Just Merveilleux

Life at № 42

The Guardian view on the Chilcot report: a country ruined, trust shattered, a reputation trashed | Editorial | Opinion | The Guardian

As always in matters of military aggression, the humane perspective has to start with the victims. Since the US-led, UK-backed invasion of Iraq in 2003, estimates of the lives lost … Continue reading

July 7, 2016 · 11 Comments

The Mask You Live In – Coalition of the Brave. The harm patriarchy inflicts on… men.

Video post. Source: The Mask You Live In – Coalition of the Brave

July 5, 2016 · 3 Comments

A Tuesday in July

Recognize the church? That’s our street in the late 19th century. The building at the end no longer exists, and the trees are gone. Well, there are trees now, but … Continue reading

July 5, 2016 · 11 Comments

Life at no. 42, month 16. The good and the not quite

  So it’s been sixteen months. I’ve more or less lost my sense of time. Some days I feel like I’ve been here forever, others I wake up and still … Continue reading

July 4, 2016 · 21 Comments

Glorious weather!

It’s an absolutely gorgeous day. Life is good! The garden is coming along very nicely. The Medici vases I had made arrived a few days ago. I put two by … Continue reading

July 3, 2016 · 14 Comments

Officer, I was walking down the street when a gang of Micro-Aggressions attacked me!

Yes, my friends, this is what we’re up against: the infantilization of society. A game of semantics so ridiculous that people making an effort not to be racist are deemed racist. … Continue reading

July 2, 2016 · 34 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

Morgan posing & my first (Toscana) strawberries

July 1, 2016 · 10 Comments

Valuable masterpieces in UK galleries replaced with fakes | ArtsHub United Kingdom

Seven paintings were replaced with copies by Sky Arts for a new TV series called Fake! The Great Masterpiece Challenge. Only the museum curators, the production team from IWC Media, … Continue reading

July 1, 2016 · 10 Comments

Bye bye, Boris, the man who wouldn’t clear up his own mess | Marina Hyde | Opinion | The Guardian

Here comes Boris Johnson, half an hour before deadline closes. He’s going to chuck his hat in the ring like Blackadder’s Lord Flashheart, isn’t he? “I’ve got a plan, and … Continue reading

June 30, 2016 · 7 Comments

Theresa May Emerges as a Contender to Lead Tories – WSJ

LONDON— Theresa May, one of the U.K.’s longest-serving home secretaries, has emerged as a favorite to become the next prime minister. Source: Theresa May Emerges as a Contender for U.K. … Continue reading

June 29, 2016 · 14 Comments

A Lesson From ‘Brexit’: On Immigration, Feelings Trump Facts – The New York Times

“Many citizens, particularly those who have suffered under the economic pressures of globalization, express their anxiety over these changes by focusing on another form of change: foreigners in their midst. … Continue reading

June 29, 2016 · 11 Comments

Boris Johnson: markets and the pound are ‘stable’—- Seriously???

“Are they? Boris Johnson, seen as one of the main contenders to replace David Cameron as UK prime minister, has suggested the worst of the markets turmoil is behind Britain, … Continue reading

June 27, 2016 · 17 Comments

Slowly but surely. Apartment 3 (2 bed/2 bath)

It’s taken longer than we hoped… but we’re there. The rooms were a bit fiddly in this one- very few right angles. In all I’m happy. Mike deserves a ton … Continue reading

June 26, 2016 · 19 Comments

Brexit: The carnage has begun

The FTSE saw losses yesterday worth a few hundred billion. Australia followed suit with losses of 50 billion in shares (AUD). The GBP is at a 40 year low. Moody’s has … Continue reading

June 25, 2016 · 41 Comments

The mood is ugly, and an MP is dead | Polly Toynbee | The Guardian

“There are many decent people involved in the campaign to secure Britain’s withdrawal from the EU, many who respect the referendum as the exercise in democracy that it is. But … Continue reading

June 17, 2016 · 27 Comments

Outstanding documentary – The Dishonesty Project (The Matrix Experiment)

(Dis)Honesty – The Truth About Lies: Feature Film It’s human nature to lie; we all do it! From scandalous headlines to little white lies, (Dis)Honesty – The Truth About Lies … Continue reading

