmas breakfast in december, and she could hardly speak by then, was in a wheelchair, couldn’t eat by herself… And yet she had the courage to come.
When in September I saw Jason was in my class and I had him apart for a moment, I asked him how his mom was. He looked me in the eyes very openly, and said: ‘Terminal, miss’. My heart ached.
And later on, he once came to me after class and said, in a soft but very clear voice, very simply: ‘You know, miss, Frederik would have turned 16 today’, and he smiled this sad smile. It affected me more than he could ever imagine. He’s such a sweet smart kid, and yet he has to go thru all this. First his bro, now his mom.
Last week he came up to me and apologised for being a bit absent-minded in class: she had been admitted to hospital. And on Wednesday, he came to me: ‘Sorry miss, I didn’t study my vocabulary. Mom died on Monday’. Poor kid. As if I did expect him to study while he lost his mom. I so felt like hugging him, and it felt so out of place there and then, in that corridor, with the students passing by.

There is nothing much I can do. I’ll attend the funeral. And I’ll try to be there for him when he needs someone. I just hope he has better persons to turn to than his crazy Latin teacher, but in any case, I’ll be there.

Crap, the sprain in my ankle must be more severe than I thought: I assumed it would be over with a good night’s rest, but no. Had to apply a bandage, can’t find the ointment anymore, and god, it hurts… NOt blue or swollen though, but that’s normal, if you take into account the amount of times I have sprained that ankle. I even had surgery on it for that.

Grrr !

Off to work now

Puh, had a hell of a week, with a pretty good weekend 🙂

Monday was hurrying already: taught again, went to do grocery shopping, took the cat to the vet to be castrated, visited my mom, cooked and crashed.

Tuesday wasn’t that much better: schoolwork, teaching, correcting, hurriedly cooking, doc at 19.30 (arm is still not the way it should be, at all), visit to a dear friend who is in deep shit. Home by midnight, crashed in bed.

Wednesday: teaching, correcting, drove to my dad to fetch some old radio and transmission gear from the 1920’s, took me a hell of a long time, drove home, had pizza cos I didn’t have time for anything else, visited my mom in hospital, popped in at Faust’s to bring him his espresso coffee, had Tolkien meeting at 20.00, left at 23.00 to go to another friend to bring the radio gear, and since he was in need of a good talk apparently, got home by 2.00.

Thursday: got up by 7.00, taught till 16.00, corrected some, had parental night from 18.00 till 22.00. Good thing I did bring some sandwiches, I would have been starving without them. Actually I had Nephilim roleplay too, but by then I was so tired that I cancelled and crashed at home.

Friday: yay, seeing Harry Potter with 150 twelve-year-olds. Hmmm. That is so NOT fun ! Really tired me out, actually. Drove home at noon to have bread, and found out that Bart felt really bad and even had to vomit. Odd, it all took like 30 mins for him to get a fever, feel bad, turn white and vomit, and another hour to feel well again. Weird. Taught in the afternoon, did visit my mom again, crashed at Faust’s place, hehe. Went to pick up Bart, went out for dinner, and crashed in front of the telly round 10.

Saturday: pretty lazy day, but in the evening I had Angst: a Cthulhu-based one-evening live roleplay, situated in 1933 on Antarctica. Was really cool. Had good fun, was in bed by 5.00 this morning, so I slept long, played some Asheron’s Call, corrected more.
Had forgotten my purse at Angst, so needed to pick it up tonight. Left to get it, remembered it was rehearsal day for the band I might wanna join, so I checked them out. They suck, but it might be good fun. Sprained my ankle in walking to my car, so sat down for a bit to subdue the pain and the nausea, then drove off to get the purse. Everything was still in it, good thing.

Hmmm. Should be correcting some more, but it’s Sunday night 11.00, and I really don’t feel like it anymore. Guess they can wait another day for their tests, now can’t they ?

Goodnight !