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Sept. 10: Tuesday: Not exactly gardening.

Up in the dark at 6, coffee for both of us, dress, eat breakfast, and out the door and up the hillside stairs at 7:15. But work this day had a little surprise for us. In the last post I included a photo of a little house that S and T have been staying in. It is called a serre, and was built as a glass house, what we call a green house. At some point it was converted into a little apartment. One wall of the serre is a stone wall that holds up a hillside, so behind the stones is earth. In the renovation, these stones had been painted white and the white paint is now steadily flaking off leaving piles of paint chips on the countertop and sink in the kitchen and on the floor in the bedroom. Even some of the rocks are flaking off. There has also appeared evidence of moisture in the form of brown areas. We were asked to scrub these walls with wire brushes to get off as much of the loose stuff as possible. It is still unclear what will be done with them, maybe painted with a sealer and then given another coat of white paint. Why it is undecided, I don’t really know. Ours is not to question why…. I’ve included a couple of photos of us at work on this task.   Another problem being dealt with this morning is one that I don’t care to spend too much time on, as it was rather unpleasant and smelly. Luckily, it didn’t directly involve me. Unluckily for T, it was a task directly given to him. The serre has a composting toilet and it had been being used without being tended to for much too long. Today he had to tend to it. That was going on while Cathy, S and I were scrubbing the stone walls with wire brushes then sweeping up the mess. S and T are moving into the main house for a couple of days, then they will move here to the apartment below us. So, after dealing with the toilet fiasco and the wall scrapings, the four of us cleaned the entire serre to get it ready for the next tenants. Cathy and I left a little while past noon, came back to the apartment and cleaned up, then walked just a little way down the hill and had a lovely lunch at a little restaurant there. We shared a plate of melon and proscuitto, then we each had a plate of ziti with pesto and grated parmesan cheese. We should have gotten only one plate and shared it – we both left half – just too much to eat! I had an espresso, then we walked back to our apartment and put our bathing suits on and we are now waiting for T and S to pick us up in their car and go to the beach. Cathy is chilling out down on our patio, and I am in the bedroom creating this blog post. It’s 9:30 p.m. now. S and T came about 3:00 and picked us up to go to the beach and…HOORAY!…they have a convertible!!! Wow, what a thrill to be touring around the Cote D’Azur with the top down!! Wish I had gotten more photos for you, I only managed a couple. We had a marvelous time and got to know our work-away-mates quite a bit better – we really enjoy them. At the beach, S, T, and Cathy were ready for swimming before I had gotten my sandals off and they plunged into the water without me. I have never been so glad to be the late one. They came immediately out again, exclaiming how cold it was. I didn’t go in. Instead, Cathy and I took a walk along the beach – maybe 40 minutes – and I did manage to get wet up to my waist from playing in the surf along the way. Once back at the blankets, we all laid out in the sun and rested. The photos in this post I took when we first arrived and the weather had gotten a bit overcast. But it changed again and the sun came out – I just didn’t take anymore photos. Then we sat around and talked awhile and got to know each other better. Once satisfied with the sun and surf and chat, we packed up and headed home, stopping on the way at the Intermarche to buy a few groceries. Dropped off at our apartment once again, Cathy and I feasted on roasted chicken left over from last night, salad, cheese, bread, and wine. And now I’m writing this blog post and Cathy is doing some caran d’ache sketches. I’m going to add the photos, then go to bed. It has been an exhausting day, but lots of fun. Let’s see what tomorrow brings. Hope all of you reading this are doing well.
A new skill to add to my resume. But is it art?

A new skill to add to my resume. But is it art?

Cathy snapped S on the move. Laughter makes any job go easier!

Cathy snapped S on the move. Laughter makes any job go easier!

Cathy also  got this photo of T dealing with the toilet fiasco. Luckily, the photo isn't too graphic. Even laughter wasn't going to help this job - although he got it done very good naturedly.

Cathy also got this photo of T dealing with the toilet fiasco. Luckily, the photo isn’t too graphic. Even laughter wasn’t going to help this job – although he got it done very good naturedly.

And here's Cathy on the move - scraping, scrubbing, and laughing.

And here’s Cathy on the move – scraping, scrubbing, and laughing.

Restaurant right down the street from our apartment where Cathy and I ate lunch today. That's Cathy in the blue shirt checking out the menu.

Restaurant right down the street from our apartment where Cathy and I ate lunch today. That’s Cathy in the blue shirt checking out the menu.

Cathy holding up the menu for me to check out.

Cathy holding up the menu for me to check out.

My view from our table - the boulangerie across the street. We arrived at the restaurant at the beginning of lunch, but all these tables filled up around us as we dined.

My view from our table – the boulangerie across the street. We arrived at the restaurant at the beginning of lunch, but all these tables filled up around us as we dined.

Melon and prosciutto that we shared.

Melon and prosciutto that we shared.

Ziti with pesto and tomatoes and grated parmesan. Mmmmm.....

Ziti with pesto and tomatoes and grated parmesan. Mmmmm…..

This hot guy picked us up in his convertible and drove us to the beach! Actually, this is T.

This hot guy picked us up in his convertible and drove us to the beach! Actually, this is T.

And his wife, S, was driving.

And his wife, S, was driving.

For a couple of weeks I spent a lot of time looking at the back of Margaret & Ken's heads. Now it's S and T' heads. But no complaints - it's rather wonderful being chauffeured around France!

For a couple of weeks I spent a lot of time looking at the back of Margaret & Ken’s heads. Now it’s S and T’ heads. But no complaints – it’s rather wonderful being chauffeured around France!

The beach where we spent the afternoon.

The beach where we spent the afternoon.

Another view of the beach where we spent the afternoon. I don't know any of these people, they just got in the way of my landscape shot.

Another view of the beach where we spent the afternoon. I don’t know any of these people, they just got in the way of my landscape shot.

Notice anything unusual about this pair of feet?

Notice anything unusual about this pair of feet?

Footnote. (But is it art?)

Footnote. (But is it art?)

Martha
September 28th, 2013 at 1:58 am

so glad to see you have Cathy there as co-worker and companion; hi to you both (I’m gradually catching up with your blogs).

Eileen Schaubert
September 11th, 2013 at 5:30 pm

There you two are – together again! It looks like a beautiful spot – love the food pics. Glad you made it okay, Cathy.

Vicki
September 10th, 2013 at 10:01 pm

Sounds like the shoe is on the other foot! Remember when/how you crack the whip with your students (ahhh – sweet revenge)!! I’m having an artist friend for lunch on Friday, and I have to admit your blog has provided the menu – Merci! Keep on trucking….

Jackie Stanley
September 10th, 2013 at 9:14 pm

Re. feet…hm…”one of these things is not like the other?” – as they would have said in S.St. What a wonderful day!, minus toilet business. Hi to Cathy (she is my cousin). JS x

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Debi Pendell Artist by debipendell.com