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Coup de Cœur – Part Six: Do you see what I see?

And so we drift elegantly to the conclusion of this retrospective of posts in the series so far. Tomorrow I will start afresh and, if you haven’t lost the will to live, I hope you will join me weekly as we devote Monday to Marcolès and our seemingly ceaseless crusade to rejuvenate our Maison Carrée …

Half Baked In Paradise

An occasional series chronicling the tale of the renovation of a former medieval watch-tower in southern France …..

The previous owner of the house was a photographer of some talent.  He could make the silkiest purse out of a lady pigs ear, of this I am certain.  When we looked at his wonderful images on the numerous websites that carried Maison Carrée to her adoring public eager to stay for a few days and sample the delights of his culinary skill as well as the comfortable and welcoming interior she offered, we never once worried about wall coverings.  Downstairs was pristine white and upstairs had some sort of nice neutrally wallpaper.  When we arrived to view what turned out to be the Wreck of the Hesperus, one of the stand-out moments was the realisation of what that nice neutrally  wallpaper actually was.  Not wallpaper in fact.  Not fabric.  Nothing…

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  1. What is it with the French and wanting to put the floors on the walls? I have seen flocked and floral, shag rugs but never laminate. Good grief! Had no idea your project was that level of house of horrors. Can’t wait to see what wonders you have worked with it. 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    December 17, 2017
    • Haha … it is certainly bizarre and not something I intend to go native on! I lose site of how far we have come but I know we still have a long road ahead (2 years is my best guess) before we can say ‘job done’. It’s all fun and larks though ….honestly 😉

      Liked by 2 people

      December 17, 2017
      • ‘Quand on aime, on ne compte pas!’ Enjoy the ride. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        December 18, 2017
  2. I admire your tenacity. I could never do this, I love my home comfort too much.

    Liked by 3 people

    December 17, 2017
    • There are many downsides to not living on this job but the upside is that we have a warm civilized flat to return to. That said, believe me there will be creature comforts …. I do not intend to live as any of the previous owners did in terms of heating and sanitation and facilities. Sympathetic restoration is one thing, deciding to live in a museum, quite another!!

      Liked by 2 people

      December 17, 2017
  3. Looking forward to the new updates on how the project is going, especially the ones on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day 😉 xx

    Liked by 3 people

    December 17, 2017
    • Yup – both are Monday’s …. you might guess that tomorrow’s post will include a note that Christmas Day will be for something different but I am in two mind’s about New Year’s Day – I’m pretty confident that I can include a good hangover cure for those that need one – not me, obvs … I’m pure like a spring lamb or newly fallen snow but I do have a big heart and always want to accommodate the needs of others 😉 xx

      Liked by 1 person

      December 17, 2017
      • I’ve already committed myself to a Christmas Day post, but I usually do that anyway. It’s surprising how many people take time off from getting pissed and arguing with relatives to check in on blogs. The trick I’ve found is that it is best to write the post before you need the hangover cure, maybe even schedule it in case you’re incapable of hitting the Publish button 😊 xx

        Liked by 1 person

        December 17, 2017
      • Top tip …. this year I will be absolutely fine. I am on my own and working Christmas Eve with the neediest old of Grenoble to give them a lovely evening – Christmas Eve is the big meal here – so I’ll be donning my festive togs and serving dinner to a room full of very old folks and then doing my best to entertain them along with the rest of the volunteers. ON Christmas Day I am spending the morning giving out gifts of useful and tasty treats to the homeless with The Bean. I have a post in mind and if I decide I AM going to post it, will have it written and ready to go 🙂 xx

        Liked by 1 person

        December 17, 2017
      • What a wonderful way to be spending your Christmas! You could be forgiven for taking a break from your blog whilst doing all of that. Hopefully there will be a post at some point about the celebrations, it could be a good source of subject matter xx

        Liked by 1 person

        December 17, 2017
      • I’m sure references to my experience will creep in during the year even if I don’t post specifically. I may do the latter. It just depends how I feel. I’ve had rather a lot of breaks from my blog this year, hence feelings I should keep going now that I am feeling a bit better xx

        Liked by 1 person

        December 18, 2017
      • Just do whatever feels right for you. I know what you mean about breaks – I’ve had several from mine – but if it doesn’t feel right it’s probably best left until it does. But as you’re on a roll, I hope you can share something soon, as it sounds like it will be marvellous! xx

        Liked by 1 person

        December 18, 2017
      • I will certainly aim to! xx

        Liked by 1 person

        December 18, 2017
  4. I am enjoying revisiting the saga…..there were times when I used to think of the wisdom of Mark Charlton…who blogs all too infrequently these days…who stated that DIY should stand for Don’t Involve Yourself….

