My Mazamet

Life at № 42

(Almost) July at number 42

Mike got an umbrella because when summer girls are here we sit outside most days and his skin is prone to those lesions (caused by the sun) that have to be burnt off by the dermatologist. The wonderful thing about summer girls is that unlike all other guests who sort of fall into our (my) regimented rhythm, the opposite happens; we slow down into theirs.

For those who don’t know the story we met them in 2009. The previous year having been horrendous. Mike’s mother had died after being ill and living with us for a while. There was the financial crisis, stock market crashing, property prices in Spain in free-fall, we had hundreds of thousands in debt and our net worth had been halved. Anyway, we decided to rent out the guest cottage and also the independent guest apartment at Villa l’Africaine and summer girls took the end of July and beginning of August.

Every day I could hear them blasting wonderful music and champagne corks started popping quite early in the day, every day – and they had book club in the afternoon, and there was laughter, and huge hats, and big jewellery, and shopping trips… And just watching them from a distance and hearing them in the garden lifted me out of the depths of my depression. So here we are, nine years later, and every year when they come is the time of the year when I stop and breathe. Which is very, very necessary. They’re my evidence that everything’s going to be okay. Anyway, back to the umbrella. It’s rectangular, 2 x 3 metres.

Also in summer news, I got the Karcher window cleaning thing which is just fabulous. I’ve always used the kind with a sponge on one side and the squeegee on the other. It made a mess. The Karcher one vacuums up the water as it cleans the glass. Perfect and also cheap. I also got the new Dyson big ball vacuum – also wonderful. Much more powerful than our old Dyson and less noisy!

Mike also finally got the Japanese bidet affair. I wasn’t sure about it. It seemed like a terribly expensive and not entirely necessary gadget. I’ve changed my mind. After one week of use, I’m thoroughly sold on the concept. Incomparably more hygienic, obviously. And I got summer shoes, espadrilles and such.

 

39 comments on “(Almost) July at number 42

  1. Esme upon the Cloud
    June 28, 2018

    What a lovely tale and indeed friendship you have with the Summer Girls. I wish I were one of them. Nine years is a testament to how much you all like each other too, which is nice.

    Proper summer shoes, I see you garbed like this wearing them

    – Esme liking it hot upon the Cloud

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Steve Ruis
    June 28, 2018

    Oooh, shoes! Men who like shoes should flock together! I am also looking for some summer shoes as I really do not like sandals. Espadrilles will be perfect!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Osyth
    June 28, 2018

    I have rather unflattering small appliance envy on account of that Dyson and Karcher pair of covetable delights. I do have the same espadrilles as you (the classic navy/white striped) together with several other pairs that wouldn’t do for you at all … ankle tied, flatform and wedged and of course one each of black and navy standard duty. I think they expect my order now. As do the retro white plimsole manufacturers – 6 pairs every summer without fail and without fail all these shoes to the same way – wrecked by my big toe boring its way to freedom. I loved the story of summer girls. I didn’t know. The continuity of their esprit de vivre each year must fill you with delighted anticipation.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Scottie
    June 28, 2018

    Best wishes for a grand time when the summer girls are with you again. Hugs

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Robert A. Vella
    June 28, 2018

    No bidet? I saw them just about everywhere when I was in Europe (except for public restrooms).

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Pink Agendist
      June 28, 2018

      Yes, there are bidets in all the old bathrooms – and in France loos are usually in their own little rooms with nothing but them inside. This washlet is for our new big bathroom 😀

      Liked by 2 people

  6. pendantry
    June 28, 2018

    I’m appalled. You had massive opportunities here for toilet humour, and yet you let them all just pass you by….

    Liked by 3 people

  7. foolsmusings
    June 28, 2018

    What a crazy coincidence, it’s almost July here too. Also I the have the same vacuum :p

    Liked by 3 people

  8. acflory
    June 29, 2018

    Sitting here in chilly Melbourne, shivering, and wishing I were a Summer Girl too. 😀
    Friendships evolve from the oddest beginnings. In fact, sometimes the oddest beginning leads to the most enduring friendships. So glad you’re slipping into relaxed mode, and yes, love the espadrilles.

