We did it!

Well, back to Brussels for a while again. I have not been around much though since my main purpose for being here is trying to get the house pleasant to live in again.

We’ve been working at it quite regularly now even though “renovating the last renovations” is not over yet. After the big flood in 2009 and very bad  renovations in 2010-11, there still are quite a few leaks here and there, and problems with plumbing and electricity. Old houses in Brussels are hard to fix once they start deteriorating - that is when your landlady does not do what’s necessary to get her house fixed once and for all... (while we still pay our rent cash on the nail).

So back to our victory over untidiness and filth!

There was a time when I became so discouraged about what our house had turned to be that I threatened Popeye never to go back there... only once in a while to get stuff and clothes. After all, I am not working in Brussels... He is. Most of the time -- whenever he’s not flying all over the world.

Threats... But I’d go back because this was our home after all. I mean, not our second home. And I’d start getting very upset because whenever Popeye would be staying there by himself... well... let’s say that he’d expand his own private kingdom, from top to bottom.

The house is quite big (and used to be rather lovely, you see). It is one of those Belgian town houses with lots of stairs. The previous owner had an apartment built over the last floor. A real apartment with a kitchenette and a mezzanine floor... (A “studio” in French!) supposedly for an au pair girl. We thought it would be just wonderful for Swee’Pea and his friends who surely would love to come and spend every week-end in Brussels... They never did actually. They were busy studying and enjoyed vacationing at Les Tertres instead.

After a while, Popeye decided it would be an excellent place where to store his guitars and amps and drums...

It was a great place to play music except that as soon as flooding problems started, Popeye had to move his stuff around and his stuff became very invading...

Those of you who are old enough to have read “Charlie Brown” probably remember a character by the name of “Pig-Pen”...

©Charles M. Schulz

Well, do not think, not for one minute, that Popeye truly is “Pig-Pen” because Popeye is always clean as a new pin. He does enjoy taking showers and he’s quite a stylish dresser...

But when it comes to tidying up, well... you remember “Pig-Pen” and his dust cloud? Popeye’s world is cluttered up with guitars and amps and music books and scores and music and guitar stands and guitar parts and guitar cases... and this world/cloud is no longer held within the studio/apartment boundaries. It overflows onto the whole house -- which is a big house... after all.

The renovation work did not help, I know but it was becoming quite frustrating because Popeye was feeling overflown, I guess. His stuff was spilling out and he no longer knew how to manage! My own Sorcerer’s Apprentice!

So I moved back to Brussels for longer periods in order to support him in his endeavour to clean up this mess. Mainly because I am a tidiness freak. Which I think arises from my unremitting fight against death... because I used to be very untidy... a long time ago that is!

At Christmas, Swee’Pea gave me a book about Feng-shui... Nice thought but it did end up turning my love of tidiness into some kind of obsessional neurosis. Just kidding.

So back to Popeye and his ever-growing guitar/amps/parts ‘dust cloud’...

We fought about it. We talked about it. We fought about it again many, many times. Then we made plans about it and we finally started to act except that when I was on my own, I was totally forbidden to keep on tidying up which was very, very frustrating...

The progress was slow, very slow until one day, not too long ago.

Suddenly, we had a goal to meet. Our Canadian “children” were flying to Brussels for us to meet our “granddaughter”. And Swee’Pea would be there too. Easter week. Time was running fast.

The ‘studio’ was in a much better shape and the clutter was slowly disappearing from the other rooms.

But now the house looked very dirty. It needed a very thorough cleaning out.

Popeye did find a cleaning lady but she was just doing some very slight cosmetic improvements. We needed to ask a cleaning firm to take over the house after so many months of renovation... Once and for all.

Which meant that we needed to make an appointment and keep to it. Which meant that poor Popeye was under a lot of pressure and stress. (He’s a very busy man too. He works a lot and travels a lot, remember.)

Two nights ago, I really doubted that we’d make it on time -- the cleaners were coming over today.

Well, guys, we did make it.

Thank goodness, our old modem died on us and our Internet connection went down yesterday morning which meant that Popeye could not spend a lot of time working on a meeting he was going to this morning. (He was not very happy about it even though I tried very hard to restore the connection to no avail. Thanx to Belgacom which did not give me the right modem. (Our ADSL line is very antiquated and they gave me the latest modem hence totally incompatible.)

And that’s the reason why very late at night, our house was finally ready to welcome the cleaning team at 9 a.m. sharp!

Popeye won’t be coming home until tomorrow night... Too bad!

The house is sparkling clean. I love it! It is tidy. It is immaculate. It smells good and fresh. I love it!

I only hope that tomorrow the phone won’t ring... to let me know that a building firm needs to come and check our roof... for the umpteenth time.

*Good Luck, and Good Night*

1 comment:

Myrna said...

It does feel good to get a house under control, doesn't it!