My Mazamet

Life at № 42

Category Archives: thinking aloud

A Hanging, our Mazaversary and Various Other Versaries

The Hanging: It looks right. It was March 2015 when we arrived at number 42. Many corners have been turned since, but now it looks as if the big ones … Continue reading

March 29, 2019 · 41 Comments

Mazamet, March 7th, 2019

February in Mazamet has been like Spring. Lots of sun and beautifully mild temperatures hovering around 15 during the day, cooler nights. It’s been very enjoyable but of course something … Continue reading

March 7, 2019 · 51 Comments

As I Walk Through the Valley of the Shadows of Hungry Ghosts

Or is it goats? Worry not, this isn’t a depressing post! I’m actually feeling very well. But this is a haphazard post which basically goes nowhere, so be warned. I’ve been … Continue reading

January 29, 2019 · 44 Comments

Did you know that when a parent dies you get a free churro?

A breathtaking piece of writing from a cartoon, no less. If you have Netflix, look up: Bojack Horseman series 05 episode 06, it’s delivered by Will Arnett. The first part … Continue reading

November 20, 2018 · 40 Comments

Mazamet, October 2nd, 2018

The weather has been sublime. Warm days, cool nights, stunning skies. I’ve been making an effort to order my thoughts. Sometimes my mind feels so full it’s like sitting on … Continue reading

October 2, 2018 · 45 Comments

Cooking this season – let’s call it vintage style: Cordon Bleu, Madhur Jaffrey & Edouard de Pomiane

The other day I found a complete set of the 1968 Cordon Bleu home course for sale online, and of course bought it immediately. It was designed by Rosemary Hume … Continue reading

September 10, 2018 · 44 Comments

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

August 30, 2018 · 37 Comments

So – Sarah Porter – What can I say?

It’s true that the day after you get bad news is a little bit easier. Just a little, though. Memories have been flashing in my mind all day yesterday and … Continue reading

August 15, 2018 · 23 Comments

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

August 14, 2018 · 10 Comments

Religion as a Tool in Social Dominance Theory

“Social dominance theory was put forth by two researchers, Jim Sidanius and Felicia Pratto, in 1999. Specifically, Sidanius and Pratto attempted to explain how, and why, social structures seemed to … Continue reading

July 6, 2018 · 34 Comments

​A marble bust of the Roman Emperor Commodus | Christie’s

  “… Aurelius Commodus Antoninus Augustus (161-192 AD), or Commodus as he was more commonly known, was the last emperor of the Nerva-Antonine dynasty, which ruled the Roman Empire for … Continue reading

June 30, 2018 · 89 Comments

(Almost) July at number 42

Mike got an umbrella because when summer girls are here we sit outside most days and his skin is prone to those lesions (caused by the sun) that have to … Continue reading

June 28, 2018 · 39 Comments

The Magnificent Hannah Gadsby Monologue

” … because I still have shame. You learn from the part of the story you focus on. I need to tell my story properly. Because the closet, for me, … Continue reading

June 24, 2018 · 44 Comments

Pot-pourri —– is a stupid title

Did you know pourri means rotten? The French term came about during the Napoleonic occupation of Spain. It began life as the name of a typical Burgos dish which mixed … Continue reading

June 19, 2018 · 39 Comments

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 10, 2018 · 71 Comments

Yippee: a crucifixion, abortion, ducks and pretty things!!!

And it’s only Wednesday! – In case you missed the exceedingly popular last issue of Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences, there’s a fascinating article on the second case of crucifixion ever found. … Continue reading

May 30, 2018 · 52 Comments

Author Didier Eribon: ‘What was difficult was not being gay but being working-class’ | Books | The Guardian

“What was difficult was not being gay but being working-class,” he says. ‘People who say they are proud to be working-class are really saying they are proud to no longer … Continue reading

May 27, 2018 · 33 Comments

Christie’s: The Kenneth Neame Collection, Including Arts of India, English and European Furniture and Works of Art

