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Showing posts from August, 2014

WHITE PRIVILEGE - ONE PERSON'S TAKE

My Progressive friends call me a neo-liberal or a corporatist or worse. My Conservative friends say that I'm clearly a Progressive. One or two of my friends say, "Gee. I've got the same problem. What's wrong with us?" Maybe, after reading my take on White Privilege on my Political Page, you'll decide that there's a lot wrong with me. Or not. We'll see...

QUARANTE SUMMER FETE 2014

Head over to the France Page to see a video and more pictures.

THE MAKING OF A FRANCO-AMERICAN TERRACE

One of the neatest features of our house in Quarante is the terrace. It's not a perfect space. As they say in the real estate ads, it's overlooked. That is, a neighbor can look in if she chooses. But the fact is that we've sort of invaded her privacy, too. So we are all sensitive to the others' spaces. We leave her to drink her coffee and have her morning cigarette looking out her window in peace and she leaves us alone to our enjoy our terrace dinners. That having been said, there's not much else to complain about. There's plenty of space, it's right off the kitchen/dining room for easy access, an electric outlet and a faucet are convenient, and because we're at the very high point of the village, there's almost always a nice breeze to break the heat. So, here's the blank space...


Then you plan a bit and you spend a few Euros at Carrefour and Tridome and Amazon and you have a patio...







FROM BARE WALLS TO AN ENTRY HALL, SALON & LAUNDRY - FURNISHING OUR FRENCH HOUSE

First impressions are critical and our impression when we first walked into our house in Quarante was that it contained interesting spaces. Cathey says that she pictured the buildout early on. I admit to a tad of trepidation. Here's the skinny. You enter the front door confronted by an entry hall that's wider than just a hallway but not really wide enough to be considered a full room. (That ajar door in the picture on the top right leads to a tiny WC with sink. We've learned that all French homes feature a place to pee immediately upon entry!) At very back wall you see a terracotta tile floor that leads to the the stairs to the next floor on the left and laundry space on the right. Finally, in the bottom right  picture you see the doorway that leads to the salon.


Standing in the salon (living room) you see the doorway leading to the entry hall, the multi-pane window at the front of the house with the blue shutters, and an entry to the laundry space from the salon. Cathey n…

FURNISHING OUR HOUSE - KITCHEN/DINING FIRST - IKEA, DARTY, MILES, BROCANTES & ME

Our house in Quarante came with walls and floors and not much else, not a cabinet or an appliance, not a closet or a shelf. We started with the kitchen. The real estate agent had convinced the sellers that they should throw at least something in the kitchen to show what it might look like. Fruitless exercise.

First, we had the seller take out the junky cabinets. Then we contracted with Miles Barrington of Languedoc Property Services to work with us. We used one of those internet architectural design sites to make our plans, then Miles went to various home improvement stores in the region - Tridome and Bricomarche chiefly - and sent us pictures of sinks and faucets and cabinets and tile to execute the plans. Meanwhile, Cathey and I purchased a dining room table and chairs that we liked along with a basket of furnishings for other rooms from IKEA in Montpellier and Miles picked them up for us. Add a fridge, an oven, and a microwave from Darty, the French equivalent of Best Buy, also pu…