June 16, 2016 · 15 Comments

(Video) Anderson Cooper goes at Florida AG Pam Bondi for her disingenuous LGBT position

June 16, 2016 · 8 Comments

The Josiah Effect: How Moderate Religion Fuels Fundamentalism | Quillette

“In both Islam and Christianity, it is easy to dismiss fundamentalist doctrines as perversions of scripture. But the fundamentalists have a ready defense against this charge. When Curtis suggested that … Continue reading

June 15, 2016 · 14 Comments

Ideas worth examining: Theoretical and Actual Violence | Truth and Tolerance

Not everyone gets why I actually like D.P. Monahan despite our differing views, but this may help explain it: “Rhetoric about the deep failings of America appeals to our Puritan … Continue reading

June 13, 2016 · 8 Comments

Christian Pastor Celebrates Nightclub Massacre: “There’s 50 Less Pedophiles in This World”

Pastor Steven Anderson, whose hate knows no bounds, celebrated the deaths of 50 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando in a 4-minute mini-sermon that cited the Bible as justification … Continue reading

June 13, 2016 · 44 Comments

The Morning After.The Instrumentalisation of a Massacre.

I watched that scene unfold on Sky News last night in disbelief. That, my friends, is the lens of homophobia. Mark Longhurst completely dismisses the LGBT identity of the victims of … Continue reading

June 13, 2016 · 14 Comments

Orlando Shooter’s Father Says Omar Mateen Was Angry Over Two Men Kissing – Towleroad

Mir Seddique, Mateen’s father told NBC News, “this has nothing to do with religion.” Seddique said his son got angry when he saw two men kissing in Miami a couple … Continue reading

June 12, 2016 · 29 Comments

The alleged shooter of Pulse Orlando is named: Omar Mateen 

Omar Mir Seddique Mateen has been named as the gunman who killed as many as 20 people and wounded 40 others at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, CBS News … Continue reading

June 12, 2016 · 49 Comments

Is it really Christians who are under attack? The story of a prolonged aggression.

This isn’t a post I expect anyone to read from beginning to end. It’s more than anything else, an exercise, an illustration. In 2005 the SPLC published a timeline of … Continue reading

June 10, 2016 · 52 Comments

The *safe-space* people are at it again.

For the love of Mithra. The safe-space people are back to annoy us all. Here’s Robby Soave’s take:   “The Craziest Demands of College Kids in 2016 No grades, no … Continue reading

June 8, 2016 · 10 Comments

First week of June at no. 42. The garden, the scullery and fish

The lilies are opening! Absolutely stunning. The weather’s been superb and so I’ve spent much time in the garden. Pruning, cleaning, weeding- and digging.   And there’s been progress in … Continue reading

June 8, 2016 · 10 Comments

Trump Orders Surrogates to Intensify Criticism of Judge and Journalists – Bloomberg Politics

An embattled Donald Trump urgently rallied his most visible supporters to defend his attacks on a federal judge’s Mexican ancestry during a conference call on Monday in which he ordered them to question … Continue reading

June 7, 2016 · 35 Comments

Free Speech vs Hate Speech Part II

Yesterday someone re-blogged the previous post on free speech vs. hate speech with a critique. The critique itself wasn’t unreasonable, although the author basically relied on the slippery slope fallacy. His … Continue reading

June 7, 2016 · 20 Comments

Catholics vs. Evangelicals. Have you chosen to be chosen (correctly)?

The more I read comments by American Evangelicals online- the more I’m mystified by their organogram of beliefs. You see, a Catholic can at least say to himself that his … Continue reading

June 6, 2016 · 35 Comments

Hate Speech vs. Free Speech

After a discussion this week with an American blogger regarding free speech, I decided to do a little research. Apparently the US is the only developed nation which does not … Continue reading

June 5, 2016 · 89 Comments

Donald Trump’s ‘Secret’: Americans Love Bullsh*t Peddlers and Miracle Cures – by Michael Moynihan

Absolute must read article: Indeed, Americans have a particular talent for transforming charlatans, cranks, and frauds into celebrities—and a particular tolerance for fact-free fads promoted by already-existing celebrities. Our favorite … Continue reading

June 4, 2016 · 11 Comments

Post-truth politics: Michael Gove says it’s time to tell Europe’s elites ‘you’re fired’?!?

