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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Jolly Jolly

Santa's gonna bring me a really nice present!

I just can't wait. So excited!

Posted by Bart at 9:57 AM
Categories: Miscellaneous

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

No More Work

No more work, well at least not this year. Thirteen whole days of peace and tranquility. By that I mean of course that I won't have to do the daily commute to Brussels. Because there will be other work. There are ceilings to be installed in the bathroom and the room adjacent to it. And then there's the Christmas shopping, I still have to buy most of my gifts. Of course we also have to visit my parents and Mrs.B's mother and her godmother and then there's the New Year's party for which some friends of ours invited us.

All in all, I'll barely have time for myself.

Posted by Bart at 8:56 PM
Categories: Miscellaneous

Monday, December 14, 2009

Old Age

Today, we celebrate the fact that I'm one year closer to senility, incontenence, loss of hearing and gray hair. I'm already senile and I don't listen, so I guess I'm halfway there. And I'll probably loose all my hair before it even has the chance to turn gray. So one day soon I'll piss on my shoes in a public toilet and drop stone dead in the act.

As old people tend to spend more and more time napping, I got pijamas as a birthday present. Wolf and Mrs.B practised singing 'Happy birthday' for two weeks, but when the cake came out he refused to sing it.

We went to a child-friendly restaurant in Antwerp this Saturday. And indeed it was child friendly, but the food wasn't that great. I had pumpkin soup with partridge as a starter, but there was so much pepper in it that I didn't taste the fowl - although it didn't taste that foul (please forgive me for that piece of old git humour). Mrs.B had something with speculaas, but again the speculaas was overpowering.

We both ordered the 'saddle of hare with autumn vegetables'. The meat itself wasn't bad, just a tad too well done, but the vegetables were a bad choice. All in all, it wasn't exactly the kind of quality you'd expect for the price we paid, and in the end Wolf was so tired that he never got to play with the other kids in the play area.

As you can see I'm really getting the hang of this old-fart-grumbling thing. Give me another couple of years and they'll glue me to a chair behind a window of an old pensioners home before I'm fifty!

PS: if you really must know: 38

Posted by Bart at 9:27 PM
Categories: Miscellaneous

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Check-list

Clogged up nose – check

Blocked ears – check

Sinuses under high pressure – check

Stinging headaches waking me up at night – check

Aching joints making me climb up stairs like an arthritic old goose - check

Coughing like a fifty year old Russian diesel engine somewhere in the Siberian tundra

Check and double check

Yep, it's definitely autumn...

Posted by Bart at 10:31 AM
Categories: Miscellaneous

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Damn Muggles

Seen on a garage door in Antwerp today:

Witches' parking only

All others will be toad

Damn you, J.K. Rowling

Posted by Bart at 9:56 PM
Categories: Miscellaneous

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Mental

Ever since I returned from Africa, I've been so busy both at work and at home that I found no time to frolic around on internet, visit the blogs that I like or update my own Bartlog from time to time. So it's not that I'm dead, it's more that I've been to busy to live.

There's always a lot of work to do after a trip to the field, but this time it was really madness. Suffice to say that I've been staring at accountancy records until I knew every invoice by heart. Oh joy! At home I've been trying to take the future bathroom a bit further from the previous state of being just a pile of rubble to the lucious Roman bathing temple that it will one day be when everything's finally finished. Depressingly, despite toiling every weekend a casual observer wouldn't notice any progress at all, since I've been doing most of the technical installations – you know, pipes and drains and more pipes and stuff. So now it just looks like a ruin with excellent plumbing.

Next Sunday I'm leaving again for Central Africa, for two weeks. I'll leave my loved ones in this pile of rubble with its excessive drainage, all covered in dust – I've had to break through a couple of walls, floors and the odd foundation wall. And if all's well, things should slow down a bit for the summer. Or they'll have to lock me away into a mental asylum. But all in all, it'll be much quieter.

I'm looking quite forward to that mental asylum, actually.

