Monday, August 3, 2009
I just spent the last few days at the wedding celebration of friends in France who live just 90 minutes from me. Now it's time to really buckle down and get at least some work done on the 'new' house. (Can you call it 'new' if it's actually 150+ years old?)
Here you can see the picture of my kitchen or cuisine, as it's known in France, before the furniture arrived but after I'd ripped down all the wallpaper that was, well, shall we say, just not to my taste? I'm told the French love wallpaper. I suspect it's because they don't really have to finish the walls behind it adequately; it forgives many sins. At least that's what I'm assuming based on what I found behind it. But although I'm still living among unadorned walls covered with chipped plaster that often weep stone dust, I appreciate the wisdom of going slowly.
In any case, some of you might be wondering why I call this space my kitchen. Or perhaps the sink gives it away. Because that's essentially all that came with it: a sink and a little cabinet with 2 electric burners on top (incorrectly wired, I'm told by my new electrician who thankfully speaks English.) No other cabinets, no oven, no refrigerator, not so much as a shelf.
Despite the fact that France essentially closes down in August for vacation, I'm trying to put together a semblance of a temporary kitchen. It is my hope to eventually (meaning in the next two years) break through the rear wall into two additional rooms that are part of my house but owned by my neighbor, Christopher. He has expressed a desire to sell them to me and will add some exterior land area which will easily double my garden space. I would love to build my permanent kitchen in the rear of the house. Right now, the two additional rooms are naught but shells in need of complete overhaul, although one room has tiles on the floor; the other has a dirt floor.
But in the meantime, I need to establish some sort of kitchen for myself if only to get my food out of crates and off the floor! The arrival of my first houseguests on the 20th of August--former housesit clients from my 2007 housesit on the outskirts of Vienna who are stopping over for a night while in transit from southern to northern France--is just the motivation I need. Still, I find myself with limited options and will likely be ordering some kitchen storage from an American site on the internet.