Jacques Report

As you can see Jacques is enjoying a full recovery from his recent cat-astrophe. Older, but no wiser: the other day he cornered a cat in the barn, a huge, lumbering old thing, and would not back off. We had to pick him up and create an escape route for Tubby Kitty. TK had claimed an upholstered chair, torn off its wrapping and left it quite a mess, so feel no pity for the guy. Anyway, here Jacques is showing the Roomba who is boss. I’m amazed that I nonetheless have a clean floor.

Slow and somewhat sure


So this is how it goes around here. We had to move as much stuff as possible into the house. It’s rainy. Cats and rats have found my stuff and are taking up residence. So I cheered on the three actual workers as they hauled everything inside.

By about 4 PM everybody,  even I, was exhausted. And we had just shifted stuff.  It felt like no change. Not good,  so we unwrapped a sofa and chair from the living room in California.

We stood back. We admired. We evaluated the cushioning. Then we realized the dogs wanted on the sofa,  too. Oops. We covered everything back up and put boxes in front of it; our dogs are persistent little buggers so it was our only choice. Just like that, we were back to no change.

One fine day I will be able to present some stunning before and after shots. Sorry, but this is not that day.

More Buried Treasure


Just about two years ago I walked through this really lovely house with a huge, unused attic. I’m a city kid. The whole idea of leaving 100-plus Sq meters of attractice space unused was unthinkable. In San Francisco,  in Paris, you don’t just let that kind of space sit empty. So I got the house and told my architect to include plans for a master bedroom suite in the attic. He said what, the four bedrooms downstairs aren’t enough? He brought in a contractor who said yes, absolutely, it will be gorgeous. All we have to do is sand the floor.

The architect is gone and the contractor remains. One reason he is still here,  two years later, is this floor. It wasn’t so flat after all. We couldn’t just clean and wax it. We didn’t figure that out until the bathroom was plumbed and the kitchenette cabinets delivered. Oops.

So, as I kept writing unbudgeted-for checks, the guys screwed down the existing floor, with screws at about 7 cm, roughly 3 inch, centers. With the existing floor as flat as possible, they poured a layer of this self-leveling, lightweight,  fiberglass/concrete mixture. On top of that, the layer of green foam pads, to give the floor a bit of spring. Finally, you can see part of the oak flooring that Xavier is installing.

When he is done, obviously all you will see is the oak floor. And how much hidden money, in the form of all those layers, will you be walking on? I don’t know. Maybe this time next year, I’ll be able to tell you. Maybe in 5 years, I’ll figure the amount will be worth it, for all that extra space. Maybe.


At some point I decided that not every room could be gray. Enough is enough. And I had stayed in a glorious pink room in a certain chateau just outside Vouvant and loved it. So, I thought, why not pink? That goes well with gray. I chose a room on the north side of the house, which I thought could use a little cheer and hey presto, serious pink.

This is Little Greene paint. The color is Chemise. It’s really very pink, isn’t it, not like the subtle, almost white at the chateau. Maybe the north side was not the best choice, as this paint looks best in bright sunlight. With the sun out and those shutters open, this looks like a brilliant choice. The rest of the time it goes a little peppermint. I do wonder how I can tone it down. Furniture will help. I have a lovely oak day bed that I can put in here. The tarps will come up and the pine floor will be oiled; that will help. I think some of the pictures that I brought from California will cover some of the space.

Even so, I like it. It’s cheerful. I could just paint it over but for now, I think I’ll try to make it work.