My Mazamet

Life at № 42

Tag Archives: Mazamet

Uncle-hood

We had a surprise visit – which coincided with the heat wave. We thought the temperatures (we’re just two hours away from the record breaking 45.9º!!!) might ruin the experience, … Continue reading

July 2, 2019 · 45 Comments

Lights, Camera – Mazamet

Lights, lights, lights in the garden! Absolutely wonderful. There was one thing I missed terribly about Spain and that was the ambience at night. Particularly in the garden at Villa … Continue reading

June 12, 2019 · 17 Comments

Showing, not telling. As summer approaches in Mazamet

May 23, 2019 · 41 Comments

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

Early February in Mazamet. A little bit of wonderful.

First things first, I’ve been doing the interiors of the cabinets in the scullery. They were plain and boring – completely unrefined. So I thought I’d add a bit of … Continue reading

February 1, 2019 · 32 Comments

Happy Holidays!

As usual, we couldn’t get the dogs all together and still for a Christmas card picture – so this year there are two. The boys were particularly disruptive, which meant … Continue reading

December 21, 2018 · 47 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

The End is in Sight!

The fabric above is a 100% linen fabric called Water Iris, by Zoffany. Only £78 p/ metre. It’s what we’ve settled on for the dining room chairs. I’ve been working on … Continue reading

September 8, 2018 · 30 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 · 75 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

More dining-room-inations and some pergolating

The blue-grey is going up as I type. The blank space in it is for the Palmeraie (wall)paper after Carl Blechen. I’m in the last stages of the ebonising of … Continue reading

July 22, 2018 · 25 Comments

Mazamet: Creating a new life in the South of France – Interview for MainlyMale on Medium

“We moved to France in December of 2014. We rented a little cottage smack in the centre of the country, outside of Bourges, and used that as our base for … Continue reading

July 14, 2018 · 43 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

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

June at number 42

Firstly, the garden. Above is what I’ve added to the garden in the past week. Today I’ve added 6 more astilbes (purpurkerze), 2 hostas (big daddy) and three lathyrus pink … Continue reading

June 6, 2018 · 44 Comments

Amazing deal: Maison Bourgeoise in Mazamet for 85 000€

Source: Vente maison / villa 12 pièce(s) à Secteur de Mazamet : 245 m² avec 7 chambres à 85 000 euros – Lopez immobilier Apparently this is in a fantastic location … Continue reading

April 17, 2018 · 17 Comments

Les Floriales 2018

This year’s Floriales (open air garden fair) is from the 27th to the 29th at the usual spot, the Jardin des Promenades. It’s definitely worth a visit, there’s a lot … Continue reading

April 16, 2018 · 23 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

The Léon Daures Archives

The descendants of architect Léon Daures have donated all of his files/notes/drawings to the government of the Tarn. You might not recognise his name but if you’ve been to Albi … Continue reading

April 5, 2018 · 24 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

The Mezzaro & Other Textiles (an update)

The person you see in the video is J.C. Bordes. He’s a local artisan with shops here in Mazamet, in Labastide Rouairoux and in Albi – and he makes woodblock … Continue reading

March 8, 2018 · 20 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

The African Textiles Are in Place

  I’ve missed these terribly. They’re either Ajar veils or Bakhnug shawls, which are part of the attire of Berber women. We had them in the hall in Sotogrande (the … Continue reading

February 20, 2018 · 28 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

Les belles demeures des anciens patrons mazamétains – 11/02/2018 – ladepeche.fr

“…Face au château, trois belles et grandes demeures. «Elles ont toutes appartenu à la même famille Vidal, propriétaire d’une des grandes fabriques de délainage. C’est d’abord le père qui a … Continue reading

February 16, 2018 · 15 Comments

Entirely Unreasonable

From -3 on Tuesday to +17 on Friday. Insane. Snow doesn’t have a chance in these conditions. Here’s Rudy in his work clothes. We have the impression the power’s gone … Continue reading

February 11, 2018 · 17 Comments

Mazamet Under the Snow

Last night was the coldest night in France this winter. And this morning we had our first proper snow of the season. This year I was prepared and all the … Continue reading

