So, let's reformulate that. The good news is that the bastard Tories don't have a real majority and that I am not about to expire from gangrenous fingers. Also, OPI "We'll Always Have Paris" looks quite nice on my gigantically long fingers with their radically trimmed claws (for fear of spreading the fictional bacteria). I feel slightly vampish, which can only have helped on my criminally overdue visit to the Commune this morning. The Commune is not a bunch of hippies in a tent playing bongos. Difficult as it is to imagine, it is WORSE. The Commune is the centre of Belgo-local administration, like the Town Hall, a dusty place, packed to the gills with lost souls pleading for a chance to contribute to the Belgian economy. As an immigrant, you are summoned there regularly to prove your fitness to live in Belgium by bringing them proof of your great grandfather's income, four of your baby teeth, all your qualifications certificates including your failed Grade 5 Clarinet and your Cycling Proficiency, a fragment of the True Cross, a phial of TinTin's blood, and €17 in 20 cent pieces, one each from the 27 member states of the European Union.
As a result of this, and of my own paranoid terror of administration, I have been a Commune refusenik for the past (sssh) six months. My situation has filled me with a nagging fear that officials would come and turn me out of my bed in the middle of the night demanding to see my Tufty Club membership card, though not quite enough fear to galvanise me into walking the 100 yards up the road to the Commune and turning myself in. In fact what actually happened was that they talked to the CFO about me. See? They Know Things. He said their tone was "glacial". The CFO does not go big on adjectives, so it put the fear of god into me, and I scurried along there this morning with my pitiful paper folder of ancient baby photos and documents from the police declaring me to be mentally incompetent to carry legal tender.
Guess what? It was FINE. Well, there was a little light tutting, and I'm not fully paperworked up yet, but there was no lecture, no 'more in sorrow than in anger' dissection of my defective brain chemistry, no gigantic fine. Next step is to wait for a policeman to come round to the house to check I live here (yes, this is standard practice), then some jiggery pokery with codes, but there is some possibility that by this summer I will once again be LEGAL.
On the strength of this I am heading off into town to try and replace my health insurance card (also inconnu au bataillon since November). Clearly, this is pure folly, but I am striking while the iron is at least lukewarm. Wish me godspeed.