Listening to Boris Johnson and Michael Gove in the past two weeks one would be obliged to think they’d left the Tories to start a Neo-Bolshevik British revolution. They do … Continue reading

June 4, 2016 · 4 Comments

Transgender bill passes House with unexpected support

BOSTON — Support for the transgender public accommodations bill exceeded expectations on Wednesday as it not only passed the House, but earned a veto-proof majority, something House Speaker Robert DeLeo … Continue reading

June 2, 2016 · 6 Comments

Otherization Part II: of religion, race and sexual orientation

Otherization is not done casually or accidentally. It exists in one context and one context alone. It’s designed to afford one’s self privileges that were not earned. It’s an attack … Continue reading

June 2, 2016 · 20 Comments

From Cardinal Cañizares to Donald Trump to Brexit: The Objective of Othering.

“Social identities are relational; groups typically define themselves in relation to others. This is because identity has little meaning without the “other”. So, by defining itself a group defines others. … Continue reading

June 1, 2016 · 23 Comments

Man in dress and funny hat says gender equality is biggest threat to civilization in all human history.

Mithra help us all! Cardinal Cañizares of Valencia, sporting his white muumuu and a hat which doubles as a lightning rod, has been bestowing his senility on anyone willing to listen. His current bugbears are … Continue reading

May 30, 2016 · 114 Comments

Did the Devil Really Write This Bible?  Candida Moss on the Codex Gigas

“It’s not just the scale of the book that make it unusual, but also its contents. In addition to the Vulgate (the Latin version of the Bible), it contains a … Continue reading

May 29, 2016 · 8 Comments

Tomatoes and other green things

Starting the tomatoes early this year was a good idea. Some of the Russian ones are already at about an inch in diameter. I’ve been tidying up the greenhouse. The peonies … Continue reading

May 28, 2016 · 10 Comments

Almost as difficult to get rid of as the super-gonorrhea her husband got at ex-gay camp!

The title is a joke, obviously; I say this for legal reasons 🙂 She’s baa-aack. Yesterday I was given the news that Katy Faust of Grace Church Seattle was back … Continue reading

May 27, 2016 · 38 Comments

An Espalier of Citrus- and gardening in May

From the Italian spalliera (something to rest on). You take a tree and you train it flat. If done well it can look really extraordinary. Here’s an apple tree: Last year … Continue reading

May 26, 2016 · 23 Comments

Ollie Dabbous at Sotheby’s

From: Anna Pinkney Sent: Wednesday, May 25, 2016 6:25 PM Subject: Dabbous Pop-Up Restaurant at Sotheby’s DABBOUS AT SOTHEBY’S A celebration of all things British: In a one-off experience that … Continue reading

May 25, 2016 · 4 Comments

This is how propaganda works: Donald Trump’s Worthless Real Estate Math 

…In his presidential disclosure Trump valued the golf course and its massive clubhouse at more than $50 million. In tax documents Trump valued the same property at just $1.35 million… … Continue reading

May 25, 2016 · 8 Comments

Yanis Varoufakis: Australia’s negative gearing is ‘scandalous’ | World news | The Guardian

Negative gearing – a tax minimisation strategy for property investors – has become a key campaign issue this year. The Labor opposition is promising to end negative gearing on existing … Continue reading

May 25, 2016 · 7 Comments

The internet was the great equalizer- until it wasn’t.

Have you noticed the change? It’s happened on Google, Ebay, Amazon and basically everywhere you turn on the internet. When you type things in- you no longer get the results … Continue reading

May 24, 2016 · 12 Comments

The Hilarious Story of the Palmarian Church

Origins: “In March 1968, four Spanish schoolgirls (only known as Ana, Josefa, Rafaela and Ana María) stated they saw an apparition of the Virgin Mary by a little tree on … Continue reading

May 23, 2016 · 15 Comments

Christie’s NY: The Joan Rivers Sale

“As the first female host of a late night network television talk show, well-known for her co-hosting of E!’s Fashion Police and her acerbic but honest and clever remarks, the … Continue reading

May 19, 2016 · 10 Comments

How People Become Atheists 2: A White Tower Comic

Originally posted on White Tower Musings:
Zande, Ark, Sirius, Mak, Claire, ClubS, Meeka, Pontificator, KJ, Dr., Cara and everyone else… have a look at this guy’s stuff. He’s clever. White Tower Musings View original post

May 18, 2016 · 3 Comments

Brexit: The EU’s “red tape”?