February 8, 2018 · 52 Comments

A Carpet for the Study

A very attractive silk and wool Bidjar from the first half of the 20th century in just exceptional condition. It fits the room beautifully leaving about the same distance on … Continue reading

January 25, 2018 · 27 Comments

Soldier, Soldier, Soldier

Three of the apartments are now rented to soldiers, all in building two. But more interestingly a family is moving out of the three bedroom in building one (above, top … Continue reading

August 17, 2017 · 32 Comments

Summer at number 42 (Mazamet, 2017)

“And when the Lord said drinketh champagneth, we didith.” Alcoholics 20:17 We’re enjoying summer no end this year. The girls have made it particularly fun and special. They do every … Continue reading

August 10, 2017 · 26 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

Saturday is Market Day in Mazamet

June 17, 2017 · 18 Comments

Floridus and Herbidus but not Fruitidus (well, a little)

and I forgot to mention… there are teak chairs available from VidaXL (sold to most of Europe with free shipping) for just €60 each. They also make 2 and 3 … Continue reading

May 5, 2017 · 18 Comments

April at nº 42

It’s been a busy month. And dusty. Work has begun to move the west bathroom into a larger room. And what was the bathroom is going to become a dressing … Continue reading

April 28, 2017 · 24 Comments

Changes

Dealing with the limited counter space in the kitchen has not been easy, but finally we have a solution. A cross between an island and a table. It’s the height … Continue reading

April 9, 2017 · 31 Comments

’tis Spring!

     

April 6, 2017 · 36 Comments

From Venice to Florence to Mazamet

… Finally settled on a mirror for the entrance hall. Not as nice as the blue glass Venetian version from the other day, but attractive nonetheless. This one is Florentine. … Continue reading

March 20, 2017 · 33 Comments

Matisse, Tiziano, Veronese & Diana Vreeland

Bacchus & Ariadne have just left. They’re on their way to Madrid where they’ll be restored by the exceptionally able hand who presided over much of the work at the … Continue reading

February 26, 2017 · 6 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

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

Julia Engelmann (Poem) with English Subtitles (and good ham!)

I was going to continue writing about existentialism today- but in an effort not to depress anyone before the Reveillon, I’ll give you something rather beautiful instead. You might already … Continue reading

December 30, 2016 · Leave a comment

Dear Eagle’s Talons

This just arrived. I got it online. It says: Dear Eagle’s Talons, We await your arrival with impatience. Are you enjoying yourself? Goodbye my dear Eagle’s Talons. Hug Jeanne for … Continue reading

December 28, 2016 · 14 Comments

It’s not cold

14 degrees celsius today. We had a couple of colder and rainy days earlier in the week but the predictions are that this winter in the Tarn will be mild. … Continue reading

December 22, 2016 · 47 Comments

The end of an era?

That’s the cover of this month’s municipal magazine. The major item is the motorway. It’s reminding us we’re in the final stage before the concession. It’s also reminding us this … Continue reading

December 10, 2016 · 22 Comments

Books, Food & 10 Year Plans

We left Spain 2 years ago today. What you see above is my last bloody mary at the marina. I loved the marina in winter, barely a tourist in sight. … Continue reading

December 9, 2016 · 14 Comments

Photos of historical England ‘challenge Downton Abbey myth’ | Art and design | The Guardian

“Images of factories, schools, universities and civic buildings rising among old streetscapes – but also of rotting houses, barefoot children and faces pinched with poverty – have been unearthed from … Continue reading

November 28, 2016 · 21 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

The 1909 Strikes

The more I read the more interesting this place becomes. Above you can see the 1909 strike by the wool workers. A pivotal moment in history as it led to … Continue reading

October 27, 2016 · 19 Comments

1911: The first time an aeroplane flew over Mazamet

It was photographed at the precise moment it was flying over our neighbourhood. Right under the portrait of aviator Roger Morin you can see the Temple at the end of … Continue reading

October 26, 2016 · 18 Comments

which in turn was based on, which in turn was based on, which in turn was based on

In trying to see if I could find a replica of the Cormouls house in Canada I got distracted and ended up revisiting the career and history of Horace Trumbauer. … Continue reading

October 25, 2016 · 28 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

When Grand Meant Grand. Resurrecting a house.