Posted by Bart at 9:15 PM
Categories: Miscellaneous

Monday, April 20, 2009

Drugged Out

Next Monday I’m leaving for the ‘We’ll-Be-Democratic-When-We-Feel-Like-It’ Republic of Congo. So what better time to get a pneumonia, or a severe cold? However, it could also be a life-threatening case of allergy. I really can’t tell: I’ve got a dry throat, runny eyes and a runny nose, which all indicates to an allergy. But this morning I got up with the cough of coughs. With a cough like this, I should become a chain-smoker. It would be a shame to have lungs like these without ever having smoked.

Between opening my eyes and making my lunch, I sounded like a Russian Trans-Siberian diesel train that missed out on its yearly maintenance and overhaul for the last 40 years. Then it got somewhat better, in that I could breathe for three minutes at a time in between these retching spasms. People on the bus looked at me.

So when I arrived in Brussels’ Central station, I dove into the nearest pharmacy and bought me a nice big bottle of coughing syrup. At work, I carefully read the prescription, to find out what the absolute maximum dose was before actually falling into a coma and dying. It said: ‘an adult person should take no more than 3 to 4 doses per day of 15 ml.’

After the first dose of 22ml I felt pretty Ok. Lo’ and behold: it worked. Not that the coughing stopped outright, but I was able to work.

An hour later my coworker started to throw angry looks at me, so I took another dose.

Yet another hour later, I felt it was time for a third dose. I started to note a happy, rosy mood coming over me. Work was suddenly less unpleasant (I had been checking accountancy records all morning).

After the fourth dose, I started to feel groovy, man. You know, when you’re going for stuff and shit and then you go like ‘whaaoow dude’ and everyone’s like totally hip man?

My productivity started to suffer after the fifth sip of syrup. Luckily, it was dinner time and my lunch absorbed some of the drugs. But then the cold turkey hit me. I needed another shot.

By the end of the afternoon, my cough wasn’t improving anymore, but I got a hell of a headache on top. I thought about taking an aspirin, but one addiction a day is quite enough.

Posted by Bart at 8:50 PM
Categories: Miscellaneous

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sniff That Air

The weather has been lousy for the past couple of weeks and although the weather man promised us blue skies and balmy temperatures, this weekend brought us more grey weather and showers. But there was a glimmer of hope on Sunday afternoon, and now spring really is here.

The sun was shining brightly today. On the way home I noticed fresh buds on the big trees, while smaller plants bring a first spray of fresh young green. Crocuses and Narcissus radiate their white and yellow colours, while a myriad of other flowers pop up their heads and open up to the sun.

I took a deep breath of spring air, and in the back of my nose I could feel a familiar inkling.

The allergy season is about to start.

Posted by Bart at 8:55 PM
Categories: Miscellaneous

Monday, March 23, 2009

Doggy Style

The other day, I got off the bus when I returned home from work. On the other side of the street, a mother and her toddler were walking the dog. The kid was a couple of months younger than Wolf I guess, still a bit wobbly on his legs. He had a small dog on a leash. It was more a case of the dog taking the baby for walkies than the other way round.

They passed a lamp post, so the dog lifted his leg and made a wee. The little boy looked at what the dog was doing, wobbled to the lamp post and mimicked the dog by lifting his leg too.

I continued my way with a big grin on my face, while his mother tried to explain her son that he wasn’t supposed to do that – her face was all red while she watched me sniggering from the corner of her eye.

It was such a funny sight!

Posted by Bart at 8:49 PM
Categories: Miscellaneous

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Tasteless

I've been ill for a week now, and I'm more than fed up with it. I can live with the constant pressure on my eardrums and those snot glaciers in my nostrils. What's bugging me the most is that I can't taste anything any more. Everything tastes more or less the same. So when it's time to eat, I don't eat much and then a short while later I'm hungry again.

The doctor prescribed me a nice list of pills. Just one question though: why are people with a sore throat made to swallow pills the size of one of the balls of the Atomium? My pain killers are the size of footballs, my antibiotics are the size of rubber dingies and best of all, the pills against my sore throat would make a blue whale choke.

