Pergolating Part Deux
Slowly but surely. This week we planted Silver Lace Vine on the uprights. I know, it’s one of those out of control plants, but considering the erratic weather we want … Continue reading
The Cost of Living Crisis Revisited
I know the situation is very different from the 2008 financial crisis but the effects are very similar. A year ago a cucumber at my local supermarket (Intermarche) was 1€, … Continue reading
Summer Girls, Guest Rooms & Kitchens
SUMMER GIRLS ARE COMING!!!!! We’re more than thrilled. We’ve had no visitors since the pandemic began and it seems we’ll be making up for it this year. Mike’s brother and … Continue reading
The Ukrainian flag has gone up in Mazamet
Our mayor has put the Ukrainian flag on the town hall. What a horrendous time. On the French side of my family, almost every generation lost people to war. My … Continue reading
All the Things One Doesn’t Say Out Loud. De mortuis nihil nisi bonum
“Her mother blackmailed her, her husband Giovanni Battista Meneghini stole from her, and shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis was violent and abandoned her for Jackie Kennedy… …In writing a new biography, … Continue reading
She’s Leaving Me!!!
She’s decided she’s going to live in America. I won’t lie, I’m a little bit shaken. I thought that considering the virus and the turmoil in the world, she’d … Continue reading
Official Mourning Declared Tomorrow in Brazil’s 4th Largest State
Governor Rui Costa declared official mourning for the 18th of August to honour my grandfather’s death which happened this morning. Mayor ACM also released a statement. Not entirely sure how … Continue reading
And now for not beautiful things, like Covid-19
Last week my mind was the scene of a landslide of memories and emotions. It’s taken me a while to collect my thoughts. My email began flooding on Wednesday. Messages … Continue reading
One can tell by my eyes that I’ve probably been crying forever
Firstly, thank you all so much for the kind comments. I just didn’t have it in me to respond. I went to the vegetable shop yesterday and despite my efforts … Continue reading
Late last night, as I was going to bed, Rudy started twitching. A strange affair, like electric shocks going through his body. This developed into ever bigger seizures/strokes. A while … Continue reading
Self-Isolation, Louis XV Stools & Some Cooking
We’re following the French governments’s advice and in self isolation because Mike fits the risk group criteria. We already live in quasi-self-isolation, so the main difference is instead of food … Continue reading
Convalēscentia – Part I
For those of you wondering: All is well! Mike is back to normal – or at least as normal as one can be after health scares of this type. He … Continue reading
It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood
Well, yesterday was, anyway. Today it’s cold. Thank you all for the good wishes. My apologies if I didn’t answer you personally, I was a bit distraught. I have excellent … Continue reading
Wishing you all the very best! We’re hiding out at the moment because Mike’s had a health scare. I really don’t want to talk about it for now – until … Continue reading
Maya, Day II
I’ve cut away most of her matted fur and she’s had a bath. She arrived Tuesday evening because things got delayed at the shelter. The night was peaceful but she … Continue reading
André-Léon Vivrel, Sotheby’s Hong Kong
AGE OF ELEGANCE: EUROPEAN PAINTINGS, FURNITURE AND SCULPTURE HONG KONG André-Léon Vivrel (1886-1976), FRENCH STILL LIFE Source: Vivrel Still Life, Sotheby’s This is an artist I did not know, but … Continue reading
To Gillie, With Love
“I hope you are already aware of the forthcoming celebration of Gillie’s life and art and the launch of the Lynne and Land Foundation we are setting up to help … Continue reading
As usual, we couldn’t get the dogs all together and still for a Christmas card picture – so this year there are two. The boys were particularly disruptive, which meant … Continue reading
If the grass is greener on one’s own side – does one stop watering?
So confusing! I opened an upstairs window this week to this image. People here let their grass go brown in summer. I went looking around and it seems everyone does … Continue reading
LET THE FUN BE-GIN!!! Until it ends.
Summer girls have come and gone. We had a glorious time as we do every year. They went exploring this year in a way they hadn’t done before. They say … Continue reading
Dame Gillian Lynne 1926-2018. Once upon a time.
