My Mazamet

Life at № 42

A Lady of a Certain Size – and results. Also, STEP AWAY FROM THE ART!!!

Where do I begin? Well, the Spanish tapestry I mentioned in the last post nearly doubled its 2018 sale price. That’s some serious appreciation in a year’s time! The walnut sofa didn’t go very high, although considerably higher than the estimate. I’ve been working on a rather large Madonna. She needs my assistance because someone tried to give her coronavirus, or at least some form of hepatitis. See the colour of the hand on the left, well, her face and other hand were also that hideous colour. It’s seasickness-grey-green on the colour chart. People really need to stop trying “fix” pieces like this if they don’t have the skills. I know it’s generally well intentioned. BUT DON’T.

I’ve spent the past 10 days cleaning, and cleaning, and cleaning. At least it was a water based paint, so it wasn’t torture to get off, just tedious. I’m nowhere near done yet, but here she is.

In other news, are any of you surprised at your confinement spending? It’s given me a chance to look more closely at how much we spend at the supermarket. At the moment we’re making it on approximately 100€ per week for both of us. This includes a 15€ bottle of gin, so really it’s 85. That’s just 12.14€ per day for two people, which I think is fairly amazing. I have the impression that by not planning very carefully (as was the case before confinement) I wasted a ridiculous amount of money and also food that ended up being thrown out. Anyway, I think I’m sticking to this more regimented shopping even after things go back to normal.

Terrible state the world is in right now, but I’ll take the appropriately bourgeois route and not talk about it, because enough – right?  🙂

P.S. In case you’re curious, this sort of Madonna is dressed in very elaborate clothes before being placed on an altar or processioned. When displayed in a church they look like this:

 

45 comments on “A Lady of a Certain Size – and results. Also, STEP AWAY FROM THE ART!!!

  1. Helen Devries
    June 5, 2020

    Where is your seasick Madonna from?
    As to spending, we stocked the freezer with dog food, but our own spending is about where it was – pretty minimal – apart from the booze as we do not have friends over for dinner.

    Liked by 2 people

    • The Pink Agendist
      June 5, 2020

      The Madonna is Spanish and it’s hard to tell because of the layers of paint, but she’s 18th century. Food must be incredibly good value in Costa Rica, isn’t it?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Helen Devries
        June 5, 2020

        Depends on what. Veg at the local feria is good and cheap, everything else, including meat, very expensive as, being useless at rasing income tax, they tax food imports and ‘luxury’ items like olive oil and, would you believe, aubergines.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. pendantry
    June 5, 2020

    I wasted a ridiculous amount of money and also food that ended up being thrown out

    I don’t think you’re alone. My own spending has gone down during the lockdown here in the UK, and that’s not just because I no longer have to buy petrol (no commute!). But that, I think, is exactly why the lockdown restrictions are ending — and risking a ‘second spike’ — because, to the government, the economy is all important. Interesting times, indeed….

    Liked by 2 people

    • The Pink Agendist
      June 5, 2020

      I wonder how much of the changes will remain? There must be a lot of people rethinking how they want to live/spend/be.

      Liked by 2 people

      • pendantry
        June 5, 2020

        The problem is: if we all cut back on our spending, the economy (which Those In Power deem Must Constantly Grow) won’t, err… grow. Someone’s going to have to do some serious rethinking about how ‘the economy’ is going to work from here on in, methinks….

        Liked by 1 person

  3. john zande
    June 5, 2020

    Boneca do Mal

    Leave your house immediately.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Bizzy
    June 5, 2020

    Seriously, 100 a week? I’m spending insanely more than that and we don’t throw out much at all. I do buy a lot from Pourdebon, which is high-end delivered food, but groceries, not booze or anything prepared. I’m glad you’re doing well at auction — I spend a lot there, too, and doubt that I’d make a penny if I resold — and the Madonna now looks lovely. But if I visited I’d bypass the antiques and head straight for the pantry. I’d love to know how you do that. In terms of confinement spending, I have signed up for a lot of online classes, more than I can really keep up with. I’m doing them all, though, in my own time, and getting a lot out of them. No regrets.

    Liked by 3 people

    • The Pink Agendist
      June 5, 2020

      Having checked various parking lots when the confinement began, the Aldi had the least people so I settled on shopping just there while this goes on. They have some very good value French/Spanish grown fruits and vegetables. For example 1kg of courgette for 1.50€, 1kg tomatoes for 2€. The fish range is also decent, 2 fresh pavés de truite for 3.79€. We’ve cut red meat from our diet (at home) so that’s made a difference too. But the big thing really is planning and making meals where the leftovers can become a whole other meal 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • acflory
        June 6, 2020

        “But the big thing really is planning and making meals where the leftovers can become a whole other meal” …Yes! Leftover dinner can make a delicious lunch or one of the core ingredients of another dish. When I make dahl and rice, I always cook more rice than we need so I can turn it into friend rice the next day. We should write The Definitive Leftovers Cookbook. Or perhaps The Compleat Leftover Cookbook…