    Liked by 2 people

    • The Pink Agendist
      June 29, 2018

      A bit too hot at the moment. The weather this year has not been great. It was cold much longer than usual and then suddenly terribly hot.
      I just love the espadrilles. Our neighbours to the southwest (the Basques) claim them as their creation 🙂

      Like

      • acflory
        June 29, 2018

        -sigh- that sounds like the mirror image of our weather – stayed really warm/hot through most of autumn and then bam, suddenly down to single digits.
        I used to have espadrilles years ago, and they were very comfortable. I’ll see if I can get some for next summer.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Kris Jennings
    June 29, 2018

    I love the umbrella and cleaning appliances as a bookend to an admission that you do have a soul (as evidenced by girls who enrich it). Enjoy your time to slow down!!

    Ps My summer shoe purchase is a pair of 4” stiletto strappy red leather heels. Quite practical.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. He bought the Karcher window cleaner and he loves it! Even posted a pic 🙂

    I have been wondering if you were going to follow through or skip it after I raved about it. Oh and I saw but I didn’t buy it yet, there is an extension pole for it. You strap the Karcher into the custom designed holder, turn it on, then hoist it up high & clean. You do not turn it off and on remotely, you have to lower it to turn it off but who cares, it looks great. I’ll probably buy that extension pole next. I saw where there are replacement rubber blades also, I’ll probably buy those to have them on hand.

    I have a property with a very very long 3rd story balcony with glass panels which functions as the railing. It is the devil to wash the outside of those glass panels, I figure with the extension pole, I’ll reach over the railing and wash the outside using the extension pole. I wonder if the Karcher works upside down? I’ll have to try it, doesn’t have to be on a pole to just turn it upside down and pull to see if it functions upside down.

    Isn’t if fabulous to have clean windows everywhere in the house with so little work? I’m still a month later, enjoying all the nice clean patio doors at my house. It really cleans the shower glass panels as well, I just use a spray that has a lime remover in it, use a green scrubbie to scratch off the lime build up, rinse and Karcher it. So darned easy and the glass is sparkling clean. I have one bathroom which the glass is literally pitted with lime that will not scrub off at all, we didn’t install it it was already here, it was the cheapest shower glass you could buy, soon I will replace that with a high quality glass and then keep up with it with the Karcher. And mirrors too Pink, it works great on big mirrors, I have 5 floor to ceiling mirrors so the Karcher has been a huge help with those as well.

    I’ll have to look at that Dyson big ball vacuum. I think it is nice, something for you (the Karcher) because you do the windows, and something for Mike (the new Dyson Vacuum) because he does the vacuuming. Must feel like Christmas at your house 🙂 But isn’t it great when you buy something that really works? A product that really works and makes your chore easier, it’s so great.

    Our kitchen is ripped out, we are using a back porch as a kitchen with a one burner fueled by cans of camping butane gas and a new big toaster oven that can roast a chicken in it. The new kitchen gets installed the end of July. I stressed & stressed over one huge wall that angles up and hits maybe 14/15 ft and will have nothing, meaning no cabinets, on it. 3 of the walls I painted kind of a celery (but a tad deeper) green, on the big wall as I am calling it, I am using this technique. Base coat is a deep green/blue, let it dry, then roll on the same lighter green paint as is on the other 3 walls, then roll right on top of that wet light green paint with white paint. Then use the rag roller. It is coming out AWESOME.

    Where the kitchen sink will be, that whole wall will have lower cabinets so I used that space to test different techniques as it will eventually be covered by cabinets. I made 7 different test panels including the sponge painting and am real happy I took the time to do that, I did find a clear winner. I know just how to do the big wall. I’m on break but in a few minutes I will go and finish the base coat then tomorrow the final decorative painting begins.

