Item 1 – wherein I am reminded of Belgian paperwork
I got a change of address form to fill in from my (entirely depleted, alas) savings account recently. It had to be witnessed by a solicitor, a commissioner for oaths, a clergyman, a garda or some other pillar of society. It had to be accompanied by an original utility bill from my new address (which would be returned to me – what if I only get my bill online, you ask).
I got a friend who is a practising solicitor to sign the form. Was that sufficient? No it was not; she had failed to affix her office stamp to the form (largely because she was in my house and it was 9 at night and I thought it wouldn’t matter). The form was returned to me with the place for the stamp circled and the words NB written on it. Of course it did because my savings were with an institution which was channelling the Belgian State. It made me feel very nostalgic for Belgium. I dutifully cycled to the local Garda station and got the guard on duty to fill in the form and, crucially, stamp it. That did the trick.
Item 2 – Wherein I decide to get my hands on the special edition of Point de Vue covering the life of King Albert.
As you will know, of course, King Albert has decided to abdicate today in favour of his son Philippe. The excitement. Mr. Waffle and I watched a very long programme on RTBF about the life of King Albert (possibly prepared in anticipation of his demise) which covered his father’s war record (not good) and his life as a playboy (possible explanation of why Queen Paola always looks displeased) but yet, somehow, failed to entrance. This may have been because these juicier nuggets were intercut with the King and Queen visiting yet another flooded home/exciting civic event in the years 1993 to 2013.
Item 3 – Happy Belgian National Day