Friday, January 25, 2013


(The Prodigy, 1996)

This last week was the Great Freeze, one of the little one's snufflings has escalated to pneumonia and flu, and the rest of us are trying to shake off horrid colds.

What better time for the heating to go off? 

It went off following a rather improbabe chain of events that started with the wet cement in the cellar, that short-circuited the wires in the walls, that blew the fuse, that confused the heater's electrics, that displayed an error message saying the pressure was low, that caused someone to add more water, that flooded the heater's electrics, that destroyed the "coeur de chauffe"  (did you know that central heating systems had hearts?). 

And now, a new heart for the fire-breather in our attic has to be found from that far-away land, Germany. (You didn't think the people at Bulex would keep a stock these things close at hand, did you?  Oh how little you know Belgium.)

So we are hoping that sometime very soon, somewhere in a warehouse in Germany, Fritz will heave sigh, put down his newspaper and haul himself off his arse to wander down the shelves, pick up a box containing the right thingy, put it in a bigger box, which will then sit around for another few days? weeks? until Hans decides he has enough boxes piled up to warrant packing up the van and driving to Belgium. 

And then no doubt it will sit around a bit longer until the Bulex computer tells the Bulex technician that he has the necessary to come and repair our heater, and then another few days before he finds a free date to come and fit it. 

And then, maybe, it might all work?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Move any Mountain

(The Shaman, 1991)

Still there?   I wouldn't blame you for tuning out. 

So yes, we moved.  And it was enough of an ordeal for me not to want to re-live the whole thing any time soon, but I will try and record some of the highlights here so that, in years to come, we can look back fondly at these happy days of dust, boxes and bugs...  

Behold the bathroom, the day of the 'move': 28 November.

... and the staircase. A fairly major obstacle to moving in, since the 1st and 2nd floors would have to be out of bounds while this was sanded and painted. 

So the Plan D, agreed while the movers were navigating their way round the Schaerbeek one-way system, was that we would be allowed to occupy two rooms on the first floor, where we could pile up our belongings, while the workmen scurried around finishing what they could. 

And what about our little family?  After calling around various B&Bs to see whether they would house two downtrodden adults, two coughing babies and their double buggy, we took up the generous offer of friends who live on the next street to stay with them until the house was ready.  An offer they may have since regretted, as it became clear that we were not talking a few days, but a good week and a half....