Browsing Posts published in November, 2010

Galerie Spiralinthe

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Yes, this is my new name. Oh I’m just kidding. I thought today would be a good day to do a little shopping over in the East Village. I’m taking you to the Galerie Spiralinthe which sells all sorts of funky stuff. It is one of the most beautiful shops I’ve ever seen. Since they have put out their Christmas baubles I thought it was the perfect time to order Neil, I mean politely request, to take some fancy pics. Hope you enjoy…

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The Wreck Of The Hesperus

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I have been hearing this phrase all my life. Bedhead, hung over, sick, whatever, if you were in any kind of damaged state you always heard “jesus girl you’re like the wreck of the hesperus” and like all our other lovely family traditions (crippling self consciousness, bad spelling, co-dependency) I have carried it on to the best of my ability. Even Neil has been known to break out the wreck comment a time or two at the first sight of me emerging from the lair at the crack of noon on a Sunday.

I never actually read the poem until today. Holy mother of god what a depressing mess that is, frozen children lashed to ship masts floating in the cold sea and everything. That’s my heritage for you in a nutshell, death and mayhem on the high seas transformed into a turn of phrase that is apparently appropriate for commenting on your appearance. Continue reading “The Wreck Of The Hesperus” »


Wreck-O-Rama has become Wreck-O-Drama I’m afraid. We had our big meeting to review all the work estimates and as usual we have created a plan that only a Trump could love. Honest to god, what the hell is wrong with us? Are we fundamentally incapable of doing anything on a small scale?

We started out with a very modest plan: open living room, kitchen, eating area with 2 small rooms upstairs, one for us to sleep in and the other for Neil’s office. This has ballooned into an addition out the back for a long galley kitchen that juts out on to an enormous wall of rock and has the world’s most complicated roof design, 2 full bathrooms (to prevent divorce) as well as a toilet on the main floor because apparently I am too lazy to go upstairs every 20 minutes (my bladder and a tea bag, same size) and a full revamping of of the exterior. Continue reading “Champagne Taste, Beer Budget” »


Made In France

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The Wreck-O-Rama has begun. Real estate in a foreign country is not for the faint of heart. We are now smack in the middle of making our lives complicated again. For about 3 months I was blissfully light, few possessions but most importantly mortgage free. This is about to change. We are at the application stage for a French mortgage which takes, you guessed it, time. About 45 days. In Canada we would have finances arranged in about 45 minutes. Again, just rolling with it.

It’s pretty loosey goosey here. We have yet to lay out a cent for this house, no deposit, no nothing but onward ho. We met with a bunch of artisans and had our first project meeting about a week ago. Excel spread sheets of estimates called devis have been created and are neatly tucked away in the Big Binder with our name on it.

Now these devis are apparently incredibly detailed down to the last dollar for each and every piece of work that will be carried out. This is quite a difference from my experience with Canadian contractors who come, take a look, offer you a 3 line description of a whole house renovation and the ever annoying phrase “we’ll look after you”. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard that one, well I’d have enough money to pay for the Wreck outright. It drove me bananas. Continue reading “Made In France” »


Oh The Humanity…

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I knew it was going to happen sometime. Public humiliation. My French remains a vast wasteland dotted with the occasional noun, verb and adjective. To make matters worse I finally met with my French teacher here in the village only to find out that her daughter has just given birth in Sweden and my lessons will have to wait until the end of the month. Honestly, the nerve of some people! How can this baby, who probably already speaks perfect Swedish, take priority over me?

Anyway, today I had the lovely experience of needing to go to the pharmacy to get something desperately needed for a ‘lady’ problem. I had 2 options. One, take Neil the translator with me and have him regale the pharmacist with my feminine woes or two, go it alone. I chose the latter as having my husband in on this debacle seemed far more terrifying than the former. I believe the success of any marriage depends on judicious disclosure. Continue reading “Oh The Humanity…” »


The View From Here

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So I’m all set up here in the new digs. Another splendid house brought to me by the miracle of discounted winter rental rates. This little cottage has been lovingly restored by a man from Paris and his American wife who writes children’s books right at the table where I now sit.

Everywhere I look there is something so Frenchy cool that it boggles my mind as to how long it took to put this place together. Antique art nouveau armoires with secret compartments, period light fixtures, reclaimed painted floor tiles, on and on. There’s no way to do this house justice with pictures (taken by the better half) but here are just a few things in my gaze these days…

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