Epic Belgian Email #31

It’s June and the temperature in Belgium is 16 degrees. Celsius
or Fahrenheit. Take your pick. Either way, it’s freezing. Sara
asked if she could have her heater back last week and I thought
“of course! It’s June! What could I possibly need with a
heater now that it’s summer?”

I guess it hasn’t rained much lately, so that’s something
anyway.

I was hoping I could write this week’s Epic from a state of
Thesis Completion, but I must confess – I missed the mark. I
gave up working on Friday night and haven’t been able to
convince myself to do much with the weekend. All is well,
though. The thesis is written, I have only to finish revising
the last 15 pages or so. (Oh, and if any of you have seen any
nice pictures of Atargatis lately, feel free to send them
along.)

So that is that! I guess I don’t plan to feel any real sense of
relief until I find out whether or not they’ll accept it.
Honestly, as a masters thesis, I don’t feel like it’s such a
great paper. I haven’t said anything new or attacked a question
from a startling new perspective or really contributed much at
all to the field of scholastic excellence… I’m kind of hoping
they’ll give me some bonus points for having really superb
English skills.

I suppose the very worst that happens is they hand it back, tell
me it stinks, and I have to rewrite it/write a new thesis for
August. Eew. Please think happy thesis thoughts for me…

What else is new and exciting in the world? I’ve seen a couple
of less-than-quality movies lately, taken lots of walks… My
bicycle is still locked to a tree. Got my swimsuit (thanks Megs
and Mom!) so now I can go swimming. As soon as I finish my
thesis for real I’m going to go trashy novel shopping. Mmm. Huh,
for having skipped last week’s epic, I don’t really have much
accumulated news to share.

Since I’ve discovered that the only real reason people still
read my epics is for the chickens, I suppose I could provide
some chicken news. 🙂

The chickens keep getting meaner and crazier with each passing
day. Not only that, but they seem to have stopped laying eggs.
Maybe it’s in protest of the freeeeezing weather, maybe they
don’t approve of the menu (chicken feed and moldy leftovers), or
maybe they’re just mean and spiteful. I rather suspect it’s the
last. To get their eggs I’ve started taking a big stick along to
poke at them. It’s the only way I can avoid getting my ankles
pecked off. But they’re sneaky little buggers. I think
Marianne’s best laugh of the day is when I’m out rooting around
in the vines for chicken eggs while Germaine dances around my
stick looking for ankle-access and Josephine just gets in the
way.

Whenever I’m not out egg-snatching, Germaine spends her time
learning to climb the chicken fence, and Josephine has taken to
digging holes (in which she rolls around looking a bit like a
rejected feather duster).

My very favorite new chicken activity, however, is Chicken
Hopping. I didn’t know it, but apparently the chickens like to
eat the leaves of the vine that grows on the walls of the yard.
(Or maybe they’re just destructive by nature and like to ruin
plants. That seems possible.) By now, they’ve plucked all the
low leaves off. At first, you could see them out there, standing
up on their scaly chicken toes trying to reach higher leaves.
When even that no longer worked, they learned to jump. Boing!
Straight up in the air, beak extended, looking for all the world
like feathery yo-yos.

I tried to get a picture, but of course, they hate me, so there
was no cooperation.

And that’s the news from Belgium! I’ll be sure to send an
official, self-congratulatory email next week when my thesis is
really done. Until then, I send love and hugs and chocolate
kisses!

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