Dame Gillian Lynne, who has died at the age of 92, quite simply changed the way we think of dance. Her husband, actor Peter Land, announced on Twitter the … Continue reading
An Evening with Patrick Melrose or why the worse thing that ever happened to me was that I wasn’t an orphan.
Saturday evening in Mazamet. June 9th. The weather is mild. There’s a street party in the centre of town. From the garden we can hear music in the distance. For … Continue reading
June at number 42
Firstly, the garden. Above is what I’ve added to the garden in the past week. Today I’ve added 6 more astilbes (purpurkerze), 2 hostas (big daddy) and three lathyrus pink … Continue reading
Older Than Springtime
The weather was lovely over the weekend and again today. I’ve taken advantage of that to start pruning the wisteria. Nightmare job. Terribly frightening to be that high up a … Continue reading
Countdown + the newest family member
It’s countdown to Holy Week when the family arrives. People from Holland, (the) Ukraine and Britain. One of them is heavily pregnant with this child above! They don’t want … Continue reading
Tradução: Um Menino A Ser Sacrificado
Abdellah Taïa para o New York Times Paris, 24 de Março de 2012 ”No marrocos da década de 1980, onde a homossexualidade evidentemente ‘não existia‘, eu era um pequeno menino … Continue reading
If Goodness Is Represented by X
Last night I couldn’t sleep and I was thinking about that tired line on how can there be goodness without “god”… But – what is goodness really? Isn’t the very … Continue reading
Using the scale provided
Film, Dance and Life – not necessarily in that order
The great dancer Tamara Tchinarova died two days ago. She was the first wife of actor Peter Finch (remember Network?) It was all very peaceful. She was up one day, … Continue reading
Protected: Screaming for silence; In which one loses it.
There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.
30 Day Exercise Challenges?
Has anyone done any of these 30 day exercise challenges? If so, how was it? I bought gym equipment again. The teenage boys who lived next door to us in … Continue reading
Lady Macbeth (Leskov) & Beatriz at Dinner
We finally got around to watching both films. This Lady Macbeth (as I mentioned in a recent post) isn’t the Shakespearean version, but based on a novella published by Nikolai … Continue reading
Look what I found
He’s going to be furious 😀 Hilarious. It’s on a site that’s called Movies & Portraits. Very creative, best wishes, George. Who’s George, and how has this picture ended up in … Continue reading
As mid-life crises go (come?)
I’m at 70kg. Which is down from 73, but not quite the 64 I was between the ages of 19 and 37. I’m 5’9 and a half, so I know … Continue reading
A Boy (or more) to be Sacrificed
I watched the men talking on the beach with some degree of suspicion. I simply did not understand what was going on, what they were doing, or why. I’d never … Continue reading
A Gap Year at Number 42
The August Girls are here and we’re having a ton of fun. Next year will be the 10th year we summer together. That’s a long time, isn’t it? The other … Continue reading
Illuminated by Gas
About a year after I came out the dust had settled. All financial support from my family had ceased. Many harsh things were said- mostly by me. And at that … Continue reading
Summer 2017 (at nº 42)
We have a slight pause between the departure of our last guests and the arrival of new ones. Well, we do have a dog guest now, but that’s different. I’m … Continue reading
From the Rescuer to the Aggressor – understanding the 10 types of human | Science | The Guardian
“Dias tells the story of human behaviour through 10 tropes. The Kinsman will protect his or her own gene pool at the expense of any other. It’s illustrated in the … Continue reading
A Mild Headache & Peonies
–I have a mild headache. –We’re entering summer mode. We had guests a couple of weeks ago, but as of Wednesday it’s basically non-stop until September. Cold soups will feature … Continue reading
The Changing of the Loos
The one terribly unpleasant thing I found when we moved into number 42 were the loos. From a little distance they look normal, but as one approaches, one discovers they’re … Continue reading
The Day Will Come | Der kommer en dag
Director: Jesper W. Nielsen Written by: Søren Sveistrup Stars: Lars Mikkelsen, Sofie Gråbøl, Harald Kaiser Hermann, Albert Rudbeck Lindhardt “The year is 1967, and a blooming youth culture is on … Continue reading
Teresa Cristina sings Roses Don’t Speak
“… I complain to the roses. What nonsense. Roses don’t speak. Roses only exhale the scent they steal from you…”
