Monday, August 17, 2015

Metiers d'antan and musings on the ideal bathroom


Saturday 15 August 2015
Cloudy with sun later - very pleasant 25 degrees

On the whole, August has been much more pleasant weather than July.  Humidity has been around 75 percent and the temperatures have been more in the twenties.  We can actually manage to get through a day without feeling the overwhelming urge to sleep after lunch. Ten minutes can easily be an hour and a half and then it is early evening and where did the day go to?

Ran through my emails and OH went down to rental units and rang quite quickly to say town was blocked for the Metier d'Antan festival.  (crafts of yesteryear).  I go to my house estimation by a circuitous route and ring the owner who gives me directions as I get closer. The house is contemporary with vast pool and panoramic views of the Pyrenees, today wearing dove grey clouds.  The interior very much reminds me of a house which I came very close to selling, the buyers hesitated too long, and someone else snapped it up.  I feel excited.  If anything, with the location near our town, this is an even better property, although the price is more.  Hopefully with the change in the exchange rate, it will make up the difference in their budget.  

The lounge is long and filled with light and opens out into the kitchen and from there onto the terrasse and the pool.  Yet another divorce.  How prevalent it is these days.  The bedrooms are disappointingly small, as with most modern properties.  If I were building, I would have huge bedrooms and fabulous bathrooms with open views so I felt I was floating in space when I looked up from the tub.  My idea of a heavenly bathroom would be one where the windows wrapped from the floor right over the ceiling in one long wide strip.  A solid white tub set in a large room with mounds of fluffy white towels and antique gold mirrors and a chaise longue and lots of wonderful pots and potions.

We do the mandate and I am not offered coffee so head down town to take in the sights. The metiers d'antan on show included basket weaving, espadrille making, hat making, upholstery, lampshade making, spinning, vitrail (enamelling), woodworking and turning. The craftspeople were dressed in traditional local costume, the men in large kepis and the ladies in dark pinstriped dresses overlaid with bright aprons and white lace shoulder shawls and caps.  One spinning granny looked like she had just stepped out of the 18th century with her fallen apple cheeks and thistledown hair.  Her hands were knotted with arthritis but even so, she delicately held and teased out the tendrils of wool and magically it seemed, it was transformed into yarn.  The air was ripe with cheeses and fruit and herbs.  The marquee held an amazing exhibition of exotic butterflies and insects and some individuals (long dead) were for sale and I snapped them up to transform into resin jewels and hence ensure their longevity.  I was particularly taken by a golden scorpion and two iridescent bugs which will be perfect.

There were people playing accordions and I sat and watched them and ate the cheese and ham crepe which would poison me and make sure I didn't see most of the next day.  The perils of street food.  Back home and felt suddenly very tired and so we had siesta and then felt fine.  Dog spent next door with the neighbours, barking as they worked, his contribution to the effort.  OH said he had driven past and the neighbour, his son, and dog were sitting looking at the dry stone wall, like it was a giant Jenga puzzle.