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Nurse Bart

Mrs. B. has the flue. It started on Saturday evening when we were entertaining some of her old college friends. I slaved the whole day in the kitchen to prepare what must have been the Worlds Most Humungous Wok Dish For Seven Persons Ever. The recipe is quite easy: take 35 metric tonnes of veggies (onions, paprika, carrots, mushrooms (two 40-foot containers) tomatoes and soy sprouts), add one shipload of giant shrimp tails, half a shipload of monkfish and half a shipload of scallops. Forget the cuttlefish rings in the refrigerator so you can wonder the next day what the hell you’re going to do with a truckload of them for just two persons. Serve with China’s year supply of rice and India’s year supply of curry sauce. Oh, and for starters we had cauliflower and endive soup with bacon.

Anyway, everyone like the food and we had a jolly good time but by the end of the evening my co-dishwasher for life became very tired and developed a fever. So for the past couple of days I’ve been promoted to Maker of the Royal Tea and Fluffer of the Pillow. Very distinguished and all that you see. Her stomach was a bit queasy too, so I prepared some light and otherwise easily digestible meals such as wild boar stew in red wine gravy with bacon and mushrooms served with creamy mashed potatoes, and rabbit in Flemish beer sauce with thick applesauce and boiled potatoes. Maybe tomorrow I should make some spaghetti with steamed veggies or something, or else she won’t make it to the end of the week.


They say dog’s owners resemble their dogs (or vice versa), but I never knew house owners also resemble their houses. At the moment, we do: both my house and I are leaking.

It all started on Sunday, during the biblical storms that nearly drowned us at the Concert for Tolerance. The hail and rain chilled me to the bone. Yesterday I got up not feeling well and returned to bed in the evening feeling worse. I did go to work, but my productivity was not even close to optimal. Today it’s the same scenario, although I got to sleep a bit longer. But I had a meeting just after lunch that I didn’t want to postpone yet again. So this working men’s hero dragged himself to Brussels, with a clogged up nose with built-in waterfall, a pounding headache that started as soon as I set foot on the bus and a somewhat reduced hearing ability. I also got a very annoying pimple right on the rim of my right nostril, so it hurts as hell every time I wipe my nose.

The house’s symptoms are a dripping ceiling in my wife’s office. When I checked my e-mail on Sunday I heard this alarming ‘drip-drip-drip’ noise close behind me. It took me a while to find the leaks because the light isn’t working. Luckily I put my socked foot right into the puddle so then I knew where it was for sure.

The water is seeping in at three places. The problem is that there’s a false ceiling, so I can’t actually see where it enters. I changed into some shorts and a T-shirt and climbed onto the flat roof to check for damage. Getting up there in typical summer outfit (the weather was nice earlier that day) in chilling wind and pouring rain didn’t do wonders for my health either. I didn’t find any obvious holes, which means that next weekend I can spend all of my time removing two tonnes of pebbles, cleaning up the roof, scanning for damage and repairing it. Hopefully I’ll just have to pour some of that liquid repair stuff on it. If not, I’ll have to lay a new layer of tarmac roll on it.

Anyway, I’ll have to get better first if I want to play super-roof-repair-man on Saturday.

AAOUATCHAOUA !!!! (prwooooooop!)


On Wednesday, my boss called in sick, but yesterday she came to work because she had an important meeting. So yesterday evening, my nose suddenly started to drip. This night, a woke up several times with a clogged nose and a head-banging headache. So thank you very much, my sweet employer for giving my a hell of cold. Either that, or I am the first person in Belgium with the bird flue. Which is quite possible because we ate guinea fowl on Wednesday. Does anyone know the incubation period for guinea fowl induced bird flue?

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