As I’ve mentioned previously I was mystified when I heard the story of the property that used to neighbour number 42. A most impressive hôtel particulier owned by the Cormouls-Houlès family. … Continue reading

October 23, 2016 · 29 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

A Saturday in Mid-October

I’m politically exhausted. This weekend I don’t want to hear about Trump, Theresa May, Spain’s lack of government- or François Hollande (France’s version of lack of government.) So let’s talk … Continue reading

October 15, 2016 · 16 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

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

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

Super-cute. Down the street & around the corner.

This house has just come on the market. I know because I still get real-estate newsletters for our town even though we’ve already bought. It’s a very decent size, 450m2 which … Continue reading

August 5, 2016 · 20 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Intimate dinner

We had a couple of friends over for a terribly informal dinner last night. As the dining room is still not done we put a table in the grey salon. It … Continue reading

October 25, 2015 · 15 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

Landscaping at Number 42

The sprinkler system is in: Olivier has now finished removing all of the old lawn and he’s levelled the land. The border for the driveway is now in place, and the … Continue reading

October 19, 2015 · 11 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

Homes of the Great Wool Industrialists of Mazamet

I’ve been trying to map them out and count them. There are two books that have been written about these houses, but I haven’t yet been able to get my … Continue reading

September 7, 2015 · 15 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

Sushi attempt #2 & gardens

Less vegetarian this time around as it included prawns and caviar. I’d never had sushi with proper caviar before, it’s usually red roe, but I was bored so I decided … Continue reading

September 1, 2015 · 13 Comments

The Dining Room: Upping my game

We had our first dinner party a few days ago. Small but exceedingly lively. It lasted eight hours, which I suppose means it went well. It was all very casual … Continue reading

August 28, 2015 · 15 Comments

New camera. Testing, 1,2,3

  Playing with the camera. My old little red camera is broken. The same person who doesn’t let me use his camera because I’m allegedly not careful enough, dropped mine. … Continue reading

August 27, 2015 · 23 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

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

What you can get in our region

Prices vary tremendously, but in general they’re amazing value compared to major cities or other parts of Europe that have this sort of mild, sunny weather. A couple of blocks down from us … Continue reading

July 8, 2015 · 28 Comments

The distribution (for those interested in design)

When I talk about the house it’s probably confusing, so here’s a not quite to scale sketch of the distribution: The green salon, grey salon and dining room face the … Continue reading

July 4, 2015 · 20 Comments

Canicule, the dog days of summer

From the latin canicula which means “small female dog”, the other name for the star SIRIUS. Classically it meant the period of time when Sirius and the sun rose and set at … Continue reading

June 30, 2015 · 24 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

Spanish, Italian & French: O’Marseillais in Mazamet

We decided to try the little Italian place in the town centre today because I liked the look of it from the online pictures. We walked in and were greeted … Continue reading

June 18, 2015 · 7 Comments

It’s all happening!

The shuttering for the terrace is done. Now the metal is going in. This afternoon the concrete gets poured. Also this afternoon, the countertops for the kitchen get installed. It’s so … Continue reading

June 11, 2015 · 17 Comments

Exciting!

We went to see this property today. It’s massive, It used to be a presbytery- but fortunately religion is dying down. Just fifty years ago there were thirty people living … Continue reading

June 10, 2015 · 28 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

Pattern, Colour and Progress

Working with such an intense pattern is not easy. It takes tremendous skill. To be honest I think it’s only brilliantly done in England and in India. Henrietta Spencer Churchill comes to … Continue reading

May 20, 2015 · 14 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

Promising

  We went to see this building today. It faces two streets, which is good because that means a reasonable amount of light in every room. It’s got a business on … Continue reading

April 29, 2015 · 7 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

Mountains of Paperwork & Ducks

We’ve signed for the flats! It was exhausting. Instead of signing for the building as a whole, we had to sign for each individual apartment. And in France it’s not just deeds. … Continue reading

April 27, 2015 · 12 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

The 20’s & the 50’s

I’ve always found it interesting how in Palladian (or simply symmetrical) structures the scale can be utterly deceptive in photographs- unless there’s a human being in the picture to serve as … Continue reading

February 26, 2015 · 14 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