Wednesday, May 24, 2006


This was among the sights we saw on our 12 kilometer (!) walk yesterday.

There were men working on the roof there too! I would NEVER want to have to deal with the upkeep on a chateau. Fortunately, since I am not descended from French (or any other) royalty, I will probably never be faced with that dilemma.

Here are more photos from our little getaway:

Slowing Down to a Snail's Pace

Yesterday my friend Jill and I spent the day in the countryside near Dijon. It was an amazing day for several reasons, not least because we managed to avoid the rain almost all day. But mostly it was just wonderful to be outside, smelling grass and hay and clover instead of the usual mix of cars, buses and body odor that we get in Paris.

Jill is visiting from New York for a whole month but this is the first getaway we've taken. I feel sort of bad about that. When Jill arrived I was in the throes of moving into a new apartment (see other posts about this fascinating subject) and so for her first week in Paris she got treated to such fun activities as helping me vacuum my old apartment in a mad rush before the landlady came, or -- even better! -- waiting with a mountain of bags in the basement hardware department of BHV while I went in search of tiny steel rods for my IKEA bookshelf (I never found them, of course). The fact that she is still friends with me after these events speaks volumes about Jill's character. Anyway, I was glad that we got to spend some time outside of Paris while she was here.

Jill, by the way, is my blog inspiration, having written what i consider the mother of all blogs...Puppet the Brave. Thanks Jill! Posted by Picasa

Under the Paris Drizzle

This is what Paris has looked like for most of the month, for several months in fact. It has been rainy and cold and windy, a horrible chilly dampness, kind of like what I imagine Scotland weather to be, or a tropical rainforest minus the heat.

It sucks.

You can see the disappointment on people's faces. They carry a weary, betrayed look, especially the tourists. Betrayed by expectations of what a springtime in Paris should be. Betrayed by Maurice Chevalier and Yves Montand and Hemingway and everyone who makes Paris seem like one big outdoor cafe just waiting to be sat in and enjoyed.

Because it's all about expectations, isn't it? If we just lowered our standards for May weather, we wouldn't be railing at the sky right now, we wouldn't be wanting our money back.

May came in like a lion, and went out like....a wet lion? Posted by Picasa

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Among the Jobs I'll Never Sign Up For...

These guys are working on the roof opposite my bedroom window. I see them every morning walking as calm as cats on the sloping, slippery metal. How do they do it? Today they were out there in gale force winds, nailing down sheets of zinc. I could only watch long enough to take this photo. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Let There Be Chaos!

Well, moving day has come and gone (aren't you glad you weren't here to climb those 6 flights of stairs with us?).

For some reason, I keep thinking of those anti-drug
commercials from the 80's:

This is my brain.

This is my brain
while moving.

Stay tuned.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Wires Wires Everywhere and Not a Drop to Drink!

No, these are not interesting wire sculptures that I discovered in some fabulous new Paris gallery ('though I suppose if I told you they were, you would believe me) . These are what will become the spotlights in our new bathroom ceiling, whenever anyone gets around to actually installing them. Which for all I know could take another year or two, at the speed which the work seems to be getting done lately. Do I sound bitter? Well, it's been a rather stressful last couple of weeks.

I am learning so much through this renovation project, and much of it is about myself. For example, the whole idea that I am a creative, imaginative person. This seemed to be the case, at least before this whole project got going . Yet when it comes to looking at messy rooms full of wires and exposed pipes and plaster dust, it's like all the imagination is sucked out of my brain. All I see are, literally, wires and pipes and plaster dust. And I want to scream. Not a healthy, creative, literary or artistic scream either, but just a flat-out scream of desperation.

It's quite depressing to realize that, deep down, one is not an artist at all but just another unimaginative materialist. Pass the vacuum cleaner.Posted by Picasa