Bart's blog

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April Fool

Today I was going to make lasagna. I've got a good recipe for lasagna, and it's been ages since I last made it, so I was really looking forward to the opportunity. Yesterday, Wolf and I went to 'the big store' and got us some veggies and minced meat.

The recipe is quite simple, really. You just make some tomato sauce with a couple of other veggies thrown in for good measure and taste. And you have to make bechamel sauce - easy peasy - and bake the minced meat of course. Then it's a layer of tomato sauce (with the minced meat thrown in), a layer of bechamel, a bit of grated cheese, a layer of lasagna leaves, and then repeat until your oven dish is full.

However, I'd forgotten to purchase a wee little detail for the tomato sauce: tomatoes.

I checked if we had any canned tomatoes, but all I found was tomato paste. Still I managed to make a bloody good lasagna. As they say: the proof of the lasagna is in the eating. I think I made about five pounds of lasagna, for a family of two adults, a four year old and a baby. We almost finished the lot, not in the least because of said baby who ate lasagna until it came out of his diaper.

Must make it more often. With tomatoes, mind you.

Dead Funny

International Keep-Your-Fingers-Crossed Week

Mrs.B may have found a job, after four months of being on the dole. It looks very promising - knock on wood - but she won't find out for sure before next Monday.

So please join us in crossing our fingers for the next couple of days. And don't you think of uncrossing them for such mundane trivialities like eating, sleeping, picking your nose or wiping your bottom!

Moving Around


Morning programme:

  • Iron two baskets stuffed with laundry

Afternoon programme:

  • Clean up the table that served as a desk in our bedroom and take it apart. Temporarily put it on the landing.
  • Move antique drawer cabinet from the home office to the bedroom.
  • Take down old coffee table from the attick to the living room, screw it back together.
  • Replace the television table with the old coffee table, take television table up to the office.
  • Restore giant television cabinet with television table and two tall shelves. Empty shelves first, remove old stuff, put books and comics aside, then put everyting together and place comics and novels back again. Gather all packages with old pictures that still have to be put into albums together in one box. Put all old financial receipts in other box.
  • Bring down part of the giant television cabinet that's still on the attick. Put it into place on top of the television table.
  • Remove all pieces of OSB and MDF plates (leftovers from when I constructed the roof) from the landing and put them in the attick, at the spot the part of the television cabinet used to be.
  • Take anything that has to be brought to the recycling park downstairs, including old TV and any pieces of the house we don't want anymore.
  • Shake baby off leg every time you pass through the living room.

Evening programme:

  • After supper, take very hot bath to try and easy the horrible pain in back muscles.


For Those About To Rock

Yesterday, I learned Tyl how to headbang. Clever little boy that he is, he grasped it in seconds and we were both headbanging away to an imaginary Deep Purple concert.

Mrs.B wasn't so chuffed about this, as at the time she was trying to feed Tyl. She threw me some very annoyed glances while she was holding a spoonful of chard and potato.

She obviously didn't grasp the importance of teaching your children to headbang. It is an essential skill and if you want your kid to grow up with a decent taste for music you just can't start soon enough. The importance of chard becomes very relative in the light Hard Rock, Metal and consorts.

However, I do hope that Tyl never turns to that pussy devil worshippers' trash metal stuff...

On The Origin Of Lingerie

The following scene played out tonight, at Wolf's bedtime:

Wolf, holding a pair of sunglasses in front of his teddy bear's tummy: 'Mom has these, doesn't she?'

Me: 'What, glasses?'

Wolf: 'No, this thing that she holds in front of her tummy.'

Me, noticing the glasses' shape: 'You mean a bra?'

Wolf: 'Is that what you call it?'

Me: 'Yes, girls wear it. I mean women.'

Wolf: 'Oh'

Me, trying to hide my grin: 'Good night son...'

On The Origin Of Life

We had THE talk with Wolf. He'd been posing questions about where babies come from. He knows they grow inside mumies' tummies, but how the heck do they get out? Does the doctor have to cut that big belly open with a knife?

'No', smiled Mrs.B; both our sons were born the natural way. But still Wolf remained curious.

So we've been looking around for a good children's book that explains the fact of life. Finally Mrs.B found one in the library. 'You can read it to him this evening', she said when she returned home. Reading stories is mostly my task, so Mrs.B therefore put the burden of giving sex-ed to my eldest son squarely on my shoulders.

But at bedtime, she decided to join us. Wolf and I exchanged glances: something peculiar was going to happen. Expectations mounted. Once we'd all settled down in Wolf's room, I started reading.

In the book, the parents try to evade the difficult question by saying that babies come from flower beds, or from cabbages, or from snails and worms. Wolf looked at me in bewilderment. Then the parents say that their kids came from a giant egg, that their mother laid in the sofa. Even Wolf knew this was bull.

Then the kids start to laugh, and then they turn the tables and explain to their parents how things really work. They draw the little egg in mummy's tummy, and the little fishies in dady's balls. And they show how mummies and daddies 'fit together', like a key in a lock. And how they can do it: on a skateboard, hanging upside down, riding a horse and other things which frankly we've never tried. It makes me wonder if we're good parents after all.

And then when the fishies meet the egg, a baby develops and gets bigger and bigger inside mummy, until it pops out through that funny little hole between mummy's legs.

Wolf was wholy satisfied by the explanation, although still a bit bemused. I was glad he didn't have any more questions. I'd stuck to the script the whole time, while at my side Mrs.B was almost jumping up and down on the bed from excitment. So we kissed our son goodnight, put out the light and left the room.

Ever since, Wolf hasn't come back to the subject. So either he's informed and willing to accept what's in the story, or he's still trying to figure out how you can make a baby riding on a skatboard. I must say I agree on that one, maybe we should try it out in the summer.




There was a shortage of cooking gaz in the border region between Uganda and Congo, so we stopped to buy a couple of bags of charcoal in a small vilage on the road to Nebbi - Uganda. The vendors stuff the bags with charcoal, and then weave a cap made from grasses or leaves to get more in and to close them.

Of course, when a couple of white people stop over to buy some charcoal, the whole village has to see this.

Touch And Go

I'm off to Africa again tomorrow. It'll be a full day of flying: my plane leaves Brussels around 8.20 AM (which means I'll have to leave here around five-sodding-thirty) and fifty minutes later I arrive in Amsterdam. Then I have to switch planes, and I'll fly to Kigali - Rwanda's capital. Then we'll have to wait for an hour or so, and then we fly to Entebe in Uganda. There I will stay for the night, and in the morning I take a small airplane to the north-western border, to Arua. There our team will pick me up, and we should cross the border between Uganda and Congo somewhere in the afternoon. Getting back will also take me two full days, in reverse order of course.

As always, we did something fun with the kids today - it's become a tradition when daddy is going to Africa. In the summer we go to the zoo or a theme park or something. In the winter we go to an indoor playground or theme park or so. I prefer the indoor playground we went to today. It's fun both for Wolf and for Tyl, while theme parks tend to be much less interesting for babies. Also, you don't have to queu for anything. And the food is better. And last but not least, everything is way cheaper than in a theme park. Six euros entrance, € 1.70 for a coke. Multiply everything by four when you go to a theme park. Oh, and the parking is for free.

Not that I want to be cheap when it comes to showing my love for my children. But how else can I afford first class computer hardware?

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