I promise my next post will not contain the word 'snot'.

Posted by Bart at 5:15 PM
Categories: Miscellaneous

Monday, February 23, 2009

It's Buy-Buy-Buy On The Snot Exchange

Today I went to the doctor again, and it doesn't look as if I'm going to Africa the day after tomorrow, as I was supposed to. So I canceled my ticket and I'm looking forward to staying indoors and decaying in terminal boredom for the next five days.

Well, it gives me a bit of time to finish the 'new' (I've been at it for four months now) lay-out for this site.

Good news though for those of you who lost a lot of money on the stock exchange these last couple of months. I'd suggest you buy Kleenex shares. Unexpectedly, their production has know an exponential growth. Analysts say that their shares will continue to soar until Saturday at least, but then their may be a steep decline.

Unless Wolf brings back another disease from the childminder's.

Posted by Bart at 4:13 PM
Categories: Miscellaneous

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Gesundheit!

The other day, when I returned home from work, I had to sneeze.

Really hard...

The lamp post I was standing under flickered, and then the light went out.

This cold is killing me.

Posted by Bart at 9:03 PM
Categories: Miscellaneous

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Happy Happy

Happy New Year!  

Posted by Bart at 5:28 PM
Categories: Miscellaneous

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Time Lag

I woke up this morning thinking it was already Friday.

Very depressing discovery when I found out there was still one extra day separating me from the next weekend.

Bummer! Big Bummer!

Posted by Bart at 7:02 PM
Categories: Miscellaneous

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Snow White

It's snowing! A huge package of snow is blocking the roads, everything is white. The whole of Belgium is covered in literally centimeters of snow. At least 4 cm, I should say.

I won't be able to go to work tomorrow!

Posted by Bart at 6:36 PM
Edited on: Sunday, November 23, 2008 6:38 PM
Categories: Miscellaneous

Monday, November 17, 2008

A Normal Week-end

We went to The Big City last Saturday, meaning to Antwerp – which is a metropolis to Belgian standards but would be a small town (500.000 inhabitants) in many other countries. Nevertheless, it was lovely to just stroll around and look at people and shops, instead of rushing quickly-quickly to fetch this or fetch that. Ok, I had to take an hour of clothes-shopping for granted, because Mrs.B needed some trousers and then a T-shirt or two to go with them. But you can’t get bored in a large convenience store, at least not with a toddler that’s just learned to run and who loves to play hide and seek between all those racks with clothes. Not to mention the fun he had when he discovered the dressing rooms. In which one did mummy hide? Well let’s find out by opening every curtain until we find mummy.

So I spent an hour or so trying not to notice big bums in white under garments or various sizes of braziers or the various unclad body parts while ducking after my offspring with a red head.

In other news, Saint-Nicolas has arrived in Belgium and because old Nick comes by boat from Spain, the port of Antwerp is his first stop here. Thousands of kids and their parents were roaming the city, while St-Nick’s politically incorrect black helpers (it’s soot, it’s got nothing to do with African descent and a white supremacist for a boss, honestly) climbed onto terraces and roof tops.

Wolf was not impressed.

He did like the Belgian waffle though, nice and warm and with chocolate sauce. Unlike his mother, he didn’t get covered in chocolate though. He’s such a well-behaved boy. He takes that from me, you know.

When night fell, we enjoyed the relatively warm weather and the old city with its beautiful lighting and Christmas decoration. It felt so great that I didn’t have to break down walls and tear open floors all weekend long. We haven’t had a normal weekend for months and months, we really should do this more often.

On the other hand, you appreciate these things more when you’ve missed them for so long.

Posted by Bart at 9:08 PM
Edited on: Monday, November 17, 2008 9:09 PM
Categories: Miscellaneous

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Autumn Collection

Summer is like so over, so here at Bart’s Fashion Boutique we are proud to give you an exclusive preview of the 2008 Autumn and Winter Collection.