A constant refrain of the out campaigners seems to be the EU’s red tape and how Europe interferes with British law. On occasion they go on to say the UK … Continue reading

May 18, 2016 · 19 Comments

The imbecility goes on: Pseudo-feminists and a new angle?

First they proposed a solution to a nonexistent problem: let’s stop trans women using women’s bathrooms to stop the attacks that have never happened. Ever. And this week they’re back … Continue reading

May 16, 2016 · 61 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

Roy Moore may be removed from AL Supreme Court!!!

“The Southern Poverty Law Center continues its quest to remove Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore from the bench. Today they moved one step closer. The Alabama Judicial Inquiry … Continue reading

May 7, 2016 · 3 Comments

Why do (some) online plant sellers lie through their teeth?

I’ve been looking for Indigoletta rose to buy and grow on the garage. It’s a rose with a very fine, delicate colour (see above.) Looking online, again and again, I … Continue reading

May 4, 2016 · 17 Comments

Hilarious: How to become Parisian in one hour

Comedian Olivier Giraud explains (amongst other things) the differences between dealing with a shop attendant in America versus one in Paris. Vid is in English (only 4 minutes.)  

May 4, 2016 · 8 Comments

How the Kleptocrats’ $12 Trillion Heist Helps Keep Most of the World Impoverished – The Daily Beast

An investigative economist has crunched 45 years of official statistics to discover just how much kleptocrats have plundered from 150 mostly poor nations. Full text: How the Kleptocrats’ $12 Trillion … Continue reading

May 3, 2016 · 9 Comments

Rhododendron in flower

Isn’t that a wonderful colour? I think I’m going to get more of it. I spent the morning planting hostas under the camellias. When they arrived this morning I panicked. … Continue reading

May 3, 2016 · 35 Comments

The Brainwashing of My Dad + Pick a dictator, any dictator.

Yesterday I watched The Brainwashing Of My Dad. It’s a film about the rise and socio-cultural effects of right-wing media in the United States (Fox, Limbaugh etc.) It’s interesting but comes … Continue reading

May 2, 2016 · 14 Comments

Of religion and successful marketing: The doctrine of finding solutions to nonexistent problems

If you follow American politics, by now you’re privy to the case of the many bathroom bills introduced by religious conservatives in various states. The recent, rather unsurprising revelation that all … Continue reading

April 30, 2016 · 19 Comments

Sorry Bigots, Your Facebook Memes Are Wrong – The Daily Beast

Sorry Bigots, Your Facebook Memes Are Wrong by Samantha Allen Anti-trans, Target-boycotting memes are all over social media. And they’re all fake. If you see a viral anti-transgender post circulating … Continue reading

April 29, 2016 · 16 Comments

This week at № 42

The tiles for the scullery have arrived. They’re by an Italian company called Marca Corona- from their new Terra collection. I’ve been sanding the cupboards which are going to be … Continue reading

April 28, 2016 · 13 Comments

Plans for the wall (and plant identification help!)

I’ve decided that I want to make the wall that’s behind the house a bit more interesting. Especially because that’s where the entrance door is.   The planting is already great, … Continue reading

April 27, 2016 · 16 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

The kitchen garden + The Russians are coming!

The baby bok choy has come and been eaten. Excellent, easy crop. It only takes 30 to 45 days from seed to table. They’ve been replaced by a variety of … Continue reading

April 21, 2016 · 25 Comments

Blue skies, wisteria & other things

The wisteria looks glorious this year. I’ve planted euphorbia characias wulfenii at the base- and also liatris spicata. I think the ton-sur-ton effect will be amusing. Elsewhere in the garden … Continue reading

April 20, 2016 · 18 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

Death & Taxes

There was a dead pigeon in the garden yesterday. I didn’t know what to do with it. I was terribly tempted to fling it into the neighbour’s garden or onto … Continue reading

April 7, 2016 · 21 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

Snooks

I feel saturated today. Exhausted. Here’s Mike and Ben Kingsley

March 12, 2016 · 21 Comments

One True Ideologies: Sectarianism. I think she just said white supremacist.

