My Mazamet

Life at № 42 by E.M. Coutinho

The Wonders of Absurdist Entertainment: Chateau DIY

A one room deep house with an odd extension pretending to be a chateau.

Imagine this scenario: There are British people who want to live in a grand French country house, but they (a number on this program) can’t quite afford to do it. But they buy a chateau anyway and are then left to do things for which they have no knowledge or qualifications.

That’s the first part of the concept, the second is that they embark on “business” ventures which will then support this “lifestyle” — which in turn means they end up living like the help at a chateau, where they serve paying guests who actually get to use the good parts of the house.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention: MOST OF THE HOUSES ARE NOT ACTUALLY CHATEAUX! In fact there’s one called Chateau La Grande Maison, which is a contradiction if ever there was one. Another which was visited by a potential buyer was hilariously called Chateau Maison de Maitre which is a step up from a grande maison, but still not a chateau. I know this, as I own a Maison de Maitre myself 😀

All of this is narrated by the most horrifying voice over “professional” you have ever heard in your life. The woman puts the word chateau in front of anything which magically transforms the noun. And this is a chateau broom, which means you poor people can’t touch it. Everything about the show is so absurd one can’t take their eyes away from it. We have now watched every series and I narrate parts of the day like the voice over artiste. Making sure I put exactly the same nonsensical emphasis on the wrong words, Every Time.

All fun and games aside, I do have a very serious objection to this type of British program, which they’ve been making for about 20 years in various iterations. They inspire people to embark on adventures that put not only the person’s finances in peril – but are also detrimental to buildings. Not everyone, of course, some people in the show do know what they’re doing and accomplish it with great care and style — but you do get to see people slapping glossy paint on fine wood boiseries without any preparation and the use of gold paint in ways which I can only call obscene. In fact, gold paint should be prohibited altogether. Either do the real thing which is gold gilding, or leave it be. As Nancy Reagan used to say: Just Say No (to gold paint). Back in the real world, you cannot MacGyver a house of substance into existence. A kitchen is expensive. If you need to replace the central heating boiler you’ll spend twenty thousand euros. Trust me, we’ve done it all.

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30 comments on “The Wonders of Absurdist Entertainment: Chateau DIY

  1. acflory
    January 19, 2023

    lol – I started watching the video and had to stop. I love Grand Designs type shows that focus on restoration. This feels very different.

    Liked by 2 people

    • The Pink Agendist
      January 20, 2023

      Be careful, if you keep watching you get addicted! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • acflory
        January 20, 2023

        Ugh…as if I don’t have enough digital addictions already! lol I’m in the throes of building a [digital] house for a gamer friend so my obsession with houses is assuaged for the moment. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • The Pink Agendist
        January 20, 2023

        How’s the book idea going? I’m still happy to participate 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • acflory
        January 20, 2023

        It’s on the back burner for the moment. My life seems to be revolving around grass and nothing but grass for the near future. Every summer is bad but this one is weird. The incessant rain through winter/spring and early summer kept the temperature cool. Then the heat finally arrived and the grass is just going berserk.
        Apologies for the rant but I am so sick of spending all my energy pushing a lawn mower around! lol

        Like

      • The Pink Agendist
        January 20, 2023

        Is grass still code for marijuana? 😀 😀 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • acflory
        January 21, 2023

        -giggles- So passé de mode my friend. :p Sadly mine is the kind cows eat.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. foolsmusings
    January 20, 2023

    Even knowing a little about renovations, I regret buying such a fixer upper. Those programs serve as advertisements for the real estate industry. There was a good program over here where they followed the renovations of house flippers and just let them do their thing, warts and all. I figure it was the most realistic of them all and probably helped many thinking about doing the same to stay clear

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Anonymole
    January 20, 2023

    Time for you to move and show ’em how it’s done.

    Liked by 2 people

    • The Pink Agendist
      January 20, 2023

      LOL! On television? NEVEEEEEERRRRRRRRRRR

      Liked by 1 person

      • Anonymole
        January 20, 2023

        Well, youtube, at least. You’re photogenic, right? And all that “stuff” you restore and trade has “Antiques Roadshow” written all over it.
        That WWII orphanage chateaux channel I sent you seems like good model. Yeah, damn Brits!, but what can you do but out compete them.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Bizzy
    January 20, 2023

    Seriously, middle-aged people doing major reconstruction, all by themselves? They must spend half their budget on chiropractic care.

