My Mazamet

Life at № 42 by E.M. Coutinho

So it’s March 23rd- again.

It’s been a thoroughly pleasant few days. Some of our favourite people (former neighbours and friends) from Sotogrande came to stay. We had lunch at home, we went out to get (good) wine, we had Michelin starred food (some of which was smuggled out of a restaurant in a Prada bag for later!) They’re now heading back South.

I never celebrate my birthday because I find the concept morbid- Happy birthday, you are now one year closer to your death! Fortunately the visit actually made me forget the fact that today I’m 38- and that I pulled a muscle coughing a few days ago. If there’s a sign one is ageing, that’s surely it.

The house was a success even though it’s far from done… A comforting notion because the opinion of this particular guest is tremendously important to me. She was the creator of the magnificent Casa Alba. Look at us, all proud, showing it on French Channel 5 for La Maison France 5:


August 2013

I did an exhausting multilingual simultaneous translation (Spanish/French/English) so everyone knew what was going on during that filming.

She had some really great ideas for number 42, including a Cole & Son/Fornasetti wallpaper that’s to die for:


Arches and monkeys. Who could ask for anything more? I’m not sure if I want it for the scullery or for the dining room. They got me a fabulously huge bottle of Russian vodka and a chocolate bar that’s the size of a baby’s leg. They obviously know me well. They gave me a slight yearning to build another little house in Spain. Nothing like Villa l’Africaine, of course- just something small, maybe for winter months when it’s cold here? I’ll keep quiet about the idea until the apartments are finished lest Mike decide to stab my throat with a paintbrush. Maybe a little folly with a cute garden and a pond:

See original image

21 comments on “So it’s March 23rd- again.

  1. Arkenaten
    March 23, 2016

    A very merry un birthday to you.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Cara
    March 23, 2016

    Very merry un-birthday, my sister is 36 today and she dares to bitch about how she’s “getting older but not richer” (meanwhile between her and her husband, they make a small fortune), and I seriously want to know how much richer she needs to be.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Small houses are hard as you are finding with your apartment project.
    Large homes with plenty of money, less hard.

    For women it is 30, for men it is 40. I remember when I turned 30 I quit a perfectly good job, just to make a big change in my life. Turning 30 really freaked me out, so watch out in a few years and know that having angst at turning 40 is normal.

    Liked by 1 person

    • …but gay years are like dog years 😀 I had my mid-life crisis at 30, which happened to coincide with the financial crisis.
      I don’t want another big change at this point, enough of changes! But I think I would still like to keep southern Spain in my life, even if it’s just for a couple of months per year.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Sirius Bizinus
    March 23, 2016

    Happy Birthday, Pink. I hate birthdays too, but it looks like you’ll have enough vodka and chocolate to make it through just fine.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. acflory
    March 23, 2016

    Hmm…you could always say that pied-a-terre was for your 40th unbirthday, as a sort of consolation prize. Hope you had all the best on this very ordinary day of the year. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  6. metan
    March 23, 2016

    Ah well, you’ve made my day.

    I had just been out in the rain administering medication to a sick and extremely unappreciative chook, I come inside to clean up, make a cuppa, and catch up on the news of the world, only read about your Michelin starred leftovers in a Prada doggy bag. Our worlds couldn’t be further apart! 🙂

    I love the monkeys and arches wallpaper, and I’d put it in the dining room so more people can enjoy it. Not sure how many guests see the scullery.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. clubschadenfreude
    March 24, 2016

    as has been said a merry unbirthday to you! In two weeks I’ll be 50. and now going through the malaise of wondering what the heck I should be doing.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. karenjane
    March 24, 2016

    You had a good day, considering you don’t like birthdays. I do love the term ‘un-birthday’ & will adopt it for later in the summer when I will become 22 years older than you. Why no photo of the enormous bar of chocolate? Far easier on my eyes than the monkey wallpaper (I’m sorry, but I don’t like the monkey bit, having been scared of all monkeys since I had to hold one when I was very young,). The idea of a folly with a garden etc is delightful….something to plan for your 50th unbirthday perhaps?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Helen Devries
    March 25, 2016

    When i was young we used to call any day on which we decided to celebrate ‘Lenin’s birthday’. Substitute person of your choice and forget the real birthday. I’ve been trying to forget about mine since I was born, I think

    Do have your folly….

    Liked by 1 person

  10. theoccasionalman
    March 26, 2016

    If you ever need someone to live in that little house and take care of it while you’re summering in France, do let me know. I’d be a good caretaker.

    Liked by 1 person

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