Just Merveilleux

Life at № 42

That was quick

The last post made me go through the pictures since our arrival. The first night here was Monday, March 9th. As the gates opened I was in absolute awe of the house. I wanted to run in and see everything- but I promised Mike I’d wait so he could take me room to room. We tried to put the heating on but it didn’t work; that moderated our excitement. The utter size of the task of restoring a place like this left us both somewhat shaken. Up to then we’d romanticized the experience in our minds, but seeing empty room after empty room was incredibly daunting.

A family member of the previous owners came to our rescue that evening with a trunk full of wood (and a couple of lamps as all the chandeliers were gone!) and we set up shop in front of the fireplace in the grey salon. We’d bought an inflatable bed for our arrival. The dogs loved it.

firstnight

Not knowing where anything in town was Mike wandered out and soon discovered that on Mondays all the shops are closed. He managed to find the Mcdonald’s and brought us back a couple of sandwiches. Just as we were settling in for the night, the people from the removals company called to say they were arriving with the art collection and the antiques that were coming from England. They arrived at midnight.

Two days later the grey room looked like this (notice the bulb dangling from the ceiling:

march11

And from then on everything has been moving at a very good pace. All things considered I think we’re doing very well. The interiors basically hadn’t been touched in 100 years, so there’s a lot to do; but some of the rooms are looking quite nice. Particularly the grey room, which means we can host a small group with some degree of dignity.

grey

salongris

I think the place will be more or less done by spring. Refining will probably take the rest of my life, but the basics will be in place. This week I’m hunting for a mirror for the dining room. There are lots of stunning things on the market, but rarely at a price I’d like to pay.

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12 comments on “That was quick

  1. acflory
    October 12, 2015

    8 months give or take? Wow… To me that is progress at a breakneck pace. I did have to laugh at the story of your first night Chez Mazamet. And the pic. Reminded me of moving into our first house with a 3 month old baby. We’d painted and sanded and polished the floors, but there was no kitchen. It was slated to be installed any day -rolls eyes- but for about 2 weeks I had to sterilize bottles and dummies in the laundry. Ah… the good old days. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Helen Devries
    October 12, 2015

    I’m looking back at our various houses…all with everything to be done to make them live again…and wondering how we shall fare with out first new build, going up on the hill above our old holiday house. Industrial in feel as to structure…some quite industrial fixtures too…but designed to cope should my husband become even more handicapped.
    Whatever will the pictures make of it all when they are up on the walls!

    Such a happy photograph of your ‘joyeuse entree’…

    Like

  3. wcs
    October 13, 2015

    It’s looking great. I enjoy watching it evolve, so I hope you continue to post photos!

    Like

  4. theoccasionalman
    October 15, 2015

    I know that I’ve said this before, but I marvel at your stability. I’ve never taken that long to set things as I want them, because I can only commit to a living space for a year, or less. If it doesn’t happen quickly, it doesn’t happen. That first night of yours is how I live practically my entire life. I’ve actually started considering getting rid of my books so that I can move even more efficiently. That thought never lasts very long, but I’ve started to have it, which troubles me. I’m drifting into becoming a no-account drifter.

    Like

    • Mr. Merveilleux
      October 15, 2015

      I’m not sure one way is better than the other. Just different styles of living. I function best with infra-structure and a controlled environment, and so I create that around me.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Mr. Merveilleux
      October 15, 2015

      But just out of curiosity, is your method working for you? Does it give you what you need?

      Like

      • theoccasionalman
        October 15, 2015

        No. I get to see lots of different places, which I like, but I just want to settle down. The moves are seldom at my instigation — I lose a job and have to find a new one, or I hate my Saudi life and try to build a new one somewhere else. In the slightly more distant past, the moves were instigated by the ex, who was never satisfied with our life together. I’d like to have a place that feels like it belongs to me, where my surroundings become an expression of my self, but that’s a process that takes time. I would love to be able to trust the illusion of permanence and control over my own life. One of the things I’m looking for in a partner is financial/lifestyle stability, someone who will give me a reason to stay in one place.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mr. Merveilleux
        October 15, 2015

        Stability is a huge step. It’s not just about control, it’s also about acceptance- and to a certain degree resignation.
        Settling successfully means giving up looking for greener pastures. It means embracing what life has given you (as perfect and imperfect as it may be.)

        Liked by 1 person

      • theoccasionalman
        October 15, 2015

        Yes, my ability to resign myself to life as it presents itself to me keeps me from being as stable as I’d like. But it’s hard not to look for greener pastures when you see your farmyard as a desert.

        There must be a trick to embracing life more fully that I can master while still handling depression and social anxiety. Any ideas?

        Like

      • Mr. Merveilleux
        October 15, 2015

        I think you need more exposure. How many relationships do you have under your belt?
        Plus, there’s no need to panic or rush. Just try different things until one of them feels more or less right.
        Before me Mike’s longest relationship was less than 3 years. He went from house to house to house. And it was only in his early 50’s he realized he wanted something different. He wanted more than a house. He wanted a partnership, a home, “infrastructure”. He chose well because it’s hard to find people more “infrastructur-ed” than me 🙂

        Like

      • theoccasionalman
        October 15, 2015

        🙂 I’m working on it. Post-divorce, my longest relationship has been three days (I really do tell you about all of them), but I fall in love with all of them and need time to recover from that. I think I’m getting better at that because I’m already thinking of getting myself tested and looking more actively, and it’s only been six weeks since Mr Labour Day. This temporary nature of my life has led to my rushing things/everything, but I’m trying to slow down and enjoy experiences as they come. And when I think of living this way for another fifteen years, ugh. I don’t want life on those terms.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. appletonavenue
    October 22, 2015

    I love that you are photographing the entire restoration, and so impressed by the work you have accomplished already. Thanks so much for sharing.

    Like

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This entry was posted on October 12, 2015 by in Mazamet and tagged , , .
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