Here I am, a month or so in. This seems to be working for me. Intellectually what I knew I wanted was, shall we say, a divorce from the ego. … Continue reading
Notes on The Time Before
I want to continue talking about that period because it’s oddly relevant to what’s going on in the world today… As a child with grandparents from three different countries and … Continue reading
Warmth at last
Winter sun! The weather is finally improving. After a reasonably pleasant December, the cold front was not fun. It did get us back into action and the attic of number 42 … Continue reading
The fire that burns unseen – Luís Vaz de Camões
16th century poetry and also some wonderful music. Amor é um fogo que arde sem se ver, é ferida que doi, e não se sente; é um contentamento descontente, é … Continue reading
From Istanbul to Moscow, cold snap wreaks havoc across Europe (PHOTOS) — RT News
“Bone-freezing cold, heavy snowstorms, and floods have been plaguing the European continent this week, causing power outages, traffic jams, cancelled flights, and even a stream of plastic eggs with toys … Continue reading
Words. So many words. Rosemonde Gérard.
Lorsque tu seras vieux et que je serai vieille, Lorsque mes cheveux blonds seront des cheveux blancs, Au mois de mai, dans le jardin qui s’ensoleille, Nous irons réchauffer nos … Continue reading
The unbearable heaviness of being.
Milan Kundera is a stupid name. There, I said it. I don’t mention it often, but I was one of those clever children. You get high scores on a test … Continue reading
I remember being 10 and sitting in the back seat of the car (a town car), my parents were up front, and I asked them why they thought they should … Continue reading
Stupid and sometimes not
I’ve been jumping rope for two weeks now to lose weight. It’s ridiculous- but somehow less ridiculous than jogging or doing any other sort of public exercise. My waist is … Continue reading
Autumnal in G Minor
Time insists on passing. I looked at the calendar today and realized that this time two years ago, we were packing up Villa l’Africaine. Yesterday I received a lovely card … Continue reading
Lipovetsky on Lightness
I haven’t read it yet- but have read much about it, including a couple of the author’s interviews. The topic interests me. He discusses modern society and the new culture of … Continue reading
Monitoring (One’s Own) Prejudices
… If you recall … The idea for the apartments was a creative/design exercise. How do we make something attractive that’s also affordable. Affordable enough for people living on a … Continue reading
The Wonderful World of Meera Sodha
I rarely buy cookbooks anymore. After a certain point it feels like we’ve got every recipe we could ever possibly want… but three weeks ago I was reading about a young … Continue reading
Ideal reading for warm weather: Marcel Pagnol, Rabindranath Tagore & Jorge Amado
In case you haven’t heard any of those names, I urge you to investigate. Each is a legend in the country of their birth: France, India (Bengal) & Brazil. In … Continue reading
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, … Continue reading
A Saturday in August
Morning in Castres We went to the market in Castres where the girls bought all sorts of cheeses, we got charcuterie and that became lunch here on the terrace with … Continue reading
This week at nº 42: wildlife pictures (sort of) and guest rooms
Okay- so it’s not wildlife pictures in that Sonel or Ark sort of way. It’s one where nothing is moving, which means I can almost photograph it in focus! It’s … Continue reading
Exercises in Sophisticated Theology™: Is Gin a Girly Drink? A Refutation of The Pink Agendist | Truth and Tolerance
The following is an excerpt from Refutatio et Exscidium Hereticorum by St Remy of Aquitaine (1150? – 1205). Book Four is De Spiritus which concerns itself with Angels, Demons, and Alcohol. In Question 14, … Continue reading
Ukrainians, Castles & Eurovision
Guests have come and gone. They’re now back in den Haag and Kiev. After the exhaustion of cleaning was over, I had a fantastic time. We took them to visit the chateau … Continue reading
Exasperating: Hijab Day
“The Hijab Day event was held (last week) in the wake of Prime Minister Manuel Valls’ statement that he wished to ban all forms of religious headscarves at French universities.” … Continue reading
I stopped smoking completely 12 days ago. A day and a half before we went to the funeral. A long time ago I used to smoke two packs of Marlboro … Continue reading
April at number 42
…I’ve been up a ladder cleaning the facade. Up a very tall ladder-and it was incredibly frightening. Between not falling off and holding the power-washer gun (big and heavy) with … Continue reading
So it’s March 23rd- again.
