Life at № 42 by E.M. Coutinho
The Ukrainian branch of the family is in a secure location so let’s set aside for a moment all the terrible things happening in the world.
As we celebrate another year in France, there are many signs of Spring in Mazamet. My tarragon is coming up as is my lovage. There are the beginnings of flowers everywhere and the air is crisp. We did something quite out of character lately and slightly broadened our social circle — which I tend to keep mostly closed. Like Mrs. Van Rhijn in the Gilded Age, I avoid new people. We met a lovely English couple, the ones I mentioned who are considering a local property much like number 42. C and A came for brunch and we got along swimmingly, I very much hope they get the place they want here. In case they’re reading this, A should know I’ve cleaned the banister since his inspection with his index finger. It’s a lot to clean, you know, so I don’t do it often!
Our friends from the mountains are leaving the area. Very sad because they were our first friends in Mazamet, but they want to downsize and are interested in the Dordogne, which is beautiful too, so we forgive them. Last week they decided it was time for us to have lunch with K & P who are not leaving town — and again we got on swimmingly. So they’re coming for lunch on Saturday. The extra leaves are in the table, the big tablecloth is ready. I’m going with a classic menu with salmon as the main course. Possibly the lemony salmon linguine which everyone always loves, maybe something burrata related as a starter.
In Rémy news we are making great progress. No more biting at all and it seems we’re clearer on the issue. He doesn’t have a problem with me per se, he has a jealousy problem with Mike. In practice what that meant was that if he and Mike were alone together somewhere, he didn’t want anyone to approach. We’re guessing that as it was Mike who got him from the shelter and did the drive home and all that he formed this attachment and fear of separation. We’re following the Dog Listener instructions (Jan fennel) and that’s working beautifully. Also in dog news, I’ve had a portrait done of Rudy and Morgan. It’s by Louise Poole, an artist in the north of France.
Other than that we’re doing up Summer Girl number 2’s bedroom. Striped wallpaper, different paintings, maybe a chaise-longue. France drops all the covid restrictions this week, so maybe they’re coming. Hopefully. It would be nice if life got back to normal that way. Mike tells me to be be prepared that people have changed the way they see things during the pandemic and many might not travel the way they did before anymore. We’ll see.