My Mazamet

Life at № 42

Tag Archives: france

Showing, not telling. As summer approaches in Mazamet

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May 23, 2019 · 41 Comments

Let’s talk about good stuff. Mazamet, August 22nd, 2018

The wallpaper is up and I’m thrilled. The effect is even better in person than in the pictures. The room is alive. The dark table will anchor the whole thing, give … Continue reading

August 22, 2018 · 47 Comments

Mazamet: Being Gazumped & Hot August Real Estate

Okay, so we weren’t actually gazumped – I just like using that word. An apartment came up for sale in the building across the street (Residence du Haut Languedoc) and … Continue reading

August 2, 2018 · 76 Comments

Mostly pictures

Summer girls are here and out for the day to Albi – I was going to go with them but when I saw the temperature was going to be 35º … Continue reading

July 31, 2018 · 45 Comments

Mazamet: Creating a new life in the South of France – Interview with Gareth Johnson for MainlyMale/GTV London

Journalist Gareth Johnson of GTV London and MainlyMale asked me a few questions about our move to Mazamet. The original source has been archived, so I’ve included a copy of … Continue reading

July 14, 2018 · 43 Comments

Mazamet: The property market this week

This just came on the market this week. I recognise it as I’ve gone by many, many times. This house faces the park on Avenue Albert Rouvière, almost directly across … Continue reading

February 18, 2018 · 37 Comments

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

July 14, 2017 · 7 Comments

Vive la Republique!!!

It’s the modern version of this:

May 7, 2017 · 18 Comments

Let’s just say they wish today was over: Penelope Fillon & Marine Le Pen

Marine Le Pen: élue au Parlement européen, et est accusée d’avoir rémunéré avec des fonds européens comme assistante parlementaire Catherine Griset, alors que celle-ci travaillait essentiellement pour le FN. Cette dernière … Continue reading

January 31, 2017 · 13 Comments

Saving the Temple Neuf

Our mayor has launched a fundraising initiative aimed at restoring three of the more important religious buildings in town. One of them is the Temple Neuf, also known as the … Continue reading

January 19, 2017 · 42 Comments

Building II, Apartment 5

We’re speeding this along because the tenants want to move in on Saturday. A newlywed couple. He’s in the military- got transferred here and they weren’t finding it easy to find somewhere … Continue reading

November 1, 2016 · 17 Comments

Indian Summers in France

Today it’s 21º Celsius. Perfectly pleasant. The sun has been coming and going and I have been raking. Endless raking under the walnut tree. And pruning. I want to keep … Continue reading

October 24, 2016 · 25 Comments

Mazamet, then and now

The Napoleon III building on Boulevard de Lattre de Tassigny is getting a face lift. It was for sale when we moved here, but the sign soon disappeared. I wonder if … Continue reading

October 22, 2016 · 15 Comments

Another year (and a half)

This is our eighteenth month at number 42. It’s very little time, but the town seems to be changing already. Businesses are opening left and right. There’s a whole new commercial centre with … Continue reading

September 20, 2016 · 25 Comments

The Before

A friend from England just sent us this amazing picture. If you look closely, you’ll note number 42 doesn’t yet exist! Its future spot is where I’ve labelled Stanton 42. … Continue reading

September 14, 2016 · 19 Comments

New Feminism – via Unapologetics

by Agrudzinsky “Based on the newest French initiative, I propose a new way to eliminate oppression of the women in our civilized society.  Oppressed women shall be fined.  There must … Continue reading

August 24, 2016 · 16 Comments

Heat & more heat. Vegetarians look away now.

Today is supposed to be the hottest day yet this summer (in France). Fortunately not here in Mazamet. Albeit 29 isn’t exactly refreshing. Last year the weather was really great … Continue reading

August 24, 2016 · 22 Comments

When the livin’ is easy

That’s Mike and the girls looking at Mazamet from a medieval village on the Black Mountain. A tiny, cute village with a pleasant restaurant. The weather’s been amazing. The girls … Continue reading

August 16, 2016 · 7 Comments

Almost 10 thousand euros per month?

Yep. It’s apparently true. President Hollande keeps a hairdresser on staff at the Élysée Palace at a cost to the taxpayer of €9,895 per month. This has been the case … Continue reading

July 13, 2016 · 27 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

Morgan posing & my first (Toscana) strawberries

July 1, 2016 · 10 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Regarding Paris

  from Charlie Hebdo:

November 17, 2015 · 8 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

I think I just heard the word motorway

Oh, great. That’s our local mayor there in the picture leading the charge for a/the new Toulouse-Castres motorway. It would mean people could get from Toulouse-Blagnac airport to here in under … Continue reading

November 3, 2015 · 32 Comments

A warm autumn day in southwest France

  The temperature’s a lovely 20 degrees, the sun is out- and so we took the dogs for a walk just outside Mazamet. Total peace and quiet. Superb.   