“This June, discover the refined taste of Kenneth Neame, one of London’s most respected antique dealers. Ahead of his forthcoming relocation, Neame is offering a curated selection of pieces from … Continue reading

May 26, 2018 · 5 Comments

The Elegant Atheist: Keeping away the Jehova’s Witnesses and the Mormons

I finally decided to get a sign having been woken up today by the doorbell and the consequent dog barking. I ran downstairs flustered, stopped at the inter-phone to say … Continue reading

May 2, 2018 · 94 Comments

Princess Margaret preferred a vase – 

The Queen’s sister was so miffed at the tiny glasses on Concorde that she used a vase for her G&T, according to a recent report. But what is the best … Continue reading

April 26, 2018 · 26 Comments

That was quick + The visit of flexitarian millenials.

– That took five minutes to sell, which is a rather good sign for the strengthening market of the area. Asking was 470 EU which is 580 US$ (at today’s … Continue reading

April 12, 2018 · 15 Comments

Facebook

March 27, 2018 · 26 Comments

A Horrendous Day

I had planned on posting wonderful pictures of a stunning parcel gilt lacca povera console table from the first half of the 18th century this afternoon – but that will … Continue reading

March 15, 2018 · 68 Comments

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

March 13, 2018 · 27 Comments

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

March 7, 2018 · 34 Comments

On this cold winter afternoon

  Last night was the coldest night in France this winter. It snowed on the Côte d’Azur and in Corsica. Here the temperature went down to -7, but that was … Continue reading

February 27, 2018 · 30 Comments

V.I.Poo

So we’re watching television last night when this advert comes on. I kid you not. V.I.Poo. Not a documentary about reality tv stars, but an air freshener. I’d like to … Continue reading

February 12, 2018 · 27 Comments

Titles are boring

This was the last Christmas of my 30’s. Then the last New Years of my 30’s. Then the last January 4th of my 30’s. Today it’s the last January 17th … Continue reading

January 17, 2018 · 80 Comments

Experimentations in Shallow Breathing

We watched Call Me by Your Name today. Undoubtedly the film of the year. It’s only going to be released in France in February, so it was excellent to see it … Continue reading

December 27, 2017 · 34 Comments

Happy Holidays!!!

Wishing you all the best of everything – just as long as it’s just that little bit less good than whatever I get 😀

December 21, 2017 · 56 Comments

Annette Glasmacher’s Rosemary Chicken

November 27, 2017 · 7 Comments

Not a great day

Annette Glasmacher, interior designer and former director at Chanel, has died. I spent the day trying to get my head to stop replaying images of her, her terrace, her house … Continue reading

November 26, 2017 · 18 Comments

Breaking News: ISIS claims responsibility for When Calls the Heart, Season 4

If they claim responsibility for series 1-3, then Canada can breathe a sigh of relief. Maybe Trudeau could ask his offshore money manager to speak to their offshore money manager … Continue reading

November 15, 2017 · 25 Comments

A very good blue & Larkin

“A Louis XV ormolu-mounted blue and gilt Vernis Martin bureau en pente. By Pierre IV Migeon, circa 1735-40, the vernis decoration attributed to the Martin Frères. Estimate: £120,000-180,000 The brothers … Continue reading

November 1, 2017 · 43 Comments

How the oligarchy wins: lessons from ancient Greece | Ganesh Sitaramanan | Opinion | The Guardian

“To understand that, we can turn to an instant classic from a few years ago, Jeffrey Winters’ Oligarchy. Winters argues that the key to oligarchy is that a set of … Continue reading

October 16, 2017 · 11 Comments

You weren’t wondering – but anyway

I’ve been quiet because I’ve been doing stuff. On occasion my mind becomes exceedingly unpleasant. Critical and negative, to an almost crippling degree. This has been one of those periods. … Continue reading

October 13, 2017 · 45 Comments

Now Canada Has Gone Too Far

I’m afraid this is a much more serious declaration of war on the entire world than any test North Korea might attempt. I have rarely, if ever, seen so many … Continue reading

