14 November to 21 December.
The train ride back to Paris was somewhat eventful following the events of November 13:
- At Brussels station, right next to where we stopped for a cup of coffee, some idiot left his baggage unattended whilst he visited the toilet and in moments we were surrounded by heavily armed police with dogs. We departed our position with alacrity!
The offending baggage Part of the response team
- Customs officials (?) boarded the train and every passenger had to identify their luggage.
- On arrival at the Charles de Gaulle terminal we stopped at a kiosk for a baguette when an announcement came over the speakers that the floor were were on had to be evacuated. All done in a very orderly manner and we never got to find out what the problem was.
Back home in South Africa Lynn had a knee replacement operation (something like https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBz03XDzd5Q ) and as of today is able to walk without crutches although she is still in quite a lot of pain by the end of the day (and sometimes in the mornings and during the day too - poor girl!).
We were offered membership of the IJzervaarders club in Diksmuide and a permanent mooring at the marina but after frantic calls to Brussels and the Belgian consulate in Johannesburg we were informed that there was no such thing as a long stay visitors visa which would allow us a stay longer than three months at a time. The French Consulate however confirmed that there is such a category and that we have grounds for a successful application so we will be sadly departing our Diksmuide ‘home’ in 2016 and heading for France permanently - or at least until we are forced retire from this marvelous life.
Our giggling president fired the Minister of Finance (apparently for saying “No” to another wasteful proposal by one of the president’s girlfriends who is head of the national airline) which caused the currency to lose 10%, appointed a totally unqualified and almost unheard of yes-man in his place, and three days later fired him and replaced him with a former Minister of Finance who had been shifted sideways for targeting crooked ANC cronies. What a joke!
So that’s it until next year...Happy Christmas and a Peaceful and Healthy 2016 to All.