October 31, 2015 · 19 Comments

I Dream of Jeannie, Garden Version

Just merveilleux, really. Most of the work was done by yesterday afternoon. And before I knew it, it looked like this: I was planning a round wrought iron bench around … Continue reading

October 21, 2015 · 23 Comments

That was quick

The last post made me go through the pictures since our arrival. The first night here was Monday, March 9th. As the gates opened I was in absolute awe of the … Continue reading

October 12, 2015 · 12 Comments

Autumn, Graffiti and Other Things

Autumn is firmly here, the colours are amazing. This is on the road between Castres and Mazamet: On the way out the other day, I noticed there’s graffiti in our … Continue reading

October 12, 2015 · 21 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

The Garden, Part I

Work on the garden has begun. Yesterday Mike mowed the lawn as low as possible which wasn’t easy because of the irregularities of the land. Later today Olivier is coming … Continue reading

September 10, 2015 · 19 Comments

Life at Nº 42: Floor scraping, day I

Calling the job tedious is an understatement. White spirits, wait 15 minutes, scrape, white spirits, wait 10 minutes, scrub, mop, wipe. It has to be done in small sections so … Continue reading

September 3, 2015 · 18 Comments

The Garden

So here’s a quick sketch of the garden, almost to scale (almost because the house is actually equidistant from the side walls, which means I drew the greenhouse too small.) We’re … Continue reading

September 2, 2015 · 17 Comments

Photographic Impossibilities. Me or the house

I wanted a picture of me in front of the house that included the whole house. I thought sitting on the steps might be amusing. It cannot be done. By … Continue reading

August 27, 2015 · 32 Comments

Amazing People: The guys on the train

Here are three of them, but there were five involved in the scuffle that disarmed the terrorist and stopped the attack on the train going from Amsterdam to Paris. The … Continue reading

August 23, 2015 · 10 Comments

The Works. August in Mazamet

The bathroom in the master bedroom is finally nearing completion! I wasn’t sure about a new bathroom in a century old house, but I’ve been converted. Everything Mike chose is … Continue reading

August 16, 2015 · 30 Comments

If sculptures could speak

I hadn’t noticed how funny that composition was until I uploaded the photo to the computer. One can just hear her saying, “there he goes again taking pictures of himself.” … Continue reading

August 8, 2015 · 21 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

Terrace floors chosen and ordered

The choice was surprisingly easy. We wanted something that more-or-less matched the facade of the house, so it had to be grey-brown, and this was the only one that came … Continue reading

June 23, 2015 · 18 Comments

Coincidences that aren’t coincidences; The Mother of Hydrangeas

They’re just glorious. At the moment we’re mainly using the kitchen doors (which are open in the picture) and it’s lovely to see those flowers as we go in and out. … Continue reading

June 20, 2015 · 12 Comments

A superb article in Le Monde which is a message to the British people

It’s in English and not too long, so definitely worth a read: Britain beware, Brexit could be your Waterloo ! But if you’re too lazy, the best part is the last … Continue reading

June 18, 2015 · 18 Comments

Schizophrenic Weather

We’re slowly trying to get accustomed to this completely different sort of weather. The temperature changes from day to night are drastic. Sometimes up to a 20 degree difference. Although … Continue reading

June 5, 2015 · 14 Comments

In Bloom + New People

I’m doing my best to restrain my urge to fiddle with the garden- well, I’m trying to learn everything I can about English style planting as quickly as I can … Continue reading

June 1, 2015 · 12 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

Spring cleaning, figmares and the basket case

Okay, not actually scrubbing, I’m powerwashing. Starting with the steps and then moving on to the walls.  In case you’re ever tempted to try the same thing, be advised that … Continue reading

May 9, 2015 · 13 Comments

Mazamet & the house: a bit of history

Although most people probably never heard of the place, it was once one of the wealthiest towns in the world. 80% of the planet’s wool was processed here. In the … Continue reading

April 28, 2015 · 24 Comments

Gentleman of the Camellias

  That’s an array of camellia petals covering the ground in our new garden. Just extraordinary. Mazamet is known for Camellias, especially the variety known as the Japonica Mazamet of … Continue reading

April 25, 2015 · 16 Comments

Flowers Everywhere

  When I first arrived I thought the garden was a mess, I’m used to more order- but I took a deep breath and decided to wait and see how … Continue reading

April 19, 2015 · 22 Comments

Pictures of week one

Still no internet. We’re supposed to be connected this Friday. That means we’ve been internet free from December 9th to March 27th. Strange, but it wasn’t the end of the … Continue reading

March 25, 2015 · 26 Comments

In which one is married

This morning at 10am, in total privacy, we were married by the mayor. Our two witnesses were the deputy mayor and a councilman. By 10:30 we were having champagne (yes, … Continue reading

March 2, 2015 · 45 Comments

Just another mini-update. Of furniture and new homes.

Home alone, as Mike is off to Burgundy to see a double dresser on stretcher legs in Burgundy. Nearly identical to the one above except instead of three drawers it has … Continue reading

February 4, 2015 · 18 Comments

No time for fear, but still-

We were invited to dinner last night. It was lovely. Everything was beautiful, everyone amusing, the food was superb. Today the weather was glorious, 18 degrees and sun. Now the moon … Continue reading

December 6, 2014 · 8 Comments

Countdown Mode

Finished packing books and cd’s. Mike actually did the bulk of it before he left. We still have to do the more fragile crystal and porcelain table lamps. There’s also … Continue reading

December 2, 2014 · 12 Comments

Here we go!

Mike has picked up the new car in Barcelona and is now in Alicante having the seats re-upholstered in black leather. He’ll be back Wednesday evening- and then there’s still packing … Continue reading

December 1, 2014 · 25 Comments
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