July 2010

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  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument::init() should be compatible with views_handler::init(&$view, $options) in /home/cvwuaemp/domains/bartlog.be/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument.inc on line 744.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/cvwuaemp/domains/bartlog.be/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 607.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home/cvwuaemp/domains/bartlog.be/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 607.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_boolean_operator::value_validate() should be compatible with views_handler_filter::value_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/cvwuaemp/domains/bartlog.be/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter_boolean_operator.inc on line 159.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_style_default::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home/cvwuaemp/domains/bartlog.be/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_style_default.inc on line 24.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/cvwuaemp/domains/bartlog.be/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 134.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_submit(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/cvwuaemp/domains/bartlog.be/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 134.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/cvwuaemp/domains/bartlog.be/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 906.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/cvwuaemp/domains/bartlog.be/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 906.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/cvwuaemp/domains/bartlog.be/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 906.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/cvwuaemp/domains/bartlog.be/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 906.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/cvwuaemp/domains/bartlog.be/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 906.

Damn Damn Damn

I bought a magazine and I left it on the train.

Well, the railroad company can add it to my large collection of forgotten umbrellas.

Lingerie Store

With Mrs.B keeping her toes up in the air, it was up to me to do the shopping these last three weeks. Fair enough, I usually do the Saturday morning run to get the groceries anyway. But I hadn't counted on the fact that it's the summer sales period. Regular readers (yes, you two) of this blog know how I feel about sales period. It's what small antelopes think about the crocodile infested pond that's the only source of drinkable water in a 500 mile radius: if there were only a way to avoid it.

I needed a bunch of new clothes, like really really badly. I wear T-shirts that are made from linen because cotton hadn't been discovered yet when I bought them. My collection of single socks is probably the largest in the world. I've got strings for underwear that started their careers as boxer shorts. My sweaters were all the fashion in the 19th century. And the police have issued a warning that they'd arrest me the very next time they see me in one of my shorts.

Still, all fine and dandy. After all, I used to buy me own clothes back when I was still single. The bad part is that my sweet flamingo needed some clothes too. Among them were items such as underwear and pyjamas. And that is where the drama begins.

In Belgium we're all for the equality of sexes, but we also must admit that this supposed equality is not perfect. Women earn less on average and they find it much more difficult to have a career and climb to the ranks of upper management. However, no-one stares at them when they buy underwear for their husbands. No-one sniggers or smiles.

I, on the other hand, found myself to be the only man in the women's lingerie department. I tried hard not to notice the strange glances and the knowing smiles when I browsed through panties and knickers. And I desperately tried to cool off that red beet my head had turned into when I inquired about pyjamas. For all the feminist bullshit, shopping in a lingerie store is like looking for a particular CD while being engulfed in flames. After a couple of minutes I could take no longer, and I had to restrain myself from not running out in sheer panic.

But once I got out, I'd realised that I had still not found what I was supposed to get, and that meant that another visit to yet another lingerie shop awaited me.

Define 'Normal'

Things are slowly turning back to normal. Mrs.B is still hopping around with extra support beams (her crutches), but at least she's able to support some of her weight on her left foot. That makes it much easier to move about the house, get dressed, climb stairs and generally do things. On the other hand, every day it becomes clearer that the baby's delivery is neigh, because she's more and more restricted in her movements by her ballooning belly.

Today she returned to work for the first day, with the car because last Friday we tested if she could operate the clutch with her bad foot, and she could. So if all goes more or less well, I'll see my wife and car again this evening. Ooooh, the excitement!

So this morning I found myself back waiting for the bus - riding the bus - waiting for the train - riding the train - walking to work again. These last three weeks I took the car because I had to drop Wolf off at the childcare / playground. Then, it was a mad dash to get to work in time - but invariably arrive late - and in the evening I had to sneak out early to pick him up before 6pm. I guess commuters taking the motorway between Brussels and Antwerp will feel much safer now. Today and tomorrow, Wolf will be staying at my parents', but later this week his mother will bring him to the playground.

Frankly, it's a bit of a relief that I don't have to do everything on my own any more, even though Mrs.B is still limited to doing things seated or hopping on one leg. Yesterday I really felt drained of all energy, I was barely able to stay up. And between a toddler that demands attention and a wife that demands the remote control and a glass of water and the light to be turned off/on and her pills and fresh clothing and this and that, there's not much chance of taking a nap.

The Fallen

Just a quick word, to confirm that yes, we're back from France. I'd like to say we got back in one piece, but that would be incorrect.

We had a lovely time, two weeks of nothing but sunshine. We spent our time in the pool and on the beach, with the occasional excursion to nearby towns. But unfortunately some of these excursions were for medical reasons. We went to the local baby doctor twice to have a check-up after Mrs.B felt there might be something wrong. Luckily, both times it turned out everything was A-Ok.

Our third medical excursion was for an entirely different reason, but it did involve Mrs.B. It was on the morning of our departure, when she and Wolf went out to get some 'croissants' from the camping store. They had barely left when I heard screams and shouting from both my wife and my son.

I raced out and found both lying on the ground, Wolf crying and panicking while my wife was crying out in pain. It turned out she had stumbled and did something terribly wrong with her ancle. Wolf was Ok, but very frightened by the whole experience.

The local ambulance refused to come for a broken foot, so I had to haul Mrs.B in the car and drive her to the nearest hospital - which was 45 minutes away. Luckily-luckily-luckily I'd bought a GPS before we went to France, I don't know what I would have done without that thing.

A couple of hours later - the French medical care system is about as fast as any African country's - we got the verdict: the ankle was not broken but severely strained. Mrs.B got a plastic clamp around her lower leg and we could drive back home.

Easier said than done: with my wife in one chair and her foot in another, it was up to me to clean the bungalow, get everything into the car (luckily we'd packed the previous evening), return the key, get out the garbage, chase Wolf and his dirty paws out of the bungalow, etc. etc. But in the afternoon we could finally leave.

But it was not  the end of our troubles, because you try to drag a pregnant woman without crutches to the second floor of your hotel when there's no lift. Going to the restaurant alone was an endurance test in hopping.

So the first thing we did when we returned was go get some crutches. To be on the safe side, we made an appointment with our own physician. But he didn't need much time to conclude that something more serious was wrong with that ankle. A couple of X-rays later it was confirmed that a tendon (or part of it, I forgot) got loose and took a bit of bone with it. So recovery will take six to eight weeks, instead of three.

So ever since that fall, I've been running around like crazy. Not only do I have to take care of Mrs.B, but I also have to keep the house clean, do the laundry, do the dishes, get Wolf in and out of bed, get him dressed, bring him to the daycare centre, get him back in the evening, cook...

Six more weeks of this and I'll definitely need another vacation. Too bad that we'll have another newborn baby right about that time.



I never knew they're had been so many nuclear tests - plus the two times atomic bombs that were actually used in anger. Almost half of them were conducted by the US, with the Americans detonating 10 bombs for every 7 Soviet nukes (up to the early 1980, it's almost 2 US bombs for every USSR bomb).

France did its best too, with one-tenth of the total number of explosions.

Worst holiday destination: south-western United States. When you go camping in the Rocky Mountains, you don't need to bring a flashlight, you'll body glow up in the dark after a day or so.


(via Michel)