Mrs.B

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AARRRH

When Mrs.B carried a plant indoors to protect it from the first winter chills, she succeeded in getting a branch in her left eye, it swung right underneath her glasses. It stung like hell, but she put on a brave face (read: whined about it the whole evening) and went to bed.

The next morning, it was still hurting a lot, and I must confess that I was really worried. Her eyesight is not getting better anyway. So we decided she had to go and see a doctor. That was Friday morning. A couple of hours later, she called me at work. The doctor was very worried about her eye, because that branch had made a scratch right on her pupil. She had patched up her eye (literally) but refused to put Mrs.B on sick leave.

So my wife had left the car behind at the hospital for me to pick up in the evening, and had ventured on an adventurous trip by bus to work. There her boss cast one look at her and sent her home. ‘You’re in no state to work’, he’d said, and he was right.

So later that evening I swam from the bus to our car – it was raining cats and dogs, until I got in the damn car of course – and drove home. There I found my Piratess of the Caribbean listening to the TV – watching was too painful for her and not just because we have such crappy shows on every single Belgian TV station.

So we spent the whole weekend smearing ointment in her eye, then patching it up again; and running to and from the hospital to get daily checks. We also went to two birthday parties, although Mrs.B had to rest-rest-rest. And birthday parties are no fun when your eye either itches or hurts like hell and you MUST’NT TOUCH IT!

But luckily, yesterday the doctor told us that the eye is healing well and as from today, Mrs.B’s days of plundering innocent vessels at the high sees are over. She doesn’t have to wear the patch anymore during the day, although she has to keep the parrot and the patch for when she sleeps. I must confess I tend to prefer the wooden leg in bed, because although it’s harder when she kicks, it doesn’t have a cold foot attached to it. I will be glad to see that hook go, though.

During all this ordeal Wolf and I tried to be supportive as possible. I washed the dishes – no single dish or pot had been washed since my departure to Congo – and we sang a song to cheer her up. Belgian readers may know the Pete the Pirate-song (Piet Piraat):

Pete the Pirate

Pete the Pirate

Ship Ahoy – hoy – hoy

He is my

Comrade

Ship Ahoy – hoy – hoy

With his ship

The Crooked Tub

He sails out

Every day

Pete the Pirate

Pete the Pirate

Pete the Pirate

(x 1000)

Choo Choo

On the second day of our holiday, we tooka historical train ride around part of the Bay of the Somme. There are two main lines, from Saint-Valéry sur Somme to Cayeux (to the south at the coast) and back and the other one from Saint-Valéry (on the South side of the bay) to Le Crotoy (on the North side), with a stop at Noyelles-sur-Mer. We opted for that second tour, because it's with a real steam train whereas the trip to Cayeux is with an old Diesel locomotive.

However, when we'd bought our tickets we only found the Diesel train. So thinking that it replaced the normal steam train ride, we boarded. It was only when we left the train station that we say the steam train leave from another station, just 500 meters from where we hopped on our Diesel train.

I blame the French for being absolutely incapable of giving clear indications. They put one arrow in the general direction, then another and then you're left to your own devises, until you see an arrow pointing completely in the opposite direction (so at least you know you're too far).

My wife blames me, of course.

So it was with red cheeks that I handed over the tickets to the train conductor, who claimed again that their directions were perfectly clear. Luckily, he didn't kick us off the train. And besides, that old diesel locomotive was at least as charming as the steam train, wasn't it?

You can't take pictures like these on a steam train, you knowYou can't take pictures like these on a steam train, you know

Arrival at Cayeux. Forty-five minutes later the train returned to Saint-Valéry sur Somme.

And we're off again!And we're off again!

We smuggled Booh, Wolf's favourite cuddle, into the passenger compartment. She really didn't want to travel with the cargo because there were no windows.

It was very hot that day (28°C!), so Wolf made sure that Booh drank regularly.

That's what you get for trying to scare me and my cuddly cow!That's what you get for trying to scare me and my cuddly cow!

When we got back to Saint-Valéry, we heard a steam whistle. This is the train to Crotoy and Noyelles (where we were supposed to go). See, it's not half as nice as our little diesel train!

Although I admit that the cars do look more comfortable than the ones we travelled in. But then again, we could see the tracks through the cracks between the floor boards.

Ok, it IS a nice train.

Whack!

At 1:30 AM all is peace and quiet in our house, while outside thieves and roberers search their way and vampires hide in dark portals waiting for a foolish blonde maiden to come their way. In the master bedroom, I'm going crescendo to a grande finale in masterpiece in Snore flat.

Then suddenly, I get whacked in the face. Panick stricken, I awake while a hand claws violently in my eyes. It's like someone is trying to kill me and I start fighting back! I try to get a grip on the arm of my attacker.

'What are you doing ?!?!', I yell to Mrs.B.

She stares at me in confusion and bewilderment.

'I thought that Wolf was falling out of bed', she mutters.

'You daft woman, Wolf is in his own bed.'

'It was a bad dream', she explains, half apologising.

I grumble and try to go back to sleep, the adrenalin still pumping trough my veins.

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