Just Merveilleux?

Life at № 42

Of camellias and futures

for a sense of scale compare to the chair at the bottom right of the picture

The white camellias are now in full bloom and what a show it is (for a sense of scale, compare to the chair at the bottom right of the first picture.) The red and pink varieties are starting to open as well- but mostly visible from the street which is seriously annoying. I should charge people who walk on the sidewalk around our wall for the privilege.

garden5jan (4)

I’ve planted some more heather on the east wall by the birdbath, red this time.

garden5jan (5)

Business has been on my mind quite a lot lately. People seem very excited at the prospect of the new motorway. The money for it has been approved and set aside. Apparently there are already some big companies (French & Spanish) buying land in the area. We also heard another of the important homes in town has been sold.

I’ve been considering the possibility of putting building II on the market once it’s done. I have a feeling it would sell very easily. The set-up makes it an ideal retirement property for someone who wants to live in the ground floor loft apartment with the private garden and boost their income with the rental of the six other flats.

Mike hates the idea because it actually means we’d be rolling the money into a new bigger project. He thinks we have a perfectly comfortable life as it is and we don’t really need to make our lives all about making money. I know he’s technically right. He put it in terribly blunt terms: I’ll live another 20 or so years at best; you might live another 35, also at best. How much more do we actually need? How very cheerful!

I don’t know how much one actually needs. Anyway, I’m reasonably certain we’re beyond the point of actually needing anything. I suppose some of us just grow up embracing the notion that more is better even if we don’t actually need anything more. Being an adult is tiresome. How is anyone supposed to know what to do and how to make these big decisions?

 

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21 comments on “Of camellias and futures

  1. john zande
    January 5, 2016

    Good looking rosemary

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ruth
    January 5, 2016

    The camellias are gorgeous. Our bloomed and looked nice for two whole days and then all the blossoms promptly fell to the ground because it was too warm. They usually do great here around Christmas and New Year’s but El Niño decided to rain on everybody’s parade over here this year.

    Is it really about the money? My guess is that you like the challenge of designing and refurbishing and the thrill of the deal more than you like the money. I mean, the money probably doesn’t hurt your feelings any, but I think you probably love the work, too.

    Liked by 2 people

    • acflory
      January 5, 2016

      I agree with Ruth re the challenge etc. And there’s something else to consider, although you’re much too young yet, and that’s ‘legacy’. As atheists, we can hardly believe in immortality, but there is a kind of immortality in being remembered for something. I’d like to think my books will live on after me. Perhaps for you it will be beauty. I like the idea of leaving something beautiful behind for others to enjoy. 🙂

      Liked by 4 people

      • Mr. Merveilleux
        January 6, 2016

        The selfish child’s prayer:

        Now I lay me down to sleep,
        I pray the Lord my soul to keep,
        If I should die before I wake,
        I pray the Lord my toys to break
        So no one else can have them 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • acflory
        January 6, 2016

        Bah Humbug, Pinky. -grin-

        Like

    • Mr. Merveilleux
      January 5, 2016

      We’re having the warm weather too! The flowers drop more quickly, but there are so many of them, I think we’re still going to have a decent season. Do you get a double bloom? Here we get them now and then again in Spring.

      And yes, I do love the work! In the case of building II (or our house), it was like taking something that was dying and making it young and vibrant again. Now instead of collapsing, these places are going to serve a purpose and be part of people’s lives for another 100 years. I suppose it bolsters my delusion that we’re more than ants 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hariod Brawn
    January 5, 2016

    Mike sounds very balanced on the money side; so many work themselves into early graves, either through neurotic cupidity or needless compulsions – not that I mean to suggest that of you at all Mr. M., and I agree with acflory and Ruth in their assessments.

    Like

    • Mr. Merveilleux
      January 5, 2016

      My dear, Mike is the most wonderful and balanced person I’ve ever met. He accepts life exactly as it comes and embraces people exactly as they are 😉
      He has none of my existential angst. Not a drop of my pathological competitiveness and ambition. In other words, the best partner I could have ever hoped to find.