    And then we would plunge back into it all again…

    I am just thanking my lucky stars that Leo did not see anything in the derelict building line that took his fancy when in Guatemala…

    Liked by 3 people

    December 17, 2017
    • Quel soulagement! Though I would have enjoyed the hijinks by proxy. I wish Mark Charlton could have got that point over to the pesky moron who did the damage …. do you have a link to his blog – even if he is not live much any more I am certain I would enjoy it!

      Like

      December 17, 2017
  5. I would be rolling on the floor laughing, but may have difficulty getting back up, so I’ll content myself with the odd guffaw or three.
    Looking forward to the updates, and to other tales of he who was a wizard with the pig’s ears!

    Liked by 2 people

    December 17, 2017
    • Perhaps I should have a disclaimer about personal injury whilst laughing 😂. There’s plenty more to come …. he was at least useful as fodder for stories!

      Liked by 1 person

      December 17, 2017
  6. I am reminded of the old bungalow my husband and I bought as newlyweds. We were determined to make a positive change to our little fixer-upper. While we were removing layer upon layer of wallpaper, I began to hear words from my husband’s mouth that I had never heard before; the four-letter variety plus some other very sophisticated profanity! We decided then and there that home renovation was not something we should ever again attempt if we were to stay married. Here we are, 40 years later! We still call someone to do anything that requires more than a hammer or a screwdriver. I applaud your mutual skill and desire to see this impressive project to an end.

    Liked by 3 people

    December 17, 2017
    • Could your husband speak to my husband? The idea of not doing it is decidedly appealing much of the time 😉 In fairness, we both enjoy it most of the time and are quite good at knowing our own strengths and weaknesses …. but I do think your approach is more sensible!!

      Like

      December 18, 2017
  7. I do see what you see it is a mad house you bought but I’m sure you will turn it into a clean and beautiful house, we’re looking forward to reading news from Marcolès …

    … I hope you very polite neighbors aren’t too unhappy after what you said to them lol

    Liked by 3 people

    December 17, 2017
  8. I love Johnny Mathis and “Do You Hear What I Hear?”
    I also enjoyed reading this a second time. I remember the Russian woman and her manservant and your kind thoughts of him. You “saw” him as a person, Fiona.
    As far as the laminate on the walls, I guess wooden paneling in our basement was the equivalent of this action! Lol 😀
    I do think I rented a house with wooden paneling in the bathroom and hallway on second floor. Funny, also an entrance to the attic with a door and stairway upwards. My rowdy kids would haul a single twin mattress up the stairway and ride it down bumping all the steps downward! Any time they came up with ways to entertain themselves and my babysitting children (clients) was fine with me!
    This wasn’t exactly what you talked about but I am caught up fairly well and I know you will be kind, as well as forgiving my rambling words. xo 🌟

    Liked by 2 people

    December 18, 2017
    • I enjoy your rambles immensely! I included Johnny Mathis this time because I just love his voice and that song was what I had in my head when I wrote the piece (nearly two years ago 😮) …. the previous owner was unite dreadful and has caused us many headaches but he has also given me the opportunity to write the story with humour so I should thank him really 🤭 🌹

      Liked by 1 person

      December 18, 2017
      • I am grateful for our affinity and often overlapping stories, Fiona. I haven’t had the same photos of homes but keep meaning to tell you in my Bible I wrote each home address as a single Mom we moved to, all within this town we live. It adds up to six moves, with my brother Randy coming, driving the moving truck, expecting all boxes to be packed and taped 😀. He was the one who would set up the kids’ bunk beds and my bed to sleep in, finally collapsing after pizza supper into sleep on my couches.
        Hope you were able to talk to your daughters, sisters, Mom and husband. . . Possibly warm and cozy visitors for your Christmas. . . 🎄 ✨ 🎀 💞

        Liked by 1 person

        December 28, 2017
      • Randy is a wonderful man. A good brother to his beloved sister, a great uncle to those children. We treasure those souls, and I think that when we have had disrupted lives as you and I have, we appreciate them even more. I spoke to all my girls and my mum and it was lovely. I had no visitors but will be writing of what I did do …. it was a good if very different Christmas, dear Robin xo

        Like

        December 29, 2017
      • Oh, thank you and yes, Randy is as close to being an (flawed) angel, as I have met. My brother, Rich, has many similar qualities but married a single mom with three children. He is still such a good brother to Randy and me.
        You shared ahead some of your hopes of touching the downtrodden, homeless through sharing treats and warm clothes, mittens and hats. . . I believe you are such a sweet, deeply caring person, Fiona. Even if you downsized this into helping one little, elderly person or a single Mum like we have been, this would be just wonderful. 💞

        Liked by 1 person

        December 29, 2017
      • My daughter who encouraged me to take on this mission reminded me that we have along winter ahead yesterday so I will do something for some every week …. even if I can only afford to help one it is something and something is so much better than nothing. X

