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Spain update december 2019 - Thu12dec

Posted on
19 December 2019



Thursday 12th December 2019

After a blitz visit to Belgium we are back in Spain since yesterday.  One week and a half before our departure and Roel’s arrival all our attention was claimed by the pups, by Triphon and Maurice and by the trips back and forth to Talavera with Nana for her laser treatment and the check-up of Maurice’s broken leg that was healing well.  We were rewarded by the good news that Claire and Raymond were going to adopt Nana, that Yolanda will take care of Triphon, and to our great joy by the fantastic message that veterinarian John Smet, our John who in the meantime has a wife and a little son, adopted the pup Ria Eloise.  We could not wish for more, about those three we did not have to worry anymore.  Unfortunately, Maurice could not leave but we take the certain for the uncertain, given the major operation we decided not to let him go before his complete recovery.


On Wednesday the 4th December Roel arrived and was involved in Dirk’s departure modus and as a reward he could visit the shelter in the afternoon in the pouring rain. On The 5th December I left with Anabel at 8:00h to the airport while the first “batch” of travelers arrived with Marie-Carmen and Pili.  Because I travelled with Iberia, I arrived in Zaventem at 14:30h and an hour and a half later Frank dropped me off in De Pinte. Meanwhile I had called the drivers who were in a traffic jam somewhere before Bordeaux.  I was barely at home when Claire and Raymond arrived with the usual bouquet of flowers, a present that as far as I can remember I always receive upon my arrival at home and the supply of food that Dirk ordered at Colruyt. Half an hour later they left with the “old” van to drop it off at Christel’s place for the adoption day that exceptionally took place on Friday because on Saturday the hall had to be set up for the Christmas market in Glabbeek.  I called again the drivers who were still in a traffic jam, fortunately the pups and the other travelers on board were calm.  Our Clémentine who travelled in a “coupé” and Leopold who was installed in the middle of the van were extremely behaving, of course, they are experienced travelers.



I was so tired that I fell asleep in front of the tv.  It was not yet 21:00h when I called Dirk telling him that I went to bed, my energy was used up, my batteries were obviously not from the Duracell brand.  Once in bed I could of course not sleep.  After a few hours counting sheep I fell in a deep dreamless sleep and I woke up shocked when the drivers arrived at home at 2:30h with Triphon and Nana.  A couple of hours later we were back in shape and left at 8:00h to Nazareth for the adoption day where the “arrival team” from the past night already had started preparations. The tent was installed in the pouring rain and then we were ready for the adoption day.  The “daddies and mommies” were present on time despite the bad weather and a few hours later the pups and their older fellow travelers left with their new family hoping that they found their forever home. After the exhausting day we still had the courage to hold a “meeting”. We celebrated Katrien’s new colleague and regional manager for West-Flanders, Mrs. Carine Soenens and I expressed my gratitude and appreciation to Koen Falise for his contribution to our FB. We were back home at 16:00h because we had an appointment to visit an apartment.  I am horrified by the thought of living in an apartment but due to the purchase of Casa Belgica we must leave our house and we will have to live smaller. There was no other option because the dogs have priority…


The next day we left before 8:00h to Glabbeek to arrive there only at 10:00h due to diversion and roadblocks.  We even met Claire and Raymond with the old van, they also got lost. Anyway, mountains of work were waiting for us to decorate the hall in a X-mas atmosphere. The exhibitors did not have a problem, they had their own plan. Nevertheless, it was a pity that Jackie’s table sets and her bags did not arrive on time in Casa Belgica and what was even worse, the packages got lost in the mail!! Anyhow, the rest, that’s us, had to find our way in the huge amount of Christmas decorations brought by Yolanda. Els installed the lights in the gallery, I recruited Gerda to set up and decorate the Christmas trees (not easy), I put the gentlemen at work and Yolanda delegated.  After hours the work progressed, and the hall looked cozy thanks to our united forces.  On the stage there was a throne waiting for photo sessions (of which I thought until then that it was a joke) with Peter Van Tricht… Next to our shop there was a table where I had to sign the storybook written by Kris and illustrated by me.  It was waiting whether it would be a success. When everybody agreed that our “Christmas market” looked magnificent we closed the door behind us. Just like last year we went to hotel Kronacker in Tienen to spend the night. Hopefully there was nothing wrong this time with the domestic automation.