First up, we have this wonderful Gastric Flu on offer, which comes complete with a whole rage of needles, hooks, rusty nails and various other razor sharp implements that seem to slice, hack and slash trough your stomach. Thanks to Gastric Flu, or Gastroenteritis as we like to call it in the business, you won’t touch a morsel of food for days on end. Guaranteed to make you collapse in your bed and whimper like a baby.

A classic at parties is our Acute Tonsillitis. Infect your friends! Get the family together and croak in turn like a parched raven that’s eating sandpaper in the Sahara desert. Bored of swallowing? Tonsillitis will without any doubt make you prefer drooling in public to passing your excess saliva. You’d rather die than make any movements with your throat. It’s fun-fun-fun!

And last but not least, there’s that evergreen at parties: acute unstoppable diarrhoea. Clench your bottom while trying to engage in stimulating conversation. Pretend not to feel that small trickle of foul liquid that announces a veritable dam-burst of putrid raw sewerage. Feel your head turn red every time your rubber-like anal sphincter lets go of a waft of bio-gas. Give Usain Bolt a run for his money as you sprint in record time to the nearest loo.

The 2008 Autumn’s collection has something to everyone’s taste, and we tested it all for you, dear readers! In fact, that's practically all I've been doing for the past two weeks.

And if my son brings one more disease from day-care, I refuse to hug him without one of those white bio-hazard protection suits.

Posted by Bart at 9:27 PM
Categories: Miscellaneous

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Tig Tag Toe

So far I've been pretty succesful at dodging incoming memes, but a couple of days ago an Americo-Norwegian offensive finally hit the mark. My mission, should I choose to accept it, is to:

  1. Link to the person who tagged you.
  2. Mention 'Da Rules'.
  3. Tell six unspectacular quirks of yours.
  4. Tag six bloggers by linking.
  5. Leave a comment for each blogger.

Telling six unspectacular things about me is of course very difficult, since I am such an interesting person – I'm sure you'll all agree, so further discussion is not necessary thank you. After several days of brainstorming, I came up with the following un-noteworthy facts:

  1. I categorically refused to wear any Jeans until I was about 15. Now you'll rarely see me wearing anything else.
  2. I don't like deserts, or sweet things in general. I hardly ever eat candy or chocolate. When I went to my freshmen year at university, my loving mum gave me a bag of mini candy bars. A year later, when they came to clean out my dorm room, my brother discovered to his absolute horror the untouched bag in my closet.
  3. Despite the previous fact, I drink Coca Cola by the bucket. Don't try to sell me any other brand, and none of that vile light stuff either!
  4. If I go somewhere for the first time, I'll prefer to walk the whole end instead of taking a bus or a tram, even if it's a really long way and I could be there by public transport in 10 minutes. I don't mind walking for an hour or so.
  5. Although I seriously wanted to become a fighter pilot (did the exam, flunked), I never flew in an airplane before I was 19. That was just a couple of weeks before I did the exam.
  6. I worked in a hamburger restaurant for eight years during the summer holidays and the last couple of years also during weekends. I still dream about making hamburgers from time to time. Despite the psychological side-effects, I'm still very fond about burgers.

Voilà, I think that went well for a first time. Now to find six poor innocent victims – come to think of it, don't know if I really know any innocent people. Let's see...

  • Blandwagon, although he's probably too sophisticated to play along with silly games like these. But then he lives on the other side of the planet, so the chances of him taking physical revenge are remote.
  • Maureen, for the same reason as above: danger = 1/distance.
  • Lady Daphne is precisely the person to handle such a delicate social conondrum.
  • Sim, because she needs to update her blog more often.
  • Alcyon – no need to let the english speaking bloggers suffer alone.
  • Mrs.T who went away and came back and went away and came back again while she shouldn't move that much and be careful with that back/pelvis/spine/leg/other leg/neck of hers.

So the rest of you can breathe easy again.

Posted by Bart at 9:09 PM
Categories: Miscellaneous

Monday, August 04, 2008

MIA (Missing In Action)

Honey, I’m home !