    It’s a PIA because I have to use a really tall ladder (not a step ladder but a straight up extension ladder) and then go half way down the ladder every time I need to roll the roller or the paint brush in the paint so it is laborious, but I have had almost 2 months to get that room painted so I am taking my time with it and not pushing it on any given day. Since the last paint was oil based I had to first sand it, then vacuum off all the sanding dust, then put a primer coat over the existing oil based paint so I could paint it with a latex paint. The contractor who gutted the kitchen and removed the wall tiles that were half way up the walls had to re-plaster. I had to do the finishing where you sand it down to make a smooth transition between the existing plaster and the new plaster. I fussed with that for more than a week, but I did get it perfect.
    So on the big wall I sanded the entire wall, then sanded over and over the transition between the plasters, vacuumed and painted a prime coat, painted the base color coat, then two more wet paint coats with rag rolling in the colors.

    Have fun with the summer girls, I did not know the story and am glad for their visit because they make you happy and relaxed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Pink Agendist
      July 1, 2018

      AN EXTENSION POLE????? I had no idea. I’m going to order one today. It’s the most wonderful little machine. I absolutely dreaded cleaning the windows before, and to be honest when you mentioned it I thought I’d give it a try, but I didn’t think it could possibly be this effective. I can do the entire ground floor and the south facing windows upstairs with one charge. That means about 35 minutes total. So great! Thanks for the recommendation!
      Send me or post some pictures of your project, I’d love to see the results/techniques!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Yes, isn’t that awesome? An extension pole!

    The one change I made from the rag roller video is instead glaze I am using a paint retarder. You can google that, basically what it does is keep your paint wetter longer. When you brush on or roll latex paints they dry quickly, and when doing decorative painting you want to keep the paint wet so you can do your technique, whether sponge painting, or rag rolling or any number of decorative paint techniques. With glaze you are watering down that second or in my case I am wet rolling two colors at the same time over the base coat so the base coat color comes through more with glaze and the top coat colors are more muted/lighter, with using a paint retarder I am not watering down my top coating colors but I am able to rag roll because the paint is staying wet longer allowing me the time to rag the wet paint, ragging on a mostly dry paint doesn’t work. Traditionally most decorative painting calls for using glaze, but I found using a paint retarder gives me enough wet time to do my technique without diluting the colors of my top coats I am ragging. It’s my own invention 🙂

    Now, I only did sample squares with the paint retarder so i won’t know until tomorrow if I bought enough paint retarder for the volume of paint needed for the big wall, I haven’t mixed that yet. I invented this technique so I won’t know until I mix it up tomorrow if I have bought enough, if it is drying up on me, if the paint is drying to quick I’ll not continue but go out and buy some more retarder. I didn’t want to buy at lot at first until I tried it out to see if it would work. It did work in my samples. In a few minutes I will post a pic of my winning test sample on my twitter account. By not diluting the top coating colors with glaze the effect was more of a marble effect. We will see tomorrow if the paint stays wet long enough or if I have to buy more retarder.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I still like these roosters, I really might add them onto a spot on the celery green wall.
    Painted in very bright colors. I would have to order them custom made extra large as these are to small. But I like them
    https://www.stencil-library.com/japanese-motif-stencils/003067-JAP0176-6/cockerelstencil.html

    Like

  13. midihideaways
    July 2, 2018

    I’m impressed by the karcher window cleaner – it sounds as though it works wonderfully well!! my latest gadet experience was with the patio cleaner attachment for the pressure washer – that was fantastic!! No splashing of the mucky water all over the walls and myself!! Yeah!! 🙂

    Like

  14. metan
    July 4, 2018

    I’m envious of your Summer Girls, to be having a good time on holiday and at the same time make life a better place for another person? Sounds like life goals to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Pink Agendist
      July 4, 2018

      It turned into the perfect relationship. We don’t charge them for the stay, they don’t charge us for the booze – who could ask for anything more? 😀 Do you remember what the recycling bin looks like at the end of their first week here?

      Liked by 2 people

      • metan
        July 4, 2018

        Yes I do, and I believe you get the better end of the deal of their visit in every way. 😀

        I’d love to be a fly on the wall to all your enjoyment, although perhaps not someone having to clean up after it!

        Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on June 28, 2018 by in thinking aloud and tagged , , .
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