Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Stowing Your Life Away...

The big day is arriving fast now.  I hope.  That's what they've been telling me for weeks, anyway. "They" are the housing company from which I rent an apartment.  The same people who are selling the block where I currently live and as a consequence have provided me with a new place to stay.

All I need to get sorted out is the warranty of the new apartment.  Is almost double of what I had to cash-out for where I live right now.  A good thing that I get to collect the warranty from this apartment and can carry it over to the new one.  Which means I only need an extra threehundred-and-peanuts on top of the fivehundred and sixty I paid four and a half years ago.

Once the warranty is settled, I'll get the keys and some time after that I'll sign the new lease.  Then, the housing company will give me a call about the exact date the moving company will arrive.

Another good thing is that, since we're being forced out because the housing company sells the apartment block, it's a case of "force majeure" and as such we don't have to pay zilch.  All the costs of moving are for the wallet of the housing company.  They painted the new apartment and even put some new carpet on the floor.

Problem is I'll have to buy half a football field's worth of curtains. Much more and larger windows than in my current studio.  With the cash I've spent on ebay lately, buying my DSLR and lenses and filters and whatnot, I guess I'll have to dress one window per month.  Which will take me close to a year before I'll have curtains everywhere...

But who cares, except maybe for the neigbours across the street.  Main thing is I'll finally move and leave this rabbithole behind me.  Not that I didn't like it here.  Its' just that I've been buying so many pieces of furniture over the last four and a half years that I haven't got any room left to move around.

Packing is almost done. Funny how you collect a lot of stuff over a short period of time.  I mean, I practically left everything behind back in 2007 when I went to New York City.  When I came back to Belgium, all I had was my computer, some clothes and a fairly decent music collection.  Oficially, I was homeless until the first of October 2008 (slept on the floor at my mother's place for one and a half years) when I got this here studio.

Bit by bit I bought some furniture and stuff and now the place is so crammed it's bursting at the seams.  Some furniture like my bed I bought new.  A couple of weeks ago, i was finally able to buy the wardrobe that goes with the bed -at the time, I was unable to fit the wardrobe into the smallish bedroom, but the new apartment is spaceous enough -with two bedrooms- to fit everything I have and then some.

Like I said, I'll be glad when I'll finally be able to move.  So, let's move it.
I'll keep you posted.


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Mum Goes Nuts, Too...

Last friday -February 8- my mother took about two hours to get out of bed.  Not because she went out on the town the night before and was suffering a hangover- no, she was in pain for some or other reason and was unable to use her legs and as a consequence couldn't get up.

Saturday went reasonably well.  Mother could walk, albeit very carefully and very slowly, but at least she was able to get around the apartment.

Sunday however, things went from bad to worse and mom was again unable to get up.  She didn't even make it to bed the night before and slept on the couch.  Since I had to help her get on and off the toilet bowl and didn't see me doing this every hour (my mother suffers from water in the lower legs and takes medication to get rid of that water, so she has to go pee at least once every hour) I only saw one solution and that was to get her to the hospital.

So, that's what we -my sis, brother in law and me- did.  Went to the Middelheim Hospital in Antwerp and took her into the "Urgency" center.  Urgent is a bit of an idle word at Middelheim, or so it seems, since we had to wait from half-past one until a quarter past four before mom was admitted.

The doctors did some tests -which altogether took until roundabout nine PM- and came to the conclusion that mom suffered from an infected tendon in her right upper tigh.  That's why she was in such pain trying to stand and in fact couldn't stand at all.

Mom's being taken care of with antibiotics and stuff.  How long it's gonna take until she'll be able to more or less walk again is rather murky.  Doctors can't -or won't- put a time on it.  fact is that mom's also going to need some "movement therapy", which is just another term for excersising.  She'll be very happy with that.

Anyway, for the time being it's a question of being able to keep mom in the hospital, because she doesn't like it there and wants to go home.  I can understand that.  I don't like hospitals either for the main reason that you get bored stiff over there.  Nothing to do in so many diferent ways.

Am off.  Gotta go pay mom a visit.
I'll keep you posted.


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Filtering The Filters...

Oh boy.  Been having a go at some filters on ebay.  Mainly UV (Ultraviolet) and Polarisation (anti-reflection) filters in both 52mm and 58mm for my Canon SX1 and EOS 600D respectively.

Problem is I placed bids on several offers and have been very lucky since I won them all.  Now I have a whole bunch of 'em from different brands like Hoya, Kenko and Jessop.

On the other hand, having several of the same filters might come in handy when owning more than one lens.  That way, I can leave this or that filter on those lenses.  It never hurts -on the contrary- to leave an UV filter on a lens, since it not only ameliorates your photos: it also protects the innards of the lens and even the mirror of your DSLR.

Also found a nice canvas shoulderbag from a brand called Courser.  Didn't find a shop in Belgium which sells them, so I got it from ebay too.  A shop in the U.K. which has several different sizes and shapes.  Decent prices too, except -again- for the Royal Mail fee.  My guess is the Royal Mail charges these enormous amounts (in comparison to other countries) to compensate for the damages they have to pay: the Royal Mail is notorious for "accidentally" losing stuff.

Losing stuff by means of some mailmen who think they have first choice when packs are being sent and as a consequence deliver the goods to their own doorstep instead of to the recipient's adress on the box...

Anyway, until now I have no complaints.  Got a couple of things underway (Filters!).  Hope it gets across the Channel unscathed.

I'll keep you, well, posted...

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Nose At The Window

That's what I'm doing all the time, for the last couple of days.  Walking up to the window and sticking my nose against the glass.

"Why?" I hear you thinking.  Well, I'm constantly checking the weather and waiting for a break in the clouds large enough to allow me to go out and use my new DSLR camera in the dry.

Since the weather-gods seem to conspire against me -or they are simply on a vacation in Ibiza- I'm doomed to keep on sticking my nose to the glass and gazing up at the clouds.

In between staring at clouds, I check ebay for some more gadgets.  Found a very nice Courser khaki camera bag for a decent price.  Comes from a shop in the United Kingdom.  The bag's price is alright, but the postage & packaging fee is a touch on the steep side and gives an idea why the post in England is called Royal Mail: they must have a bank-account the size of that of the Royal Family by now with the prices they ask.  A few quid more and I could take a ferry across the channel to get the item myself.

Oh, and I also found some filters for both my Canon SX1 and the EOS600D.  At a ridiculous price too, I might add.  A set of four Hoya filters including a double-coated polarisation one for five pounds.  The latter would set me back around seventy five euro when buying it new, so, you can imagine I'm pretty satisfied with the purchase.  Even when the Royal Mail tries to rain on my parade.

Speaking of rain: I just stuck my nose to the window for the 298th time today and it's raining right now.  So, I'll better come back later.

I'll keep you posted,