Browsing Posts published in July, 2011

Restraint My Ass

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Okay I might not have told the whole story the other day about my afternoon at the Semur vide grenier. Those who know me might have been suspicious when I said that a rummage sale would be enough to drag me away from a day on the couch with Tommy Lee Jones. I left out something that Neil said to me on the phone that caused me to race up the stairs one leg already out of the gorgeous sweatpants that have now taken root to my flabby arse. It seems that a man need only utter one word to get me undressed: Donkeys.

I love donkeys. We see them around here all the time but always from a speeding car so when he called and said there were dozens of donkeys in the middle of Semur I was off like a shot. And not only did they have donkeys at work like these Continue reading “Restraint My Ass” »



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Well poor Rusty finally emerged from under the mountain of work he’s been tackling lately only to be met by a nagging wife (me) begging him to take some housette pictures. It’s not going to make the next issue of Architectural Digest but not bad if I do say so myself. Remember the before? A frantic couple of weeks at Ikea and every other bargain place we could find and Voilà!

Continue reading “Après” »


I’ve made friends with a couple here who live the life I’ve always wanted. They met in Hong Kong and then embarked on a journey of epic proportions moving from country to country on a whim. They would find work wherever they went and in doing so built a life that now allows them to live half time on the Spanish coast, half time by the river here in Semur. But that’s not the best part.

Now they meander about France led entirely by their stomachs. They travel all around this great land in search of the finest cuisine and the loveliest of lodgings. If I didn’t like them so much I’d hate them. What a life. She sends me links to everywhere they go and I’m telling you these two really know how to roll in style.

Me? Not so much. Oh I’ve been around to a few places, Beaune, Dijon, Chablis and a few other wine villages but for the most part these days I stay put. What with Neil’s busy schedule, the whole housette business and a limited budget, it’s what’s on my plate at the moment. But I can’t say it’s a bad deal this.

See every day for me is a Michelin 3 star experience. I get up when I feel like it and beyond laundry and the odd toilet scrub, my time is my own. I have delicious meals served to me by Scotland’s finest Chippendale dancer. I drink exquisite wine that’s cheap as dirt and I meet intriguing people from all over the world every day.

Plus why would I need to go anywhere else when every time I leave my house the first thing I lay eyes on is this…

Never mind the rest of France, the only traveling I want to do is over that wall to see what’s hidden behind that green door. Someday maybe I’ll see all of France but for now the yellow brick road ends here.


Oh. My. Gueux.

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This town continues to reveal itself to me. Day to day it’s quiet to the point of sedation and then shazaam! something happens that knocks my socks off. Medieval is the theme du jour over here and this weekend the Semurois were in fine form.

For days I’d noticed people down by the river preparing for something and they all looked pretty normal to me, speaking that strange language that makes me want to pull my hair out, but normal. Well by 7:30 Saturday night our street was blocked off and there were big strapping gendarmerie lads all about so we wandered down the hill to see what was going on.

Holy merde the place was an absolute mardi-gras and people looked a little less than normal. The Lessive Des Gueux was in full swing, a festival when the Gueux (medieval peasants) re-enact hygiene rituals from the Dark Ages. Yeah, that’s what I thought too, this is gonna get smelly. With great fanfare the most disgusting souls in France descended an ancient staircase to greet their many fans.

All Hail Queen of Filth…

Continue reading “Oh. My. Gueux.” »


Le Zap!

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I live in perpetual state of excitement caused by mundane things, a really good cookie, tearjerker films, the first page of a new book, a full moon, you know random everyday stuff. My husband on the other hand lives for two things, food and weather.

You should see him in a storm. In another life he’d be one of those fools driving around the middle of America in a pick-up truck, chasing tornadoes while screaming “ISN”T THIS FANTASTIC?!” Me, not so much. I like my weather like my steak, medium, pink with a warm centre. So when the heat wave here broke we were both overjoyed but for different reasons.

I was happy to be able to breathe again on the second floor of the housette while Rusty was happy about the way it broke, with wild abandon. Hail, torrential sheets of wind-whipped rain and lightning unlike anything I’ve ever seen, huge feathery starbursts of hot pink lighting that looked like holiday fireworks. Too fast and too compelling to look away from for pictures.

Of course where was Neil? Under the slope of the ceiling with his head stuck out through the skylight like a five year old. It was so amazing that I decided to do the same from the other skylight. So there we were, a couple of fools each with a head stuck through the roof during a giant electrical storm squealing across the clay tiles to each other. I can’t begin to imagine what the neigbours must think of us. At least we’re cheap dates.

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