The way my encounter with the TERF group began was bad enough- but trust me, it’s been all downhill from there. People who don’t embrace their discriminatory ideology aren’t just alleged supporters … Continue reading

March 7, 2016 · 57 Comments

The pseudo-feminists: TERF’s. This is how cults work.

I must admit I hadn’t heard of this movement until very recently- and what an unpleasant surprise it has been. They represent, for all intents and purposes, the opposite of … Continue reading

March 6, 2016 · 35 Comments

Brexit: Best play yet comes from outside Britain!

Speaking to the Financial Times, French economy minister Emmanuel Macron has thrown a spanner into the British debate to leave or stay in the EU. Macron warns that, of course, France has … Continue reading

March 3, 2016 · 14 Comments

A very short lesson in political philosophy: The reality of politics. Cowboys vs. Indians?

Most people think we can describe politics with the linear model above. One side wants one thing, the other wants the opposite. Yes to abortion rights, no to abortion rights. … Continue reading

March 3, 2016 · 29 Comments

Poorly Educated Voters Choose Giant Penis To Lead Republican Party

  WASHINGTON – (CT&P) – Businessman, megalomaniac, and fascist prick Donald Trump was chosen overwhelmingly over other candidates by poorly educated idiots in Super Tuesday pri… Source: Poorly Educated Voters … Continue reading

March 2, 2016 · 21 Comments

Doodling Floor Plans

Okay- I’ve been doodling and doodling to see what I could actually come up with for the currently unused atelier area. If you don’t recall, it looks like this: The … Continue reading

March 1, 2016 · 10 Comments

Cardinal George Pell dismissed complaints about pedophile priest as being of ‘not much interest’

“Cardinal Pell continued to deny knowledge of Ridsdale having molested children, despite attending meetings agreeing to move him numerous times, and the widespread nature of complaints about the pedophile’s activities … Continue reading

March 1, 2016 · 16 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

And the Darwin Award Goes to…

Should we laugh or should we cry? Or should we just cross our fingers and hope, really hope this person doesn’t contaminate the gene pool by reproducing? Let’s just go … Continue reading

February 25, 2016 · 49 Comments

Coddling Idiots: Safe Spaces, Trigger Warnings & Microagressions

That, my friends, was an actual discussion chez Roughseas. I’ve been hearing murmurs of this new phenomena for a while now, but I’d never seen it in action (courtesy of … Continue reading

February 23, 2016 · 100 Comments

Diary of the Oppressive White Male

I read something appalling yesterday. Of course I understand that when people are young, they see the world in the first person. All that exists, only exists in relation to … Continue reading

February 23, 2016 · 15 Comments

Umberto Eco on Political Correctness (Translated and Revisited)

Eco died a few days ago. He’s best known as the author of The Name of the Rose, but he was also an exceptional social commentator and philosopher. Among his … Continue reading

February 22, 2016 · 21 Comments

The Eight Species of Gaymen. A Non-Scientific Study by The Pink Agendist

In my many years out, I’ve been conducting entirely non-scientific (anti-scientific, even) research to identify and inform society of the many species of gaymen they may come into contact with … Continue reading

February 17, 2016 · 41 Comments

Apt. #3, the floorplan

There it is, although not exactly to scale. Apartment 3 is on the same level as apt. 4 (what we call in France & Britain the 1st floor, or in … Continue reading

February 15, 2016 · 12 Comments

Work on apartment #3; Two bed, two bath

Work has begun. This is one of the apartments I prefer, which means it’s more fun. It’s got an interesting L shaped layout with a bedroom at each extremity (each with … Continue reading

February 12, 2016 · 15 Comments

Corruption-fest 2016

The Noos case began today. Despite a plethora of pre-trial motions the charges against Princess Cristina were not dismissed. Also in Spain, the Taula case is taking shape. It involves 30 … Continue reading