It’s been a thoroughly pleasant few days. Some of our favourite people (former neighbours and friends) from Sotogrande came to stay. We had lunch at home, we went out to get … Continue reading
Veni, Vidi, Perivi
One of the people we first met when we arrived in Mazamet is ill. It was all very quick. In December we went to their Christmas party. He was working … Continue reading
Are you ever afraid? The weight of decision making.
Les Echos just published an article a few days ago on the evolution of property prices in France from the crisis to now. Paris (obviously) tops the list as the most … Continue reading
Have you ever considered you’re just twiddling? I went to a gallery opening earlier. Some beautiful things there (more on that tomorrow.) I saw a painting I intend to buy … Continue reading
Slow cooker, anyone?
I finally got one. It should be delivered today. What convinced me was a dish at one of the Christmas parties we went to- and the way the hostess described just … Continue reading
Of camellias and futures
The white camellias are now in full bloom and what a show it is (for a sense of scale, compare to the chair at the bottom right of the first … Continue reading
Here we go, a whole new year!
I hope everyone had a wonderful time last night. It probably helps if you weren’t at the Address Hotel in Dubai. The party we went to was delightful. Incredibly relaxed. Everyone … Continue reading
Hope everyone has a great time! Thanks to all for the contributions you make to my life on such a regular basis. I didn’t know what to expect of blogging … Continue reading
Another beautiful day. Gentleman of the camellias revisited
Today is winter solstice, the year’s shortest day. “The solstice is usually on 21 December, but comes a day later this year for the same reason we have leap years … Continue reading
Are roses still supposed to be blooming?
I’ve never had roses before, so this is a learning experience. After the big blooming experience of the summer, the occasional few flowers still pop up. This week it’s … Continue reading
Chinese Ancestor Portraits, Dog Blankets & Tapas
In practical news I’ve had blankets made in the same colours as the sofas in the green salon. As you can see in the pictures, I can just yank them off … Continue reading
Are the Best Things in Life Free? – The New York Times
Turning Points asked Yao Chen, Karl Lagerfeld, Andreja Pejic, Yanis Varoufakis, Richard Hell and others why people are so rarely satisfied with life’s necessities. Continue reading: Are the Best Things … Continue reading
Please do detest me; and don’t hesitate to offend me.
Just because I think I wouldn’t be half the person I am had I not been as truculent as I was born to be. The other day someone from … Continue reading
Dr. Zhivago Time
We’ve had a cold front since last Friday with night time temperatures fluctuating around 3 degrees. It means I get to go out in coats which I haven’t worn in … Continue reading
Work at building #II, week II
A ton has been done already. Walls have been stripped, then insulated, then covered in plasterboard. And the walls that had to be moved have been moved. I don’t have … Continue reading
Comments not loading + this brand new life
I click on the orange thingy on the upper right hand of the screen and nothing happens. That means I can only answer comments from the post itself, and then … Continue reading
It’s called Lonely. Magnificent.
The Shark Tank; A Sigh of Relief
I’ve been reading the Spanish newspapers during the past days and feeling an enormous amount of relief- in regards to being where I am now. I feel safe in a way … Continue reading
An interesting point in life: donotgiveadamnism
Fabulous, really. I’m only just now realizing how much of life is reflective (in the reactive rather than thoughtful sense.) I can’t quantify it precisely, but it seems to me … Continue reading
In all, a good week.