        Liked by 2 people

    • acflory
      June 6, 2020

      We’re in self-isolation so have to get groceries delivered too. Even only shopping once a week, I found I was paying quite a bit on delivery fees. Now my supermarket has brought in a kind of subscription service – xx amount per month for deliveries. Works out to be less than half what I was paying before. Perhaps your supermarket has something similar. Might pay to ask.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Bizzy
        June 6, 2020

        Good idea, but I buy enough that delivery is free, then freeze some portion of it, so we’re not eating the same thing every day. Leftovers are part of the program, often changed in some way, again, to keep things from being boring. I grew up poor and everything related to the kitchen was my job from about age 12, very Cinderella, so all that is second nature. I think the difference is that I don’t go to Aldi. My local supermarket, Leclerc, is basically for TP, tonic water, etc. Food is basically from artisanal sources. So, yeah, I could go back to Barilla pasta, etc., but I actually can tell the difference. Plus don’t get me started on the ethics of cheap food, fast fashion, all that. I guess I’ll just sigh and pay up.

        Liked by 2 people

      • The Pink Agendist
        June 6, 2020

        I admire your commitment! To be honest when the confinement began, I didn’t have the energy to consider anything but getting the basics in and doing it safely and quickly. We tried the Leclerc drive at first but there were so many items missing each time, we gave up. I did visit the Mangeons Frais shop a couple of times, mostly to buy cheese, but I found the whole experience mentally exhausting. Having to pick fruits and vegetables and bagging them while making sure one is socially distant and fitting everything in a basket, and weighing – too much!

        Liked by 1 person

      • acflory
        June 7, 2020

        -grin- My family arrived in Australia as refugees so I grew up poor as well, but Mum was a foodie long before it had a name so we always ate home-cooked healthy made-from-scratch Hungarian food. My own cooking is a fusion of Hungarian/French/Italian – all of which have recipes for ‘poor man’s food’. 🙂 Really good to know when you’re on a tight budget.
        I’ve promised myself that once we’re all nicely vaccinated, I’m going to shop at farmer’s markets for the rest of my life!

        Liked by 1 person

      • The Pink Agendist
        June 7, 2020

        Do you not grow vegetables? How did your mini-greenhouse experiment come along?

        Liked by 1 person

      • acflory
        June 7, 2020

        One of the little greenhouses is still going but the plastic tore on the second one. I do still have a few things growing but it’s been a particularly cold May so don’t think I’ll have much over the winter. One day I’ll have a lovely greenhouse like yours. 😀 Speaking of, have you had much produce from it during this pandemic?

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Steve Ruis
    June 5, 2020

    I am learning a great deal during the pandemic … how to smile with my eyes, tap elevator buttons with my elbow, give virtual hugs. Lots of things to learn.

    Liked by 5 people

    • acflory
      June 6, 2020

      Thank you, Steve. It took me a moment to work out what you meant by ‘smile with my eyes’, but yes, that’s precisely what you have to do while wearing a mask. If ever I write about a pandemic [never this one] I’ll try to remember that line.

      Like

    • The Pink Agendist
      June 6, 2020

      Are you not part of the glove user contingent yet? I’ve taken up surgical gloves when I go shopping.

      Like

  6. makagutu
    June 5, 2020

    I don’t think we spend anything near that figure per week.
    I can confirm I don’t like masks.
    Restoration work should be left to the experts. Period.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Pink Agendist
      June 6, 2020

      Well, Kenya produces so much food, you must get extraordinarily low prices 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • makagutu
        June 6, 2020

        I think our food prices are relatively high compared with our neighbours but could be lower compared to what you get

        Liked by 2 people

      • The Pink Agendist
        June 8, 2020

        How has that evolved during your lifetime? Zimbabwe used to be a food paradise but Mugabe destroyed that.

        Like

      • makagutu
        June 8, 2020

        What I know is that in the last ten years, food prices of almost every commodity has gone up.

        Liked by 2 people

      • The Pink Agendist
        June 8, 2020

        And we’ll probably see another bump this year around the world. I read recently that the climate crisis is already affecting production with some crops being badly damaged, others maturing at different rates creating havoc for harvest and distribution. Fun times!

        Like

      • makagutu
        June 8, 2020

        Fun times ahead.
        You should be the world leader

        Liked by 1 person

      • The Pink Agendist
        June 8, 2020

        I’ve been telling people that since I was a child!

        Like

      • makagutu
        June 9, 2020

        The mistake you did was to start saying it as a child. Most adults don’t take children seriously

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Robert A. Vella
    June 5, 2020

    I hope one of the legacies of the pandemic is that people rediscover the art of home cooking. Yes, there’s a learning curve involved; but, the rewards are worthwhile. First, fresh food tastes better and is healthier. Second, it can save a lot of money. Third, it’s a great hobby and it brings people together.

    Liked by 4 people

    • The Pink Agendist
      June 8, 2020

      I hope so too! There does seem to be a trend of people making an effort to use this tragic event to approach life in a different way.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Kris
    June 5, 2020

    I am jealous of the Madonna’s delicate figure! But when you show the dressed version, it explains why the hands seem exaggerated and the waist tiny.

