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Showing posts from January, 2010

Progress at No 11

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You either love old houses or you don't.  Whether you live in one or prefer to simply look there is no denying that behind every exterior lies an interior that intrigues, fascinates and holds a key to a secret past life that is sometimes hard to imagine.

In the hallway and our bedroom we are lucky enough to have the original floor tiles dating back to when the house was constructed sometime in the early 1600's.  I couldn't resist peeling back some tacky carpeting in one of the other bedrooms and chipping through the thin layer of concrete.  A sensible person might have left it there, the simple option being to re-carpet and turn a blind eye but tantilizingly of course the entire floor area has wonderful deep red polished tiles, or rather could have ....

Made rather good progress this week even though I say so myself.  Seem to have found a very agreeable team indeed to do the electrics and plumbing and this is of course worth a mention in itself. Not only do they appear w…

Snow in the South of France

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Carcassonne ground to a virtual halt at the weekend.  Awakening on Saturday morning to the eerie hushed silence it was easy to let your imagination run wild and believe that the town had been evacuated and you had been left in your cosy warm bed by mistake. Where there would have been the constant sound of bustle and traffic there was nothing.  Out came the assortment of snow boots, berets, woollen hats and thick warm jackets as we ventured out in search of a fresh baguette.  We encountered a handful of people as we trudged our way up the muffled streets.

2b bounced round full of the joys of a fresh fall of snow and the knowledge that everything would be closed and that for the day at least it was a forced holiday.  'We're going to walk round La Cité' he announced and before I knew where I was I was sliding along the cobbles and taking in the spectacular sight of the Medieval Bastide towering menacingly above us.  The tiny church under the ramparts chimed prettily on the h…

The Noughties

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The Archbishop of  Canterbury  hit the nail on the head when he surmised that for most people the last ten years had been difficult in more ways than one.  Whilst attending a function the other evening the audience was addressed, as is the custom, as ‘Ladies and Gentlemen’ but recollecting my own experiences of the ‘noughties’ they were a dying breed, people with manners and standards who knew how to behave and conduct themselves whilst in company and in business.

I seem to have been surrounded especially in the latter years of living in France by the most appalling behaviour, double standards and downright dishonesty.  I’ve witnessed first hand theft, vigorously denied as they all closed ranks on the newcomers. I’ve felt the brunt of French bureaucracy as blatant corruption is allowed to pass unchallenged and I’ve been at the forefront and felt the most depressing apathy and disinterest as people turn their backs unless it benefitted them personally.   It was summed up eloquently f…