What’s for supper ?

What do you mean, ‘where have I been’

No, I didn’t go around boozing with the lads!

Has it really been three weeks?

The internet was pretty much dead in July, so I thought I should get a well-earned break from the continuous stress of keeping you lot entertained. I did a lot of sleeping, at least when Mrs.B would let me – know what I mean, wink wink, nudge nudge. And we went to the Ardennes for a week with the in-laws. After three days of seriously getting on each other’s nerves, the sun finally broke through and we were able to get out and have nice walks in the fields around Bastogne.

And then of course there was the hard labour. Granddad and I smeared 500 pounds of cement on the walls of the new study in an effort to get the walls smooth. I somehow managed to hang a 100 pound boiler on a fixing point seven feet up all on my own. We insulated the ceiling and tore the floor apart to lay the new water and heating pipes. In the process, I made a giant mess of the wife’s current office and of the hall way, so pretty much the whole house is covered in dust and the wind’s howling through the scores of two-inch holes I drilled through various walls. One wall in particular, between Mrs.B’s old and new office, looks like it has been strafed by a squadron of A-10 Thunderbolt attack aircraft.

This morning, I escaped in the wee little hours off to work, and left the mess for Mrs.B to clean up. After all, she’s got a whole week off before she has to start to work again. What else is she going to do with all that free time?

Posted by Bart at 9:26 PM
Categories: Miscellaneous

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Crime Wave

I solved a crime! It all happened at a dark and dreary night. Well, it wasn't exactly at night. And it wasn't dreary either, the sun was shining very happily in fact. And I was equally happily hammering away in the garden, making a gazebo to keep the grape vines from becoming a giant entangled mess that flows over in the neigbours' gardens.

Behind our garden is a terrain with rows of garages. The garage boxes have to make place for a couple of brand new houses, so we'll have new neighbours in a while. But then of course, empty building sites are virtual crime magnets.

Suddenly – in crime nothing gradually builds up – a suspect car with an equally suspect trailer behind it drove up the small dirt track that leads to the terrain. Two suspiciously looking suspects got out of the car, after they'd parked it right next to the ruins of a derilict garage box. Without hesitation, they started to lift heavy bags out of the trailer and stack them next to a low stretch of wall.

'Body parts', I murmered to myself. But I was wrong, because one of them started to turn the bags over. It was old building materials, but I bet there was toxic waste mixed in between the dust.

After they'd finished unloading the trailer, they opened the trunk. It was then that they finally saw me standing on my ladder, watching their every move. They hesitated for a moment, I thought I saw one of them reaching for a gun tucked in behind his belt, but then they decided against turning me cold and quickly continued to unload the trunk of their car.

Moments later, the car with the trailer raced off, leaving a trail of dust. I, for one, didn't hesitate a minute and ran inside to inform the authorities, including my wife. I noted their licence plate number on a piece of timber, because I didn't have any paper on me.

An hour later, the police arrived to make an eye-witness report. I must say Mrs.B spoiled the whole thing, pretending that she saw the whole thing happening, just because she was at the other side of the house and saw the car race away from the dirt track. Incidently, the gang lords stopped a couple of houses down the road. Mrs.B speculated that they'd bought the house recently and were now refurbishing it. I wished she would have kept here imagination under control and kept to the facts. All evidence pointed to the clear conclusion that an international crime syndicate was trying to take control of the neighbourhood, waisting everyone that pokes his or her nose in their drugs trafficking scheme.

The police left, without mentioning my central role in their report. Which is just as well, because those killers will certainly want to take revenge and then it's better her than me, that's what I say. Later they (the two police officers) came back to report on the proceedings. They had identified the two men and went to their house. They had made a deal with them: clean up the terrain or face the consequences. What a lousy scam! They should have been arrested immediately, or executed on the spot! Now those hoodlums are certain to 'visit' us again and take their revenge.

I'm moving out of here, I need witness protection!

Posted by Bart at 1:05 PM
Categories: Miscellaneous


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