February 9, 2016 · 10 Comments

February: Skip a single little luxury month

The Max Mello association for animal’s plea got me thinking. Exchange rates, life, well being, Brazil’s £130 per month minimum wage. How a pretty boxed bottle of Cristal champagne is … Continue reading

February 8, 2016 · 30 Comments

If you love animals: The MaxMello Association for the Support of Animal Life needs an urgent hand |

Amazing work being done by this group in a part of the world where animals are regularly mistreated. They accept donations through paypal or bank transfer. Click on the link … Continue reading

February 7, 2016 · 9 Comments

A finished one bedroom apartment

The kid moves in tomorrow at noon, so as you can imagine we’ve been running around to get everything done in time. It looks quite decent. Still need to set … Continue reading

February 6, 2016 · 35 Comments

Signs of Spring

It’s 17° and the sun is shining today. The forecast says that in a couple of weeks it’ll be around 20°. Then it’s practically March and if last year is anything to … Continue reading

February 5, 2016 · 16 Comments

Anti-lgbt C-Fam’s Tax Return

Amusing reading: C-fam 2013 Tax Return This is how to make homophobia and opposition to women’s rights into a lucrative business: Austin Ruse, who started and heads this anti-gay group, pockets over … Continue reading

February 1, 2016 · 21 Comments

French Anti-lgbt Icon Writes Book, Sells 38 Whole Copies!!!

Christine Boutin the crazy Catholic, aka Mrs. Homosexuality is an Abomination, aka George Bush plotted 9/11, aka mastectomy in the case of breast cancer is sex reassignment surgery (yes, she … Continue reading

January 31, 2016 · 27 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

It only took me 11 months…

…to figure out the weather forecasts here. We didn’t get the freezing below zero temperatures and snow as had been forecast (our low was 3.8 degrees). Why? They weren’t wrong; … Continue reading

January 24, 2016 · 8 Comments

The last sprint (not really!)

Very little left to do in the 1 bedroom. By this time the mirror is probably up in the shower room but the floors will still take half a day. I’ve put … Continue reading

January 20, 2016 · 15 Comments

How many days can there be?

“… you ever just get tired of being alive? I’m not suicidal, but jesus christ, how many days can there be?” Tom Segura Tom, my friend, bad question. I was … Continue reading

January 18, 2016 · 20 Comments

They just scream number 42!!!

Just got a pair of amazing candle sconces. HUGE! 85cm x 75cm (that’s 33 by 29 inches.) They’re going to be absolutely perfect for number 42. I’ve been having a … Continue reading

January 17, 2016 · 9 Comments

Winter has de-facto arrived!

A cold front has arrived. For three consecutive days the temperature will fall to minus 1 at night. Today’s the first day we decided to turn on the heating in … Continue reading

January 16, 2016 · 9 Comments

Door to door religious opportunism

Yesterday was a mostly productive day. I spent the morning in the greenhouse cleaning up, removing dead plants and planning. I also planted baby bok choy and various lettuces where … Continue reading

January 14, 2016 · 42 Comments

Winter tomatoes and other green matters

I’ve stupidly been ignoring the greenhouse for the past couple of months. I just presumed cooler temperatures meant the season was over. So when I went to have a look … Continue reading

January 13, 2016 · 23 Comments

The Blue Jasmine Doctrine

Yesterday El Pais live streamed the pre-trial motions in the Noos case and I watched most of it. I’m not sure why I find it so interesting, I suppose it just represents a … Continue reading

January 12, 2016 · 12 Comments

So it’s Monday again. Ricky Gervais, Liquid Surveillance, Social Media & More

  I’ve been reading Zygmunt Bauman’s thoughts on social media. Exceptionally interesting analysis. He says users:  “…are simultaneously promoters of commodities and the commodities they promote. They are, at the … Continue reading

January 11, 2016 · 16 Comments

One dining room, many kitchens. Design changes.