    Our grocery bill is significantly more than that. We (the boys) eat modest amounts of meat, I plan everything and nothing goes to waste. When they both head off (fingers crossed) in the fall, I estimate we’ll save nearly $1,000 a month. 😆

    Liked by 3 people

    • The Pink Agendist
      June 6, 2020

      Religious figures of this type are all about head and hands. When Mike and I first lived together he found my collection of religious pieces terribly disturbing in part because of that :/

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Diana MacPherson
    June 5, 2020

    Oh do dress your madonna!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Pink Agendist
      June 8, 2020

      A long time ago I used to only work with religious art (which probably seems odd as I’m an atheist), and in those days I spent an enormous amount of time finding period clothing, fabrics etc. Even having crowns especially made. Then the market ground to a halt and I just drifted in another direction; but getting that look right for the period and the style, is indeed a lot of fun. Here are some of the pieces I worked on back in the day:

      Like

      • Diana MacPherson
        June 8, 2020

        Those look fantastic & what a fun occupation to have!

        Liked by 1 person

  10. acflory
    June 6, 2020

    Aaaah! So many questions answered. I wondered what you were doing /to/ the Madonna, and I wondered why she was dressed ‘as a ballet dancer’. Now I know – clearly it would not be appropriate to leave the madonna naked in between gigs…

    As for the sale price on the tapestry…wow. Our dollar is almost half the value of the pound so…that’s a lot.

    Much as I hate shopping online and only once a week, we have been saving money too, but we stopped wasting food ages ago. Instead, the savings are coming from no takeaway, no eating out, no odd coffees while out shopping, no impulse buying, however minimal…

    Okay, I hate it. 😦 You know what I long for? I long to walk into a bakery and choose a crisp, freshly baked, crusty white bread /for myself/. And fruit. And veg. -sigh-

    Liked by 2 people

    • The Pink Agendist
      June 8, 2020

      Is Australia more European, as in people get bread at the bakery, or more American as in it comes sliced from a bag at the supermarket?

      Liked by 1 person

      • acflory
        June 9, 2020

        A bit of both, Pinky. There’s tons of nasty packaged bread in the supermarkets, and people must be buying it, but there are also hot bread shops/bakeries in every shopping centre and /they/ are always packed.

        Here in Melbourne we consider ourselves to be the food capital of Australia, and we’re very much influenced by the Italian migrants who came here in one of the earlier waves. There is /one/ Starbucks that I know of and it’s almost always empty whereas even the small cafe stalls have barrista quality espresso machines, so most Aussies are very fussy about their coffee. Ditto bread, delicatessen produce, fruit & veg. Plus we have farmer’s markets and big fresh food markets like the Queen Victoria in the city [i.e. the CBD]. Lots of wineries and farmgate produce as well so…we’re rather well supplied with good food. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Diana MacPherson
    June 6, 2020

    My grocery bill is terrifyingly high but I’m buying food for my parents too & delivering it once I get the whole thing curbside. My parents reimburse me via internet transfer but the credit card bill is a shock each month. I do spend less on food at work & because I have a delicate stomach, it’s much happier now eating foods at home where I can control what the ingredients are much better.

    Like

    • The Pink Agendist
      June 6, 2020

      In general is food expensive in Canada?

      Like

      • Diana MacPherson
        June 6, 2020

        It’s hard for me to say. For example 500g of lean ground beef is $7.00. I don’t know if that’s expensive.

        Like

      • The Pink Agendist
        June 8, 2020

        That’s about the same as here.

        Like

  12. karenjane
    June 7, 2020

    The Madonna is beautiful – well, she will be once you’ve removed the horrid paint. I think she looks better ‘undressed’ too. Will you keep her? She looks lovely where you positioned her.
    Foodwise, we’ve really cut back, mainly because we only shop once a week, instead of husband popping into Tesco on his way home from work several times a week for extras, which we didn’t really need. Now he’s working from home, we are spending around £75 per week at the supermarket, & that includes occasional books, cleaning stuff, cat food & some toiletries. I’ve always cooked from scratch, & I’m good at bulk cooking stuff like chilli, (my version has a bit of meat & uses as many veggies I can find) & so we always have lots of food in the freezer. We’ve never wasted much food, & now there is almost no waste. Alcohol consumption has vastly reduced too, mainly due to me developing a strange problem with my oesophagus, so that’s saved money too. I doubt we’ll revert back to pre-virus spending levels, as I’m enjoying this newly discovered thifty lifestyle.

    Like

    • The Pink Agendist
      June 8, 2020

      Madonnas never stay too long. They take two to three months at the most to sell. But I have decided to keep a few other things though that were meant to go on the for sale list 😀 There’s a gilt mirror I found last summer which I absolutely love and looks perfect in the red room that’s staying, and also two chests of drawers that are staying for now.
      We’ve been doing the same thing as you, shopping just once a week. I do the shopping part by myself to make sure Mike doesn’t need to go into the shops. There are too many opportunities for contamination. And yes, I’m kind of enjoying this new way of life too. In a way it’s cleared my mind and made me focus on things that actually matter.
      Mike had an oesophagus problem a couple of years ago. Any dry foods would make him choke. It was fixed with two medications, one of which he still takes (omeprazole.)

      Like

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