Just Merveilleux

Life at № 42

Category Archives: life

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

March 7, 2017 · 26 Comments

The time before

The first part of the flight, Oklahoma (where my father had a position at a University since two years earlier) to Florida was Pan Am. The second was in a … Continue reading

February 19, 2017 · 32 Comments

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

January 30, 2017 · 21 Comments

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

January 28, 2017 · 13 Comments

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

January 9, 2017 · 13 Comments

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

January 8, 2017 · 8 Comments

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

January 4, 2017 · 21 Comments

Stufen

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

December 29, 2016 · 80 Comments

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

December 28, 2016 · 58 Comments

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

December 3, 2016 · 36 Comments

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

October 21, 2016 · 28 Comments

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

October 8, 2016 · 45 Comments

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

October 5, 2016 · 13 Comments

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

August 30, 2016 · 9 Comments

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

August 17, 2016 · 24 Comments

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

August 6, 2016 · 26 Comments

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

July 26, 2016 · 9 Comments

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

July 1, 2016 · 11 Comments

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

May 16, 2016 · 9 Comments

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

April 26, 2016 · 22 Comments

Day 12

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 18, 2016 · 39 Comments

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

April 4, 2016 · 42 Comments

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

March 23, 2016 · 21 Comments

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

March 12, 2016 · 18 Comments

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

February 27, 2016 · 12 Comments

Twiddlings

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

January 25, 2016 · 31 Comments

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

January 6, 2016 · 44 Comments

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

January 5, 2016 · 21 Comments

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

January 1, 2016 · 22 Comments

Happy Holidays!

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

December 24, 2015 · 18 Comments

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

December 22, 2015 · 16 Comments

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

December 16, 2015 · 14 Comments

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

December 13, 2015 · 33 Comments

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

December 11, 2015 · 20 Comments

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

December 7, 2015 · 19 Comments

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

November 24, 2015 · 19 Comments

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

November 21, 2015 · 16 Comments

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

November 9, 2015 · 17 Comments

Yael Naim

It’s called Lonely. Magnificent.

October 28, 2015 · Leave a comment

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

October 6, 2015 · 13 Comments

My gardener is broken

The gardener, Olivier, plays rugby. He’s apparently quite good at it- except he’s in hospital now, only to be released next Wednesday. That’s actually him in the picture under the … Continue reading

September 24, 2015 · 18 Comments

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

September 23, 2015 · 12 Comments

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

September 12, 2015 · 13 Comments

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

September 3, 2015 · 21 Comments

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

August 30, 2015 · 28 Comments

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

August 23, 2015 · 29 Comments

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

August 6, 2015 · 14 Comments

Nocturne Op.9 No.2 (by Rubinstein, 1965)

July 19, 2015 · 7 Comments

1940’s adverts

 

July 18, 2015 · 11 Comments

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

July 18, 2015 · 25 Comments

a night for Heifetz- opus 32.

July 11, 2015 · 9 Comments

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

July 10, 2015 · 9 Comments

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

July 6, 2015 · 36 Comments

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

June 27, 2015 · 23 Comments

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

June 26, 2015 · 9 Comments

How much do you know about the people around you?

Having crossed paths with so many interesting people throughout my life, I always wonder. More so, I wonder how it all happened, how they, and we, become the people we … Continue reading

June 21, 2015 · 22 Comments

Small town life

It’s different. Very different. Sotogrande was small, but in an entirely different, urban way. Most people were originally from big cities, and so we carried with us that distance we learn … Continue reading

June 14, 2015 · 21 Comments

And suddenly

…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

June 6, 2015 · 29 Comments

An Exceptionally Beautiful Sound

And superb lyrics. Here’s Canadian artist Pierre Lapointe:

June 6, 2015 · 3 Comments

Must Read: Let’s talk about cults

From the Daily Beast: Megachurch: Stay With Your Kiddie Porn-Watching Husband—or Face ‘Discipline’

May 31, 2015 · 21 Comments

Musical nights, meet Vianney

A nice, soft, melodic, pleasant sound: Vianney and a very good version of Cry Me a River by HRH Ella

May 30, 2015 · 9 Comments

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

May 30, 2015 · 11 Comments

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

May 26, 2015 · 18 Comments

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

May 23, 2015 · 31 Comments

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

May 23, 2015 · 5 Comments

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

May 22, 2015 · 25 Comments

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

May 22, 2015 · 6 Comments

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

May 13, 2015 · 7 Comments

Sarasate

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

January 21, 2015 · 11 Comments