Slight change of design plan for two of the two bedroom flats… the kitchens are going to be white lacquer. Instead of black Friday in France the soldes (sales) start … Continue reading

January 9, 2016 · 18 Comments

Late night internet dangers

I know it’s generally a total no no. But once in a while I do it anyway. The how does the ex look now check. This one looks pretty good. He’s … Continue reading

January 7, 2016 · 16 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

Lunch at the Grand Balcon

Sunday we went to lunch at the Grand Balcon. It’s been open for over 100 years. The back of the wine list is an amusing page of little notes and … Continue reading

December 29, 2015 · 19 Comments

A Tildeb Moment: The dangers of interpretation bias

As I said a few days ago, this blogging thing is fascinating. Yesterday Tildeb was pointing out in one of his comments the dangers of interpretation bias. That is, when an … Continue reading

December 28, 2015 · 32 Comments

The best Christmas gift EVER.

So I finally did it, I took my courage in both hands and emailed the pictures of the work on the house to the family who built it… who had … Continue reading

December 27, 2015 · 20 Comments

This must be their leader! The results of religio-political propaganda: video

So sometimes we’re on wordpress or elsewhere on the internet- we read a post/article (or perhaps a comments section) and we’re flummoxed, right? The disconnect from reality seems too extreme to … Continue reading

December 27, 2015 · 44 Comments

I’m half fixed + random thoughts

This morning I can twist to the right. Progress!!! Random terrible fact: Every day 4 women in Colombia are murdered as the result of domestic violence. That’s not an estimate, … Continue reading

December 26, 2015 · 17 Comments

All I want for christmas is- not a back injury!

The heather (Erica darleyensis (x) ‘Kramer’s Rote) for the driveway border on the west wall arrived yesterday. 20 plants, 20 holes. It was all going so well until the last hole- … Continue reading

December 25, 2015 · 25 Comments

New York Times Sparks Breitbart Article Scapegoating against LGBT Human Rights Advocacy | Melanie Nathan

NEW YORK TIMES SPARKS BREITBART ARTICLE SCAPEGOATING AGAINST LGBT HUMAN RIGHTS ADVOCACY By Melanie Nathan, December 22, 2015. Who has hurt African LGBT people more?  Is that the question?  Ask yourself … Continue reading

December 24, 2015 · 6 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

bad research and the dangers of groupthink | violetwisp

“Recently there was much outrage over the alleged anti-homosexuality law in Uganda, but if you read the actual law it was speaking of forced sexual contact with minors with the intent … Continue reading

December 23, 2015 · 4 Comments

UK growth revised downwards. Spanish stocks fall. Oil & gold at record lows.

And there are more floods in Britain. That’s what I get for reading the news every morning. Oh, and a British muslim family was not allowed to board an aeroplane … Continue reading

December 23, 2015 · 22 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

AMAZING message for everyone #noelsansprejuges

This just came up on television. I’m thoroughly impressed. I could hardly believe it. Vive la France! Even if you don’t understand French, watch it anyway. The message is clear.

December 22, 2015 · 37 Comments

So your qualification to speak on this topic is… sexism?

Goodness gracious; the garbage that’s out there is truly, truly appalling. Just when you think you’ve already seen the worst of it, you hear of something called a Milo Yiannopoulos. A promoter … Continue reading

December 21, 2015 · 31 Comments

The head spinning Spanish election results

Spanish politics are in chaos! Hurray! There was no absolute majority for any party. Forming a government won’t be easy for any of them. On the right are the PP … Continue reading

December 21, 2015 · 4 Comments

More Christmas in the Languedoc (Mazamet by night)

We took a walk last night to see the Christmas market. The products that were for sale inside weren’t really our sort of thing. There was however a cute new … Continue reading

December 21, 2015 · 2 Comments

Christmas in the Haut-Languedoc

I took a walk into town yesterday and it seems they take Christmas quite seriously here. You wouldn’t know it on our street, where none of us have put up … Continue reading

December 20, 2015 · 17 Comments

Ab Fab movie accused of racism

Janette Krankie and Ab Fab movie accused of racism Full text: Ab Fab movie accused of racism And most unfortunate is the accusation comes from comedian Margaret Cho. Ab Fab … Continue reading

December 17, 2015 · 13 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

Lesser Known Bible Passages by Modern Jesus

I have no idea who this guy is, but he’s brilliantly funny. My two favourites of the day: And

December 14, 2015 · 6 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

The Myth of the Neronian Persecution – Cambridge Journals Online

Exceptionally well researched piece! The Myth of the Neronian Persecution Brent D. Shaw  Department of Classics, Princeton University ABSTRACT: A conventional certainty is that the first state-driven persecution of Christians happened … Continue reading

