Life at № 42 by E.M. Coutinho
Okay, not actually scrubbing, I’m powerwashing. Starting with the steps and then moving on to the walls. In case you’re ever tempted to try the same thing, be advised that wearing light blue and white while doing it is not a good idea.
We’ve found a contractor who’s just amazing. He’s Irish and stereotypically charming, and he did outstanding work at La Villa de Mazamet, so the owners very kindly gave us his number. He’s very quickly become part of the household. He’s nearly done preparing the kitchen for the cabinets and appliances that are to arrive on the 18th. The dogs love him which is a plus. And he and his wife (also lovely) invited us to drinks on Sunday up in the mountains where they own a big property which is a gites business called Montagne Noir Holidays.
The fig trees are loaded. Every time I walk by them I get anxious. What in the world does one do with 500 billion figs? I’ll just have to start distributing them to random people on the street- like some crazy person. There are also two loquat trees, but less daunting in fruit numbers.
One of the first things I noticed when we got here was that the people who were more smartly dressed had some variation of this basket. Men, women, young, old. You can take it into any of the shops, put the food you’re going to buy in it, and then present it at the checkout. No need for using a plastic basket from the shop or bagging anything on the way out. Terribly convenient and even a bit stylish. They’re strong and have leather handles, and cost €15 at the Saturday market.
Another piece of furniture arrived for the grey salon. A very fine Empire table with gilt bronze mounts. I love it. Little by little, we’re starting to get a nice lived-in atmosphere as we had in Spain. I think the grey salon, which is where we put the English sofas, is shaping up to be particularly elegant. Can’t wait to see the curtains in place.
The garden continues to burst into bloom. Everyday something new pops up. The walls around the house have climbing roses in various colours. I’m working very hard to get used to the concept of an English style garden. For someone who’s psychopathically controlling, it’s not an easy task. Anyway, here’s more of the garden.