September 27, 2017 · 66 Comments

Just a thought

One of those email forward things going around, but an amusing one. This woman is 51 yrs old. She is TV health guru Gillian McKeith, advocating a holistic approach to … Continue reading

September 21, 2017 · 29 Comments

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

August 26, 2017 · 6 Comments

And then there were sirens

Red, white and blue, and sirens. Maybe yellow instead of white. I don’t really remember that part. I do remember it was dark and cold, and someone covered me with … Continue reading

August 16, 2017 · 58 Comments

How Well Can We Remember Someone’s Life after They Die? – Julia Shaw for Scientific American 

“Memory is often a social construction. Certainly in the context of grief, memories are often elicited and shared in group settings with family members and friends. Information is disclosed, information … Continue reading

August 11, 2017 · 41 Comments

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

August 9, 2017 · 16 Comments

Of what we feel – and don’t feel.

After posting that little excerpt from The End of Eddy I ended up reading the English version yesterday. Excellent, although the translation isn’t quite as stylish as the French original; … Continue reading

July 17, 2017 · 21 Comments

A day in the crazy; A crazy in the day

June 28th I woke up at 5am. That means I slept 2 hours and 40 minutes. When I woke up I considered, as I do every day, how many times … Continue reading

July 13, 2017 · 25 Comments

And one day you realise you’re a cartoon squirrel

And all the beautiful and sophisticated things you have are just you hoarding acorns- no matter how many romantic Dostoevskian justifications you may have. And you mostly socialise with other acorn … Continue reading

July 4, 2017 · 27 Comments

Aristocratic Ants, New York Times, 1892

July 3, 2017 · 17 Comments

The ecology of human fear: survival optimization and the nervous system | Neuroscience

“In this article, we gather ecological theories and empirical data from a variety of related fields in an attempt to create a unified model of how humans predict, respond to, … Continue reading

July 2, 2017 · 14 Comments

Safety in numbers?

One of (in my firm opinion) the best interior designers in the world has landed at number 42- bringing along with her a photo of us together many years ago. … Continue reading

June 28, 2017 · 31 Comments

Update: Ten Types of Human by Dexter Dias

Absolutely worth the time! The title may be off-putting because it’s gimmicky- but the contents of the book are not. He uses the Ten Types format as an outline to … Continue reading

June 27, 2017 · 16 Comments

Tentative Uncertainty

When my mother-in-law was first ill, it was a strange time. Sometimes she’d say unusual things. Things that didn’t quite fit in the conversation. Then she’d have the occasional fall. … Continue reading

June 26, 2017 · 43 Comments

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

June 19, 2017 · 31 Comments

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

June 15, 2017 · 60 Comments

Hips, Lovage, Heat & Banks

Lovage: The only good part of the title. I can’t believe I’ve gone 39 years without it. It looks like big flat leaf parsley but with a much stronger celery-like … Continue reading

June 14, 2017 · 31 Comments

I burst out laughing: Trump orders the slaying of Clooney newborns – The Whitechapel Whelk

US President, Donald Trump, has issued an executive order calling for the newborn twins of actor, George Clooney, to be put to death immediately. Source: Trump orders the slaying of … Continue reading

June 8, 2017 · 6 Comments

An Agendist’s (Mostly) Private Thoughts

It’s usually a bad idea to put people on a pedestal; Unless they’re blind or in a wheelchair, in which case it might be funny. Three of my grandparents are … Continue reading

June 4, 2017 · 27 Comments

Must See: Betting On Zero

  “From ‘Darfur Now’ writer/director Ted Braun comes a riveting docu-thriller following controversial hedge fund titan Bill Ackman as he puts a billion dollars on the line in his crusade … Continue reading

June 3, 2017 · 10 Comments

Some things never change- mostly the chandeliers

  I was up a ladder cleaning the chandelier in the grey salon today and I started trying to count backwards to figure out the year when I bought it (because … Continue reading

May 19, 2017 · 41 Comments

Salvador Sobral WON Eurovision!!!

How absolutely wonderful. First Macron, now this. There is much light at the end of this tunnel.

