Blog Archives

Cat on a hot tile roof

This is not a prison wall

Well, most of that title is correct. There was a cat. We have a tile roof. The cat was on the tile roof. It was however, at 3:00 AM, so it probably wasn’t very hot and he wasn’t up there the whole time. How do we know that? There is a motion detector in our courtyard that turns on a light if it detects any thing/one. Since our bedroom is upstairs well out of sight of being overlooked by any neighbors we don’t have any window treatments. That means when the summer sun comes up at 6 o’clock there’s no sleeping late. It also means that when the pitch black is interrupted in the middle of the night with a very bright spot light, we are suddenly awake, even from a deep sleep. Read the rest of this entry


Just say “no” to pot(s)

Miniature olive trees in pots

With the Mediterranean Sea only about a 30-minute train ride away, I guess that puts us into the climate with the same name. There’s a diet that goes with that too, featuring fresh foods we find in abundance grown around us such as fruits, vegetables, olive oil, fish, and red wine, but that’s for another blog post. What made me think about today’s topic was when we walked by a display of dwarf olive trees just begging to be taken home with the promise that they would never outgrow their pot. As promising as that sounds, it was going to be a problem for us. Read the rest of this entry

Follow the light

Decoration inspiration

Decoration inspiration

Right before we moved from the US, a television commercial that we often saw featured a woman in the office of her architect. She held in her hand a kitchen faucet that she slammed down on the architect’s desk and commanded “Design a house around this!” We’re about 100 years late in needing someone to build this house for us, but we still found ourselves in a similar situation to that woman with the faucet. Long before we had signed the sales papers on the house we bought a dining room chandelier and at that point our mission became “Decorate our home around this!” Read the rest of this entry

How many bars?

This tiny device can see through walls

This tiny device can see through walls

What kind of question is that? If you’d asked that about our house in Atlanta, we would have said “two”—one emergency bar upstairs in the kitchen and a full-service one in our basement British pub. If you go in our kitchen here in France the answer would be “15” because that’s how many bars of pressure our espresso machine has. But today’s post has to do with a third kind of bar and how to cope with thick stone walls that keep you from them. Read the rest of this entry

The big move

Bill and the big, little van

Bill and the big, little van

We’re in. There’s still a month to go on the lease of our rental house but we wanted to be into our own place to start the new year. That will give us plenty of time to thoroughly clean what we’ve called “home” for the last 11 months before we turn it back over to the landlords. It also means that if we get any last minute out-of-town guests before March 1st, they can stay there instead of stepping around unpacked boxes, over cans of plaster and paint, and through ladders leaning against the walls. Just as we did a few months ago, we rented a van, only this time instead of going to the supermarket to pick it up we literally crossed the street from there to a rental car agency. Read the rest of this entry

Those pesky numbers

House number 5 built in 1610

House number 5 built in 1610

The plumber was here the other morning and a bit before noon said that he would be back around 3 o’clock. I told him that was fine since we had to go into town and he then asked if he should come back later. My thoughts were “No, 3 hours is plenty of time and besides, I’m sure that you want to finish the job today” but all I said out loud was “That’s fine.” About an hour and a half later we were surprised to see him pull up in front of the house where our clock said that it was only 1:15 PM. Why had he come back so early? Read the rest of this entry

The kitchen’s in the living room

Kitchen in a box

Kitchen in a box

Like many of our neighbors, we’ve gone paperless. One of the first things that you have to do to establish yourself in France is to open a bank account. Shortly after that your mailbox will contain notices, sometimes several days in a row, from your new bank to welcome you, to confirm the details that you’ve provided, to inform you of the appropriate government regulations, to let you know that a fee will soon be charged to your account and then another after it has been taken. In other words, you are kept very well informed, including a notice on how to receive all of that information as emails. Luckily that option also exists for the various utility companies, grocery stores, and pretty much any other place that we shop. Of course that means that all of those tempting catalogs no longer arrive at our house but when you have a determined shopper around, nothing stands in his way. Read the rest of this entry


French Lifestyle Dream

A new life in Lille

Tales of a Brit who moved to Hauts-de-France

Southern Fried French

Two American Guys & Their Dog Move to France


Two American Guys & Their Dog Move to France

Chez Loulou

Two American Guys & Their Dog Move to France

The Vicious Cycle

A man searches for between leg shavings

Post-Industrial Eating

Just another weblog

An Italian Point Of View

Alan and Tracy's Expat Adventures