The day after the Christmas market was a success despite the bad rainy weather. The exhibitors were shining, the food stands with delicious food and drinks were very busy, our singer on duty was there, the storybooks were a big success and I survived my photo sessions. In short, our efforts were appreciated. We were congratulated and I received from Marthe’s (one of the main characters in our storybook) adopters a huge present only to be opened in Spain!!! At 18:00h we were tired but happy and started the heaviest work, the clean-up… Together we managed the huge job in a little more than one hour and after the goodbye and thanks and hugs everybody returned home. The two GINB vans drove together to De Pinte, the weather was that bad that it could be compared to a “carwash”, it was raining cats and dogs and wind blasts almost pushed the van off the road.  I could only think of the next day because we had to drive back to Spain.  But first I had to go to Bruges for a second opinion about my back problem to which I was not looking forward.  When after 21:00h we were finally at home Claire apparently had been as scared as I was. Shared suffering is half suffering isn’t it?...



On Monday the 9th December we left at 8:30h to the clinic in Bruges where I hoped to have a second opinion regarding my back problems. A journey in vain because the surgeon was not at all eager to give his opinion, I was not his patient and he told me that it was a difficult and delicate problem that he did not want to touch at this moment and I could go.  I was so emotional that against all my “strong lady” principles I started to cry on the way back to De Pinte.  I better would have saved my tears for the afternoon because when we left for Hof Rosa Canina to pick up Leopold and Clémentine the wind blasts splashed waterspouts on our front window, that looked promising….  Ten minutes later the promises became reality and we drove onto the highway in an inferno. Due to the trucks, that as far as I remember, are not allowed to overpass when it pouring rain but they do not bother, the sight on the road was nihil and Dirk had to drive constantly on the third lane.  I was terrified and had to appeal to my perseverance in order not to scream “return”.

The rain continued and in Rijsel we were almost squeezed between 2 trucks that cut off Dirk’s passage. Just before the ring it stopped raining and we plunged into the chaos. It would last more than 2 hours before we got through, a hectic two hours during which we neglected all traffic regulations even those that were not invented yet. Hours during which Dirk was extremely irritated by the arrogant motorcyclists, the masses of police cars that tried to get through the chaos, the trucks and cars that constantly changed lanes and the engineer who had invented the Paris ring with the resulting mess… SIGH… I did not say a word all the way. When we finally got through and we drove onto the pitch-dark way to Chartres where we would spend the night I said to my irritated knight “NEVER AGAIN” only on a Sunday next time. When we stopped at the Novotel all my muscle fibers were shivering from stress.  I had not been to the toilet for 7 long hours, a personal record that I probably would not break ever again, and I could hardly stand on my legs.  Dirk was also tired, who wouldn’t. After the check in we had dinner and then we went to bed.

The day after we drove 780 km till Castets.  Early in the morning we drove in the fog, then in the cold winter sun.  I got a little more confidence and I was rewarded; it was calm on the road. In the evening we knew why, everybody was stuck in Paris…Anyway Paris was behind us and miraculously we went smoothly through Bordeaux. Then Dirk pushed a time trial out of the van before darkness and we arrived in Castets just before dark clouds appeared and we could let the dogs out extensively on the fenced parking. Thereafter they got food and an extra “tour” which was too much for them, Clémentine as well as Leopold were queuing at the van to get in again. When we unloaded our luggage, it started to rain again… As usual we had dinner in the Hyppotamus and then we watched “the smartest person” on Dirk’s laptop and went to bed. Nevertheless, I got up a few times to look if it was raining, yes indeed. 


In the morning it was still raining and after breakfast we forced our way in between the many trucks on the “carwash highway”. It continued raining until just past Basque country.  In the Somosierra, the snowy mountains, the snow throwers along the road and the threatening dark clouds did not look very reassuring but we were spared.  In Lerna Marie-Carmen called regarding the 4 females of 6 months old and the galgos who arrived during the weekend.  We started approaching… It was 17:00h when we arrived in Casa Belgica where we were overwhelmed by the dogs as well as by Vali. Not only our dogs were happy to see us but also their two companions. After fifteen minutes peace had returned, and everybody was happy when everything was back to “normal”. And so were we because I finally could open the present from Marthe and Co.!!! The next day Dirk started to work at the new magazine, I finalized the new adoption requests and then I started the update that had to be included in the magazine. It is storming outside.


Friday 13th December 2019

The update is almost finished. You still must write the end-of-year speech, Dirk reminds me. It never stops.

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