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You Move Me

Voila, it’s done. After months of meticulous planning (Where you want that – Erm, dunno. Basement ?) we finally moved to our new house. As with our wedding, the weather gods didn’t exactly help us out. Instead of the cold drizzle and occasional showers we got during our wedding, this time they threw a smouldering heath wave on us. Okay, the wall paper glue and the paint dried quickly, but it made the cement and plaster crack too. And toiling for days on end in 30°C is no fun, even when you’re used to desert heat like I do.

Things were tense until the last minute. Twenty-four hours before moving, the diner room’s walls still needed plastering at places, the ceiling needed to be painted for a second time and then we could finally start decorating it. Friday night I was still taking furniture apart in the apartment, while Mrs. Bartlog was frantically cleaning up the new place. Luckily we managed to sleep that night, by sheer exhaustion and because we threw the cats in the living room so we could open all windows and have a gentle fresh breeze cool us down.

Next morning it was stress-stress-stress from the first second after opening my eyelids. Finish taking apart the furniture before the mercenaries arrived. We had nine friends and family members helping us out, and they were all experienced furniture haulers. I took care of logistical coordination, and before I get any snappy comments: I worked my ass off dragging everything on the van we rented. It was the biggest size we could get with a car’s licence, and I suspect we seriously overloaded it. It made funny noises when I left with my first cargo and it swayed from left to right every time I drove over a manhole cover or a dent in the road.

Just at that point it started to rain. You see, Belgium’s been sweating for weeks on end under a heat wave, praying for just a little rain. And right at the point where we want to offload or stuff and carry it into the house, it starts to pour. But without hesitation, our helpers set out to work, keeping our photo-albums and paintings above their heads for protection. We should’ve thought a bit more about what we were going to set in which room, because some rooms were stuffed with stuff and others are as empty as our bank accounts. But anywhere, there we went for a second run which was thankfully a short one.

I wiped away a single tear when I finally closed the door behind me for a last time, after living in that apartment for almost eight years. Sniff

The troops did a great job in putting the furniture together again, despite the fact that I put the nuts and bolts of different pieces of furniture together in one bag (per room mind you, I’m not completely daft). The next day, my parents in law dropped by to help us load everything in the cupboards and on the shelves, so we have a fully functioning house now.

But there shall be no rest for the wicked, for in my wife’s head plans are brewing. About redecorating the sleeping room, and making her an office, and redoing the hall way and the stair case. And the room for the baby… Oh yes, there is work to be done for old Bart, and not just with a paintbrush.


The trip back home was long and tedious. Two hours waiting at Bujumbura airport, an hour and a half flight to Nairobi, a ten hour wait there and an eleven hour flight back to Belgium via Entebbe (where we had to wait for another hour). In total a twenty-four hour trip with ladies barfing next to me (twice) and the sound of hundreds of pieces of shit flushing down the toilet just behind my seat. Oh joy!

When I finally did arrive, there was a big surprise waiting for me. In the evening our landlord came over to make an announcement. We have to leave our apartment by the end of the year. Oh joy!

As if we don’t have enough to do this year with the wedding and all, we’ll also have to start looking for a new place to live. This is a serious bummer, as the old Greek philosophers used to say, because we had hoped that we could stay in this ridiculously cheap and enormously large apartment for another two to three years. This way, we could quietly look for another place while saving enough money to get a loan for more money. Houses don’t come cheap here. Instead, our brand new ship of marriage is swept into the first rapids with this big challenge. We’ll have to find a place AND secure a loan in the next nine months. Oh triple joy!

Apart from the time frame, I do look forward to buying something, although it’s very possible that we’ll get stuck on the financial part alone. On the other hand, she-who-makes-ridiculous-claims-that-I-snore-while-I-sleep set out some pretty high standards for our future dwelling. It should have room for at least one horse and a horse van/truck while at the same time be affordable but not in the sense that it is a complete ruin. It should be good enough to live in without any major refurbishing and it shouldn’t be too far away from a train station so I can get to work easily, or from a major road so she can get to work easily. There are loads of houses/old farms available, but not in the vicinity of the big cities where we work. Most houses around here tend to be expensive and small, so no room for a horse.

Actually, I don’t dare to tell her that because I’m afraid that the horse has a higher priority in her eyes than me, myself and I. On the positive side you, dear reader, will have a lot to read about in 2006, you lucky lot. This weblog is starting to get more plot twists than the average episode of The Bold And The Beautiful Neighbours Of The Flying E.R. At Eastenders’.

Next week my girlfriend will inexplicably burst out in tears and confess that she used to be a hairy Georgian drug lord named Dimjitrij before she had the sex transplant to get out of the hands of corrupt former KGB leaders.

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