      Liked by 2 people

      • You are lucky. You are lucky to know yourself so well.
        I don’t know you outside of reading your blog, but from a distance it seems that you are matched very well to each other.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mr. Merveilleux
        January 6, 2016

        We’ve had the extraordinarily good fortune of finding in each other things that we didn’t have ourselves 🙂

        Like

  4. Cara
    January 5, 2016

    That is a beautiful garden & as I sit here in the frozen tundra that is Brooklyn, I’d rather be there.

    Being an adult is baffling though. I have no idea how much money anyone needs, how long any of us will live, or anything else for that matter. The only thing I know about money is you can’t take it with you (not in 20 years or 35 years). Of course if you have more money than you need (and the taxman doesn’t take it) you can do something good with it…like donate to a charity that supports a worthy cause, or donate to medical research (in hopes the medical community can find a cure for stupidity and/or bigotry), make a financial gift to whatever university you went to (give enough and they’ll establish a scholarship in your name). Or you could blow it all on a shopping spree in Italy.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Mr. Merveilleux
      January 5, 2016

      Where nature’s concerned we’re incredibly lucky. This region is a feast. There are flowers all year round, everywhere you look. From spring onwards the greenery is luscious.
      You’re right, being an adult is baffling. My one consolation is we’re all actually just pretending to know what we’re doing 😉

      Like

      • Cara
        January 6, 2016

        My driver’s license says I’m 38 years old. I see money in terms of things ($20 is a pack of cigarettes; $400 is a fabulous bag; the $50 I found in my coat pocket is makeup; as my youngest sister says, when it comes to money I’m like a teenager), I also have that teenager’s mentality of “yeah, I wanna stay out all night, let’s hit the clubs”, and I might even make it, but if you look for me the morning after, I’m not hungover but I’m the walking dead, as if staying out has made it difficult to move, to think, to function. And every once in awhile my mother breaks my chops by asking me what I’m going to do when she’s dead…I’m going to bury her and get on with my life, that’s what.

        Like

  5. Helen Devries
    January 6, 2016

    Just watch out for the motorway project…the money has a habit of migrating according to the colour of national and local government. If both are the same, all is well but if there is discordance in the colours then projects can be on hold until the colours realign. In my area,about ten years…

    If you want to make a packet while motorway fever is on the go for it – if your tax set up allows for roll over.

    The white camellias where I lived in the south of the Loire Valley suffered dreadfully from the rain though the red and pink came out rather better…

    Could you grow valerian in that wall…or purslane? People think that the former is coarse but it looked splendid in my walls whereas the latter gives not only a good salad but gives a softness to the stone.
    Do you have snails in your walls…or has it been too to dry to know?

    Like

    • Mr. Merveilleux
      January 6, 2016

      The PS took the regionals here- and we’ll only know what happens with the presidential election next April/May. If the UMP insists on putting up Sarkozy yet again (as he’d like), I imagine they’ll lose spectacularly. I think their only chance is if they go with Juppé; who me must admit did transform Bordeaux.
      I’ll look into the valerian & purslane. That wall is about 40 metres long and it’s where most of the light pink/white roses (climbers) are planted. Every 3 metres or so I’ve planted giant lilies, but we’ll only see the result in spring 🙂
      No snails that I’ve noticed yet

      Like

  6. Clare Flourish
    January 6, 2016

    I’ll tell you what to do, if you like. It seems I am full of wisdom for other people’s lives…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mr. Merveilleux
      January 6, 2016

      go ahead 🙂

      Like

      • Clare Flourish
        January 6, 2016

        OK then.

        You have created a situation where you need do nothing out of obligation. So, do what you enjoy, and keep finding out what you enjoy.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Charmaine Martin
    January 6, 2016

    One of the things I have most admired about you and Mike in your “retirement plan” is the aspect of providing a service to the community in the form of decent housing at reasonable rents. If you sell out, you will reap a bundle, and so will the new owners, but the tenants will be priced out of the market. Fight the zeitgeist – get rich quick attitude of the motorway boosters. Be the Mazamet you want to see.
    (see, I am worse than Clare about ordering others’ lives – I’m a big sister – hard habit to break.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mr. Merveilleux
      January 6, 2016

      You’re absolutely right. Keeping a small manageable portfolio makes much more sense in taking that plan forward. Otherwise I’m just contributing to inflating prices.

      Like

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