So my epic holiday is nearly over … i go back to work tomorrow after more than 3 weeks away. I actually can’t wait to get back! I so enjoy the work that i do, and i appreciate the structure of knowing what is going to happen each day.

Here is my holiday summary:

  • A few days at home relaxing and getting ready
  • Four days in Germany
  • A week in De Panne, on the North coast of Belgium over Christmas
  • Back home and time with family and friends
  • Dealing with horrible damp mouldy walls that got really bad when we were away

For more details and photographs, read on … but beware of the mould pictures if they might squick you out!

Germany was great. We visited a few Christmas markets and visited a friend in Köln. Shamefully i forgot to take any photos.

We had a good time in Belgium, nice and relaxing. We were by the beach near the border with France. Here is an enormous beach in Bray Dunes, France.

Miles of expansive beach

I was intrigued by the way the tide had washed the sand over these shells:

Pretty shells

On Christmas Day we took a trip to the beach of De Panne. A lot of other people had the same idea! It was cold and the sea was quite choppy, but we had a nice cup of coffee!


I really liked this peaceful-looking statue gazing out into the distance.

Looking out to see

We had very clear skies, and the flat land offered us some amazing sunsets.

Sun on its way out

I was lucky enough to get a good shot of Jupiter shortly after sunset.

Jupiter in the sunset glow

On the day we left we also had a very beautiful sunrise.

It's going to be a nice day

The day we came home, my lovely Felix phoned to ask to stay the night. We were tired, but happy to oblige, and we had a lovely couple of days. A lot of my family were in the area; my dad, step-mum and Felix came to my church last Sunday and they enjoyed it. After that we went to my grandparents’ house where i think about 20 family members had gathered together! It was fantastic to catch up with everybody, some of whom i had not seen for 8 years!

My sweet little brother also came round to visit us the next day, and we spent an hour or two looking at family trees and genes reunited. It was lovely.

We also had our good friend Goodarcher to stay for a couple of days. We always like to joke that we’re having a bi meetup every time we get together, but this time we decided to make it official and we formed Bi Wessex. We had our first social event in the local pub, set up the Facebook group and ordered some Moo cards to publicise! I look forward to seeing what becomes of this! :)

Warning: icky pictures follow. Look away now if you don’t want to see!

Unfortunately the down-side to being away for 11 days was that the flat got very cold and damp. We came back to discover our mould problem had become horribly worse. The clean-up was nasty and depressing, and took me a long time, not because it was actually time consuming, but because it squicks me out so much that i procrastinate and need to take frequent breaks. I feel good for having done it though, of course. Some before/after pictures.

Before After
Before After
Before After

The study/spare rom was even worse. The wallpaper was saturated – when i looked closely there were droplets on the wall.

Water drops dripping down the wall

I tried to dry the wall but the wallpaper just came away in my hands. And there was more mould behind the wallpaper. I thought it was caused by condensation, but now i think it must be coming in through the outside walls.

Anyway, i have done my very best to clean up the visible mould, but i know it will come back. We are currently rearranging all our furniture to be as far as possible from the outside walls. Ideally we need better heaters, a dehumidifier, an extractor fan in the kitchen, and the whole flat redecorated with waterproof, anti-fungal paint. Oh, and cavity insulation, then we’d be nice and toasty! Ah, i can but dream …! Let’s hope the house prices keep on falling and maybe we’ll be able to buy our own place.


11 comments on “Holidays!

  1. You did an excellent job with the mould – the after pics look good as new! I’m very impressed.

    What beautiful photos (of the sunset & sunrise, not the mould :p)!

    I’m really glad you’re so looking forward to going back to work; that’s awesome.


  2. Thanks Kathleen. It was horrible, but with enough moaning, faffing, procrastinating, and posting to Twitter, i finally managed to get two rooms done. Still need to do the kitchen and bathroom, but they’re not so bad.

    I’m glad you liked at least some of the photos! :)

  3. Wow that mould was bad!

    But the rest of the photos were very good, and I’m glad you enjoyed your holiday.

    That sand was a bit odd though.

  4. We got our dehumidifier from Argos for £50 when the old one packed in, and it seems to be keeping everything under control :)

    I think the trouble with living in flats is you have to dry your washing indoors, so all that water stays in the flat. If we lived in lovely little houses with gardens we wouldn’t have that problem ;)

    It sounds like you’ve had a lovely break though, and are all refreshed and raring to go!

  5. It is possible it might have been Venus rather than Jupiter. They came close and then crossed over, and now i can’t remember which one is which. I thought it was Jupiter but you’ve made me wonder now.

  6. I want to live in that kind of place, you know near lake or sea but I don't want to live in that kind of house. It needs renovation, interior designer will help you to make that home into a new one.

  7. Mmm, unfortunately we don't own the home so there's not much we can do apart from keeping it aired, and as clean and dry as possible. It was being away from home for 10 days that was the problem, but we did have a lovely holiday! :)

  8. Oh dear, that's nasty damp, hope you got it all sorted. House prices still going south, so let's hope you get your wish!

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