        Like

        December 29, 2017
      • Yes, one would be plenty! I left a coat out on our dumpster in a bag with old Isotoner gloves and don’t see it hanging there. Usually our homeless come and get our cans and receive money about three blocks away (pennies a can) at a recycling place. There are lofts with just four beds each in one church and Andrews House, a public agency, but there is a wait list. Three churches allow those who have nowhere to go, to sleep on their church pews. We are a rather small town but have kind people, including the library leaves a sign of which places have openings. I don’t post often about it, since I would like our town to not get too crowded with people who are so needy. I posted in the summer a book box outside the Andrews House.
        I have had my purse stolen at the library and out of my car. It costs between one hundred to two hundred in having to cancel cards, get a new Driver’s license, replacing gift cards the first time plus expensive glasses. The second time glasses, contact pair and a nice ring, I know now not to cart around all those things. . . Nor my social security card we get as babies. . .I think taking a friend would also be wise. . . Don’t get me wrong, I have driven people up and down alleys and to find another to sleep together and keep warm. I live in an apt building in one bedroom apt and all my “special” stuff is packed into boxes or on display. I have apt insurance and we have locked doors to use one key and our private doors another key. I have been on my own now in 2018, ten years. Lessons learned but I still care! Just in case any of this helps. I wear a necklace with keys and carry my cellphone if I go on walks. No ID or credit cards, just $5 or $10 in a zipped pocket. xo

        Like

        December 30, 2017
  9. Salut mon amie, I am not sure how many of these I have missed, so hit on the (not so) genius idea of creating a folder just for so I can peruse when I am in UK next week.
    Have a great Christmas, we are back at the ‘camp’ for new year.
    We have had a flood in the cellar that Mr le Frog has commandeered as his tool store – Pompiers! But otherwise all good and scribbling a lot in note books.
    Much love Lindy xxx

    Liked by 3 people

    December 18, 2017
    • Oh good lord! Such fun it is. There have been seven chapters so far and I publish number 8 today. coup de cour part and then the number written in full will bring them all up. I am beyond flattered that you have created an Osyth folder! I am off to Paris in about 2 hours for four days and then back here to celebrate on my own. Or rather I am volunteering at the charity Christmas Eve dinner for oldies on their own (donning a santa hat and doing dodgy dancing, I imagine) and then handing out parcels I have made up for the homeless on Christmas Day and chatting with any who might like to talk to a strange English bird with a tiny dog who feels fortunate to have all she has in this life xxx

      Like

      December 18, 2017
  10. What you up to in Paris – where are you staying – I have quite a bit on, but could maybe squeeze in a coffee somewhere tomorrow?

    Liked by 3 people

    December 18, 2017
    • I have meetings all afternoon tomorrow and again Wednesday. I always stay at les Dames du Panthéon 😊 honestly don’t worry. This is last minute and a teeny bit stressful – I wouldn’t want you experiencing me on a bad hair day!! 😨

      Like

      December 18, 2017
  11. Ah OK, sounds intriguing – you can e mail me when you’re back and I can pick up mails at my daughter’s in Liverpool. You’re doing a good job Christmas day – this is exactly what I would do if alone – where is HB2?
    Let’s go visit Pantheon itself next time you are up, as I have never been, we need to make a date xx

    Liked by 2 people

    December 18, 2017
    • He’s home in Boston. His son will have the holiday with him. We just decided to boycott the disgracefully hiked up fares this time. He’ll come over mid Jan xx

      Like

      December 18, 2017
    • Deal. On the Pantheon … it’s fabulous 😊💛

      Like

      December 18, 2017
  12. jdraymaine #

    Never judge a home by it’s wall coverings, it may be a local fad!

    Liked by 2 people

    December 21, 2017
    • Haha …. wall coverings are a delicate topic in France. I stayed in a hotel in Poitiers many years ago that had carpet on the walls. 1960s geometric carpet!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      December 22, 2017
      • jdraymaine #

        Psycadelic man!

        Liked by 1 person

        December 22, 2017
  13. I am laughing out loud as this was the post that all I saw was a baby bed and thought you were going to spring the news of a new baby on the way….LOL xx

    Liked by 2 people

    December 25, 2017
  14. Another delightful romp, full of wondrous bits, but I feel compelled to highlight the paragraph which begins with “I am reminded of another house long ago” and ends with “The world is full of surprises and some of them are quite uncomfortable”. Delicious and detailed. We also have the Mummy tribute at the end wherein Dusty Springfield is mentioned, and I swooned. I adore her, and when we meet, we must sing one of her selections, perhaps even donning appropriate outfits for the full effect. We simply must.

    Liked by 1 person

    March 10, 2018

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