The backsplashes in the kitchen are finally fitted. So is the mirror in the master bathroom. And we’ve finally moved into the master bedroom even though it’s not quite done … Continue reading
Twitter: What in the world?
I looked at twitter today. I’d never really used it until a few weeks ago. I find it semi-amusing. Five of my new followers, I’m guessing from their picture choice, are … Continue reading
Existentialist Nights. Do you ever ask yourself why?
Some nights I wonder. Everything has always had to be so bombastic. I don’t think I’ll ever be cured of that. It’s become a part of me- that rush. A … Continue reading
The Body Swap Films- and I.
That’s how the past nine months have felt, like I woke up in a different body. It wasn’t just moving to another house, every aspect of life is so very … Continue reading
And we agreed on a property. Life in Mazamet.
After much deliberation, and while we still had guests, we made an offer on the property above. It was accepted, we signed the private contract and we’ll be at the … Continue reading
Nocturne Op.9 No.2 (by Rubinstein, 1965)
Isms and Obias
This is more a question than a post- what responsibility does an individual have in overcoming the isms and obias of the world? I think it’s interesting because people … Continue reading
a night for Heifetz- opus 32.
Omar Sharif dead at 83
He had alzheimer’s- so this means he didn’t have a terribly long protracted battle with the disease. I’ve only ever heard great things about him. Mike played alongside him a … Continue reading
What’s your partner’s favourite story- about you?
In case your partner is British (or French) you can count on it being something awful and profoundly sarcastic that makes you look utterly ridiculous. I know the story Mike … Continue reading
Hiding behind the children: the current tactics of the anti-gay brigade
Some of them are appalling individuals. Creators and fomenters of social apartheid. Others are ordinary people, caught up in the storm, parroting the discredited propaganda of old. Propaganda that’s been … Continue reading
A Brilliant Day. Does he classify as a Trojan?
Gay marriage, fabulous dinner, great time- but I’ve got to hand it to Mr. Tsipras, that was the best political move I’ve seen, E-V-E-R. He let the European right led … Continue reading
…the silk curtains are up, and there’s music playing. The lighting is my lighting. Moody. The wind, the one that seems to have been following me from continent to continent … Continue reading
An Exceptionally Beautiful Sound
And superb lyrics. Here’s Canadian artist Pierre Lapointe:
Must Read: Let’s talk about cults
From the Daily Beast: Megachurch: Stay With Your Kiddie Porn-Watching Husband—or Face ‘Discipline’
Musical nights, meet Vianney
A nice, soft, melodic, pleasant sound: Vianney and a very good version of Cry Me a River by HRH Ella
A Big Week
A lot going on. Work has begun on the future floating terrace. A bit over 30m2, so there’s enough room for outdoor seating and a dining table and chairs. It’s … Continue reading
Have you heard of Les Lapins Crétins? Fill in the blank
Just noticed the existence of this French cartoon today: Cretin Rabbits. I couldn’t help but think it would would make the perfect template for bi-bowl says memes. So have at it … Continue reading
A victory for secularism and a lesson to the world
“That generosity the Yes Equality campaign was depending on came through. The decency of the Irish people was not limited to the liberal leafy suburbs of Dublin, nor the solidarity … Continue reading
Irish referendum results to be announced at 4pm
Meanwhile, here’s an outstanding article by David Robert Grimes for The Guardian: “This perhaps isn’t surprising – religious conservatives have a long and ignoble history of distorting research to fit … Continue reading
Back to the nitty gritty: politics and religion
I’ve decided it would be ridiculous, impossible even, for me to maintain a blog that just talks about the more pretty and pleasant aspects of life. So there. I was reading … Continue reading
Living on a ledge
My theory for buying furniture for the new house was it was all going to be different. The furniture was going to be oversized this time around. No more being … Continue reading
Serious Cultural Differences (regarding women)
This has been a very interesting surprise. I don’t think I’ve ever lived in a culture where sexism was so frowned upon. That’s not to say it doesn’t happen, but … Continue reading
Emotionally complex is the best way to describe the moment. It feels like arriving at the summit of my existence. Not in the sense of success or failure, just time. … Continue reading