December 12, 2015 · 12 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

Déjà Vu, Global Radicalism Edition | Right Wing Watch

Sometimes, covering the Religious Right every day, we feel like we’re hearing the exact same talking points repeated over and over again. And then, sometimes, we actually are hearing the … Continue reading

December 10, 2015 · 14 Comments

Work at the 1 bedroom

A ton going on this week. The double glazing is in place in the 1 bedroom flat. Big, lots of light. Showing off the bedroom window is Ted Thatcher, our friend … Continue reading

December 9, 2015 · 10 Comments

Austin Ruse’s C-Fam Conjobbery

First, I recommend anyone who has a sense of humour visit the (anti-gay and anti-women’s rights) C-Fam site and read through Austin Ruse’s bio. It’s just hilarious. One gets the impression … Continue reading

December 9, 2015 · 23 Comments

The face that launched 1000 women running across the street

… in fear of being raped. In case you’ve never heard of him, he’s part of the anti-gay & anti-women’s rights Faust/Lopez/Edelman circle. He also happens to be the man … Continue reading

December 8, 2015 · 14 Comments

Acceptance Of Profound-Sounding “Bullsh*t” Linked To Lower Intelligence | IFLScience

As Marcello Truzzi, a renowned skeptic and professor of sociology in the United States, once said: “An extraordinary claim requires extraordinary proof.” This notion unfortunately doesn’t stop people the world … Continue reading

December 7, 2015 · 14 Comments

Trying to save her homophobic sinking ship: Katy Faust is at it again

We had a short break from her chronic homophobia, but she’s at it again. After her Australian fiasco, her blog went private, then she simply decided to remove the comments section. … Continue reading

December 7, 2015 · 21 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

Magnificent: Victim Leaves Man Who Attempted To Rape Her Battered And Bruised – Yahoo News UK

A would-be rapist was left with a bruised and battered face after the woman he tried to attack fought back using her keys. Source: Victim Leaves Man Who Attempted To … Continue reading

December 2, 2015 · 22 Comments

Private posts & the art business

Sometimes I’m really itching to write about things I’m working on or things I happen to see here or there- but then I don’t because a client wouldn’t want me … Continue reading

November 29, 2015 · 18 Comments

Superb Design: Sabine Medina

Sabine Medina, the interior designer, has just updated her portfolio and it’s absolutely stunning. You may not know her name because she’s the ultimate in discretion, but she’s responsible for … Continue reading

November 29, 2015 · 11 Comments

The Balustrade Gilding Test

This is one of those things that we only really know once we see it. I was going through my Maison Jansen books yesterday after posting and I decided to … Continue reading

November 28, 2015 · 14 Comments

To gild or not to gild

This week’s conundrum: to gild details of the wrought iron balustrade (as they were in the hall’s original decor) or to leave them black as they are now (and have been … Continue reading

November 27, 2015 · 24 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

Atheism’s primordial problem

Atheism’s primordial problem: time. Especially when we arrive at atheism at an early age. I did pretend I wasn’t an atheist until I was 15 or 16, but in my … Continue reading

November 24, 2015 · 16 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

#21h20 Paris time turn on your lights and play loud music

“Around the world, French artists and cultural figures are calling for people to mark a week since the start of the attacks with an outpouring of ‘noise and light.’ The … Continue reading

November 20, 2015 · 6 Comments

Regarding Paris

  from Charlie Hebdo:

November 17, 2015 · 8 Comments

What makes a home?

  Work on the flats is well on its way. We’ve started with floor plan changes. That meant knocking down a couple of walls because the room distribution in two … Continue reading

November 15, 2015 · 27 Comments

Like Summer

If this is what autumn is like every year in this part of the world, we’ve chosen well. Today is a definite working in the garden day. There’s a whole … Continue reading

November 10, 2015 · 6 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

Study: Religious Kids Are Jerks – The Daily Beast

Study: Religious Kids Are Jerks A study published in the journal Current Biology testing the behavior of Christian, Muslim, and atheist children has found that religious kids are meaner and … Continue reading

November 6, 2015 · 37 Comments