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.
I was intrigued by the way the tide had washed the sand over these 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.
We had very clear skies, and the flat land offered us some amazing sunsets.
I was lucky enough to get a good shot of Jupiter shortly after sunset.
On the day we left we also had a very beautiful sunrise.
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.
The study/spare rom was even worse. The wallpaper was saturated – when i looked closely there were droplets on 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.