May 13, 2017 · 3 Comments

The science of inequality: why people prefer unequal societies | Inequality | The Guardian

“… For example, studies of income and happiness have revealed that, once a basic level of wealth is achieved, relative wealth is more important for overall happiness. Similarly, a vast … Continue reading

May 4, 2017 · 31 Comments

From Denying to the Grave

From Denying to the Grave: Why We Ignore the Facts That Will Save Us by Sara E. Gorman, Jack M. Gorman, M.d., Jack M. Gorman, Oxford University Press Rabbit Feet and … Continue reading

May 2, 2017 · 26 Comments

Does Revenge Serve an Evolutionary Purpose? – Scientific American

“Why all the celebration after the killing of Osama bin Laden? A psychologist who studies evolution and human behavior explains the complex desire for vengeance” Source: Does Revenge Serve an … Continue reading

April 27, 2017 · 14 Comments

In the land of zeros and ones- there are questions

Curiosity, hope and the constant impulse to compare ourselves- all part of the human evolutionary strategy. Doesn’t that mean we can whittle everything down into those terms? What follows is that most … Continue reading

April 15, 2017 · 67 Comments

Heuristics & Biases (borrowed from GSU)

I love graphs and tables 😀 This one is amusing. The more I look through comments on newspapers and blogs, the more I notice the extent to which people rely … Continue reading

April 5, 2017 · 10 Comments

Ai Funghi

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

April 3, 2017 · 22 Comments

The Grey Agendist

Well, the hair is grey, anyway. Very, very grey. Also, very, very short. My mood is up. We’ve had over a week of excellent weather now. One day at 18º … Continue reading

February 27, 2017 · 41 Comments

Pastoral Amusements

Isn’t that room stunning? The tapestry you see on the wall on the left is the Cheval Fondu from the Amusements Champêtres series. It was thought to be Beauvais but … Continue reading

February 18, 2017 · 25 Comments

Thinking aloud

I was awake until very late last night looking at old pictures. In particular pictures where the Bacchus painting appears. A collector contacted me to make an offer. We haven’t … Continue reading

February 16, 2017 · 25 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 · 16 Comments

The Last Shaman by James Freeman

This documentary is now on Netflix. Interesting concept. James suffers from acute depression. He’s tired. He’s tried all sorts of treatments but nothing has really worked. He decides to “give … Continue reading

January 20, 2017 · 31 Comments

Lessons in Ethics: The Moral of Annie

The moral of Annie is that there was a time when it really didn’t matter how talented your child was and/or how well they could sing, if it was a Ginger, … Continue reading

January 13, 2017 · 27 Comments

The adventures of President Shyster & his Shysterettes

By now you’ve probably seen President Shyster posing next to a table covered in files: The setup was extraordinary. Basically he said, Dear Public, these are papers. Papers mean I … Continue reading

January 12, 2017 · 90 Comments

Little- thinking

When I was little I sometimes wished an aeroplane would crash. This was generally to get rid of a single person- which makes it terribly inefficient methodologically. Wishing for choking would’ve … Continue reading

January 11, 2017 · 15 Comments

What would 18 year old you think?

I read this the other day and it stuck in my mind. It’s from a speech by the author of The Black Swan, N.N. Taleb. Interesting notion. To go back to … Continue reading

January 10, 2017 · 34 Comments

Attempts at mind control

Because I obviously need(ed) to *wear* a reminder in very large letters.

January 5, 2017 · 19 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

Darwin, Bonaparte & the Samaritan (starting the year on a good note!)

That’s the title of Michel Serre’s new book. Unfortunately I think it’s not yet available in English (but it is in French & Spanish.) He’s one of the great minds … Continue reading

January 2, 2017 · 12 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

Why we are willing to pay for mega expensive things

by Paul Harrison Director, Centre for Employee and Consumer Wellbeing; Senior lecturer, Deakin Business School- The Conversation Australia “It may not seem logical or good value for money, but there are … Continue reading

December 29, 2016 · 31 Comments
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