    I wonder how much of this is fictionalized. After all, there is not much drama in watching someone wander around doing an analysis. Much better television to rent the digger and rip into the cheesy wire fence, pretending to be surprised by what they find.

    I’m a glutton for shows like this, though, as are my friends with houses that could be candidates for the next series. I’ll probably watch every episode.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. karenjane
    January 20, 2023

    I haven’t seen any of these ‘chateaux’ programmes, as I assumed they’d be how you describe. Grand Designs is annoying, as I constantly grumble out loud at the stupidity of people attempting to create what an architect wants them to make, on insufficient money. So doing up a house without skills or money would annoy me on a grand scale. I can imagine your horror at mistakes.

    Liked by 2 people

    • The Pink Agendist
      January 20, 2023

      When Grand Designs began we were absolutely addicted. As time went on we thought everything looked a bit the same :/

      Liked by 1 person

  6. clubschadenfreude
    January 20, 2023

    oh I so hate these “reality” shows. the ones about real state are just the worst with the whiny creatures they focus on. And we have an entire damn channel devoted to these in the US.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. notabilia
    January 20, 2023

    Great column – as good as Internet journalism gets.
    Gold paint is, of course, Damn Turd Pol’s favorite design element at Chateau Mar-a- wolf’s lair.
    Here’s the problem, though- these media corporations make outsized profits using the public airwaves to dupe scores of susceptible latter day bed-and-breakfasters into losing their life savings, but no one and no institution wreaks any Justice upon them.

    Liked by 2 people

    • The Pink Agendist
      January 20, 2023

      A great number number of times now we’ve met people in dire financial circumstances because they embarked on projects like these. And yes you’re right. I noticed that behind this particular program is heavily involved with an agency called Leggett which just happens to have had a finger in a number of these sales…

      Like

      • notabilia
        January 22, 2023

        Fascinating, and awful. The website for “Leggett Prestige” makes it look like what you are talking about. What could anyone say to those poor folks who were hoodwinked into such a loss of everything?
        Another current big swindle is in sports gambling, now ruining lives all across the world, and no one dares to consider the dimensions of the legal and corporate fraud.
        Any non-corporate landlord who doesn’t shudder at the mere mention of the word “boiler” is due for a fall.

        Liked by 1 person

      • The Pink Agendist
        January 23, 2023

        The UK is also behind the sports gambling thing through Gibraltar and other overseas territories!

        Like

  8. Steve Ruis
    January 20, 2023

    I remember a long time ago helping a student move into a shabby apartment building she was going to live in while she attended college. The name? Chateau Maison. There were no architectural elements one could point to and everything was painted one color: brown. It was the equivalent of an aging middle-class man naming his recliner his “throne.”

    Liked by 1 person

  9. makagutu
    January 20, 2023

    well, I am here to say we in Kenya send our greetings. As to the subject matter, last conversation we had, we were still trying to get off trees. So this series is out of our league 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • The Pink Agendist
      January 20, 2023

      Wouldn’t getting off the trees be dangerous because of the lions?

      Like

      • makagutu
        January 21, 2023

        The lions are domestic.
        We use them as guard animals and sometimes take them when we go out to hunt

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Helen Devries
    January 21, 2023

    I remember Leggett and the desperate British women who were their agents from our time in France. There was no mercy for the client!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. inspiredbythedivine1
    January 23, 2023

    I recently transformed my tiny studio apartment into an even tinier studio apartment by graduating from sleeping on a mat on the floor to sleeping on a slightly larger mat on a platform. I’ve named my place the “A….chooo!!! Lounge” because, for some reason, it’s diminutive size and amazing lack of living space makes me sneeze every time I walk into it. No idea why. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  12. angryricky
    February 1, 2023

    “they get to live the dream of being custodians” Almost lost it right there.

    Liked by 2 people

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This entry was posted on January 19, 2023 by in design and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .
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