Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The house sits on a corner, though not on the water but next to a low slung building that is on the harbor. The window seat on the second floor landing affords a view of the harbor, that shelters a few fishing boats this time of year, but in the summer a number of pleasure craft occupy its moorings. Built of cut stone it has two levels and a loft. The second level has two bedrooms and a full bath and the loft will serve as a guest space. The main level has a kitchen open to living area, a half bath and a small 'office' tucked under the stairs.

One wall is entirely stone and in front of it I placed a wood stove that can heat the whole house with radiant in floor heating for when I'm gone or too lazy to load the stove. Wags loves the heated floors even abandoning his beloved dog bed for the hard concrete. Doggy heaven is a warmed floor and a sunspot.  In front of the stove I placed a vintage bear skin rug that I found among the household furnishings of an elderly neighbor who was giving up her house to live with her daughter. Beyond the wall is a small garage, big enough for Marty or Buster, but more likely to be used for stuff. There are already three surf boards and a bicycle in it. I finally have a real kitchen, with a full size stove and oven, along with enough counter space to actually spread out.

Village records indicate the house was built in the 1750's for a merchant and over the years it has been used for a number of things including a warehouse, a market, a chandelry, a blacksmith shop and a crack house. The villagers were happy when the British couple began the renovation and also when I came along to finish it.

Over the months of construction I've come to meet many of the residents and those who I haven't met know who I am and much about me. In the area are a smattering of artists, surfers, sailors and hipster types. The mix changes by season, but most are considered outlandish by the locals, being new and a foreigner, I've been cast among the outlandish, which is not to say they aren't friendly or nice.

Mirelle has gallery on an adjacent street where she sells her own work and that of other local artists. She has an apartment above the store that she shares on occasion with her husband who is a minister at an EU agency in Brussels from where he commutes on weekends. During construction I'd stop at her place for tea or we'd meet for dinner. She flirted with me shamelessly and being a shameless flirt myself I returned the favor.

Yesterday morning, while walking Wags, I ran into her and she invited herself over for dinner, saying that she would bring the entree. Just after seven, she was at the door carrying a pot of porc en daube. Between conference calls, I'd baked some bread and picked up some cheese and chocolate for dessert , not to mention a few bottles of wine. We had a wonderful dinner flirting the whole time till we finally took the flirting to its logical extreme and ended up bare on the bear. Shortly after one, she gathered her things and went home, when I saw her this afternoon we hugged and she whispered that she had a wonderful time and couldn't wait till we met again and oh, would you mind if my husband joined us some time.



Anonymous VJ said...

A France, the place we all imagine we'd love to retire to if we had the wherewithal and money! Cheers & Good Luck! 'VJ'

10:33 PM  
Blogger Kim said...

VJ, outside of Paris, Provence, the Mediterranean and the Alps, France is surprisingly affordable. Particularly the rural areas and the Atlantic coast. If you are in parts of Normandy, you would swear you were in Sussex for all the Brit retirees.

For what I paid for my house, I couldn't buy a closet in Paris.

4:20 PM  
Anonymous VJ said...

Yes, I've heard of all that Kim. But until retirement, we're sort of still stuck to our business. We can ill afford to take any vacations for longer than it might take milk to spoil. It's that bad. Mostly it's the week around X-Mass typically. So while we may have a nice boodle, we've not had the time to enjoy much of it. There's some virtue in that, and in our southern clines for temperate weather much of the year. The dreams of travel tempt us still, but by the time we might be getting there, we may well be unable to manage much of it. It's the way of all flesh I'm afraid! But good to hear of your good fortunes and enjoyments vicariously. Cheers & Good Luck, 'VJ'

1:18 PM  

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