Saturday, 16 October 2010

Studio bricolage -DIY

The rhythm of my life is settling. Saturdays consist of breakfast, strolling through the markets and then on to the supermarket. The markets continue to be a real pleasure and entertainment. I never cease to be surprised at the incredible choice available and the quality. It's not top quality. Items range from 5-50 euros mostly, except for the big stuff. It's so enjoyable but I usually don't go near the food stalls, especially the fresh produce because the queues are awful. To me that's the downside of shopping in France. It's lovely to visit the little shops and markets for each item but so much time gets spent waiting to be served.

Oh well, I'll probably do it again next week but I'm getting very hard to please now I know the 'ropes'. I took rather a long time at the supermarket and spent rather a lot, not just on food. Finding large non-food items is very difficult for me with no car, no ideas on where to find certain goods so I took the path of least resistance and bought some items like pillows and pillowcases and a sheet from MOnoprix. The choice is severely limited so I chose a very safe beige, hoping I might find a colourful duvet to brighten things up. I don't know where yet.

My life is lived at a very different pace now and it seems to be good for me. I can decide when I do things and how. I fit in with no-one's schedule but my own (except at work of course). The pace is simpler, slower and allows time to just appreciate the now. I suspect that will change a bit the more I become ensconced in France with better social contacts and reviving some hobbies.

I spent a lot of time this afternoon working on the studio. It needed it... getting rid of big cobwebs and insects, washing walls and window frames and the windows themselves, trying to fix one of the blinds so it would go up and down. I have had a temporary success but really the curtain coverings are munted. Ive been wracking my brains as to how to attach curtains. I need sheers and I need curtains but space is limited and the old fashioned windows need to be taken into account. Most people use rods here but there's not enough room under the roof for that. Small curtains are hung with tringles (small diameter, short rods with fancy end pieces). I have no tools to do it myself but I did visit a DIY yesterday after work to teach myself what's out there, costs, buy a measuring tape. If it was my own place I'd just get someone in to measure up and make the curtains and install but that's too expensive for my situation.

I'd also like to accommodate the era of the building I am in in terms of how I make improvements.

The building in which I live was built in 1787 by a key employee to King Louis XVI. He was a busy and important man because the king kept building many grand residences and they naturally needed good security. The entrance is wide enough for horses to be ridden through into a small courtyard. The house is on three sides. I'm living in a space on the bottom level inside so I can walk straight out onto the cobbles (which are very uncomfortable to walk on). My windows face a small, unkempt garden.

I hope to make the acquaintance of the landlady as soon as my landlord can give me the details. I'd like to offer to do a bit of work on it so it's nice for the spring. The cold and snow should take care of the weeds growing between the cobbles. In the spring I am expecting to see some self-sown hollyhocks regenerating outside my window. I think I'd like to buy a container and grow some herbs there too.

Tomorrow I'm off to Paris for the day to visit Veronique and a first meeting with Jacques, an acupuncturist, for a wine.


Alison said...

I am amazed and impressed that you are thinking about the whole DIY thing. You are really getting into it. I agree about how one settles into that gentler rhythm of life. I found it a huge stuggle when I got back here to switch on 'Frantic' again. Have a great week. :-)

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