Sunday 30th July 2006

I have already written about the speeding fine but you are never going to believe this. My master received a reminder letter saying it had not been paid so he rang my mistress to get her to check that the money had left their bank and gone to the right place, which it had. In these circumstances my master’s usual approach is to screw it up and throw it in the bin assuming it has crossed rather than check there is no problem. He then is surprised when he receives a letter inviting him to go to court. He is however discovering from my mistress that there is a different approach. So there she is on the phone to him saying could he unscrew the piece of paper and ring them to confirm. He laughed and asked how she knew he had screwed it up – but of course whilst laughing he retrieved the piece of paper. If he hadn’t done he would never have know just how inefficient the police payment system in Belgium is. Would you believe the man in charge of sending reminders said he had no way of checking and in the event that we should get a letter from the ‘district attorney’ or whatever it is called, could we please send copies of the bank paperwork to them so that they could cross us off the list. He was very apologetic but said most people paid in the post office and were given a stamp that acted as their proof, they weren’t yet able to cope with the bank reconciliation involved in direct payments into their bank account. All this despite putting their bank details on the form to enable you to pay that way. It made me wonder whether there was any point in paying at all or whether in fact they would simply not notice.

Well I have been home for almost a week and life potters on as normal. I am spoilt rotten and make the most of it. Tomorrow however the peace will be shattered for a while with the arrival of James. In fact today is the end of peace and quiet for 5 weeks. I tentatively said to my mistress that if they could have all these friends and family to stay could I invite mine. She said she would think about it. I thought maybe Chloe would like to come over, although thinking about it I am not absolutely certain how she would get here. My mistress said she would love to have a bearded collie around but that would not be possible unless we found a way to make the gates higher. In her experience a bearded collie can clear that height at one bounce. Ah well. It was just a thought.