My Mazamet

Life at № 42 by E.M. Coutinho

Superb. The importance of not being earnest.


Every year when the girls visit, they spoil us with the most wonderful things. Super-chic, super-stylish things that one buys in London. This year we got the Moët twin set, which is really the only way people should give champagne. Single bottles are a tease. They also introduced us to Miller Harris perfumes which are to die for. And I’m in love with the Fornasetti candles in the gorgeous porcelain jars with the champagne drinking monkeys.

Their visit this year made me realize my general change in mood after the move was my own fault. In Spain I made a conscious effort to have a nice time, all the time. And it’s easier for me to have a nice time when there’s a certain level of taste and comfort. And so even though the girls have gone, I intend to get back to my Villa l’Africaine ways. There will always be flowers in the entrance hall.


And if the weather is nice, even if I’m on my own, I’ll still eat outside. And I’ll use the good silver (and crystal) to do it. I started today.

17august (2)

And when the dogs destroy their toys, I won’t be lazy and wait months to get them new ones. I’ll get them right away because it gives them huge pleasure.

17august (4)

And I’m going to host more often because that keeps me on my toes. It means the house is kept more presentable and my mind stays focused on productive endeavours like maintaining the garden or learning to cook something new and interesting.

24 comments on “Superb. The importance of not being earnest.

  1. ourfrenchoasis
    August 17, 2016

    Life in France is that much slower, that much simpler, it can be easy to slip into lazier ways, to make less effort, to become a little too casual. You are right, we have to make an effort every day, to continue to dress well, for us girlies, to make sure we put on make up, keep our hair looking good, wear decent clothes, even if it is just shorts. Fresh flowers, silver and crystal, a clean terrace, the list is endless, but it makes that glass of champagne at the end of the day, or a good red (my preference) taste so much better!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. metan
    August 17, 2016

    All excellent choices. 🙂
    (and I’m sure the dogs will appreciate it too!)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. foolsmusings
    August 17, 2016

    Perfume and champagne are fine, but in the future all your posts should feature your dogs 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Helen Devries
    August 17, 2016

    I’ve always treated myself as a guest…why choose nice things and then not enjoy them.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Hariod Brawn
    August 17, 2016

    Oh, and you seemed such an incorrigible ascetic before. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  6. kjennings952
    August 17, 2016

    It’s the little things that make us happy, I am happy just seeing your beautiful home, yummy food and playful dogs. Much joy in your life!

    Liked by 2 people

    • It is the little things. And once there are enough little things going in the right direction we get the right mood. I meant to ask… what are your food discoveries of the summer? What’s been the biggest success?


      • kjennings952
        August 17, 2016

        Figuring out cold press coffee was definitely a success. It’s a nice change but I especially love the ritual that goes along with it–sitting outside on the patio, writing a bit. It’s luxury defined! My boys would vote for black bean salsa–can’t make enough of it with fresh corn, tomato, jicama, avocado…it gets “Hoovered” like locusts.

        Liked by 2 people

  7. anotherday2paradise
    August 17, 2016

    Such covetable gifts from the girls! I like your new resolutions. The dogs especially will be thrilled. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. acflory
    August 17, 2016

    You are never getting invited to my house, Pinky! Good silver? Flowers? I’m lucky if I manage to vacuum once a week. I do agree about the dogs and food though. Happy dogs and happy stomachs make for a happy home. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  9. karenjane
    August 18, 2016

    They are gorgeous gifts, & the packaging is almost as smart as the contents.
    I do admire you for using good china etc outside – I use good stuff inside only, as being rather clumsy, it prevents disasters. China cups & saucers for my afternoon Darjeeling are fine, but I dare not risk decent glassware if I want wine when I’m in the garden. Did you really make the dogs wait for replacement toys? When we looked after an exciteable Doberman/German Shepherd for 3 weeks, we used to drive to the nearest pet shop even in the evenings when she destroyed her toys. If we didn’t, she would ‘play’ with the cushions, & it was always the most expensive ones which got chewed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • At this point everything is old. Much of the Wedgwood has seriously faded. And we’ve got glasses in semi-industrial quantities from my party days 🙂 Like this one in the picture there are still over 40!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. clubschadenfreude
    August 18, 2016

    always use the “good” dishes and crystal. a sad thing to discover a set owned by a relative that never saw the light of day. I’ve destroyed a lot of nice things but I did enjoy them.

    Liked by 2 people

    • karenjane
      August 19, 2016

      I used to simply look at my decent china etc, then one day I realised if something got broken at least I had enjoyed using it, & most things can be replaced online. Our 8 year old Grandson recently noticed my large collection of vintage china cups & saucers, & now he chooses one to drink from when he visits. A few years ago I’d never have allowed him to even touch them, & it feels so good to be more relaxed about things.

      Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on August 17, 2016 by in design, life and tagged , , , .
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