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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Winter In Zeeland

It's been cold these past few days - to Belgian standards that is. The freezing wind and the low sun reminded me of our weekend in the Dutch province of Zeeland last year.

Kite rider's kite on the beach in Zeeland (Netherlands)  

We were staying in a holiday resort on an isle between the North sea and two salt water lakes. The wide beaches are excellent playgrounds for all kinds of wind-powered toys, like these kite riders.

Kite rider at full speed on the beach in Zeeland (Netherlands)  

Kite rider on the beach in Zeeland (Netherlands)  

Mrs.B on the beach with a kite in the background  

Little wolf in his buggy, tucked in against the cold winter gusts  

Although there was not a lot of wind (phew for that), it still was very cold. But for Wolf, it must have been nice and warm in his fifteen layers of clothing, blankets, duvets, sleeping bags, etc.

Mrs.B is carrying the sun under her arm  

My true love brings sunshine in my life.

Sunset over the North Sea  

Seagull on a post in the marina of the holiday centre  

Sea defense in Zeeland (Netherlands)  

That's the Dutch for you: always building things in the water.

View on a salt water lake, separated from the North Sea by a dyke  

Our holiday house  

We went to Zeeland to celebrate my mother's birthday. And this was the very festive house in which we were staying. You have to admit it looks very much like a birthday cake. Just needs some giant candles on top, and a bit of sugar frosting.

View on the dunes in Zeeland (Netherlands)  

In contrast to Belgium, the Netherlands still have a real coast line with dunes and tide pools and inlets and beaches and so on. Nothing like the wall of concrete that borders the small strip of sandy beaches in my poor country. As for the dunes: I think we still have three. Maybe three and a half.

Shrubs on a dune in Zeeland (Netherlands)  

Dragging the buggies through the dunes  

Here you see my family dragging the babies in their buggies through the soft sand of the dunes. On the left my sister and her husband, with my mother in the back between them. On the right Mrs.B with my father peeping over her shoulder. Notice that it took considerably less effort to get Wolf in his all-terrain 3x3 turbine-powered buggy through the sand, while sis and B-I-L had to pull and heave little Hebe all the way to the hard sand near the beach.

The tides left wave-shaped forms in the sand of the beach (Zeeland - Netherlands)  

Monday, December 22, 2008

That Was The Week That Was

Everybody knows that the yearend is a busy period, but last week we really felt the strain. Last Saturday, Mrs.B and I wanted to celebrate my birthday by going out for diner to the big city. Our plan was to wonder around and see if we could find a nice restaurant. But at the last moment, our babysitter called in sick, so we had to unearth a new one. Everyone we called was unavailable, some people even ran to Egypt, which is a bit exagerated because Wolf is a good boy most of the time. Finally, the our left door neighbours returned from their Christmas shopping and they were happy to look after our little guy.

It was frrrrrreezing cold in the city, so after twenty minutes we just ran to this Thaï restaurant I'd been wanting to try for ages. And I must say, it was a good choice. I had bits of molten lava in cream of sun sauce, while Mrs.B had the megaton explosion with various vegetables. It was so hot, that the next day I almost succeeded in melting the toilet bowl when I was doing a number two.

Finding a babysitter that wouldn't infect our little boy was important, because on Tuesday he had to go to the hospital to get holes drilled into his ear drums to insert drainage pipes. That should deal with the non-stop sequence of colds and ear infections. While he was at the nose-ear-troath-and-various-plumbings doctor, Mrs.B also made an appointment to get her ears checked. She'd been complaining that she didn't hear well on one side, and I think she's almost deaf at the other side. That, or she just doesn't listen to what I say. Anyway, one thing led to another, and she went under the C/T scanner the day before Wolf's operation.

Wednessday wasn't exactly a quiet day either. Mrs.B got an offer for a new job, which came just in time because she was desperatly trying to leave her current blood sucking, slave driving, money robbing boss. But the elation of the first moment also brought fear and dread as she had to announce her resignment the next day. It was almost too much to take, and the tension meter went way into the red that day.

But now at least it looks asif 2009 will bring some good fortunes towards the our little family. Which is good, because we could do with a psychological, financial, physical and emotional break.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

With The Kids In Africa

It's my birthday today (feel free to send me money) and I don't feel like writing a long post today. So how about some pictures from my last trip to Congo?

Boy leaning on make-shift measuring device - Kinshasa - RDC  

These are some children I photografed in a nutritional health care centre (CNS) in the Vitamine district (I kid you not) in Kinshasa.

Todler in waiting room - CNS Vitamine - Kinshasa - RDC  

Baby girl sitting on the lap of her grandmother - CNS Vitamine - Kinshasa - RDC  

I really like this picture.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Claws O’ Death

It was a grizzly scene we discovered Saturday evening, when we returned from the Saint-Nicolas party at my sister’s. The murder scene was covered in streaks of blood. The poor victim lay in the middle of the back hallway which gives access to the garden. His glassy, staring eyes looked accusingly to the glass ceiling and the dark skies beyond.

Why, oh why? Why was this innocent life taken?

I waded through the plumes to get to the poor pigeon. Its chest was ripped open and it was obvious its killer had been eating it. No doubt our unexpected return had caught the villain in his savage act.

We interrogated the usual suspects. One of them had a white feather sticking to its mouth, but any judge would see that as circumstantial evidence. There was nothing we could do but cleaning up the dried blood from our floor.

Two days later, I went shopping. When I returned, I found another hapless victim on the very spot where we’d found the first dove. It’s attacker had started to undress the corpse, but I had frightened him before he could start his meal. This time, there were clear claw marks.

Incredibly, the murderer walked in only moments later, as if nothing had happened. I was just in the kitchen to fetch a broom, when I heard the cat flap. When I entered, I saw Snijeg licking the body of his prey.

Fuck the justice system’, I muttered. I wasn’t going to let this creep escape just because he has a good lawyer. I took revenge for the poor pigeon. A couple of swift blows from the broom later, the killer cat shot out of the cat flap like a Tomahawk missile out of its launch tube.

I buried the pigeon in the anonymous mass grave, known as the garbage bin.

Posted by Bart at 9:14 PM
Edited on: Tuesday, December 09, 2008 9:20 PM
Categories: Animal Farm

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Alone On The Web

What is it with you people? Alcyon hasn’t updated his blog since the end of October. Keith considered halting his blog altogether but then decided to turn it into a journal about his general interests. Worst of all, lady Daphne has decided that being the focal point of the Brussels’ High Society and blogging don’t go together, so she has ended her weblog altogether.

A couple of months ago, Invader Stu stopped his conquest of the Netherlands, which was a real shame because it was the only weblog that explained its posts by means of simple drawings. Finally something I could really understand, but now its gone (although he claims he’s just taking a break). Sim didn’t update for a while, but at least she had a valid excuse.

And Twenty bloody f*ck piss c*nt Mayor has turned his blog into a freaking shit hell damned forum, would you believe it. Finally, since Steph moved back from Norway to the USA (she really must have had an allergy for George W Bush), her weblog sagged like a soufflé gone wrong. Mrs.T was a goner too, but now she's back.

Is this the end of blogging as we now it?

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