On my morning run I remember that the world is a bigger and more ordered place than our plaster and parsley covered floors lead me to believe. The vines are no longer trussed up in copper, and the degree to which their gnarled skeletons are exposed as they stand to seasonal attention is almost rude. Bitter-leaf red, coin gold and acacia crops glint in sloping strips and my stress flutters downward with the beech leaves.
I return with enthusiasm.
Having taken up all the terra cotta ‘tommettes’ in my room to lay the hemp floor, I am trying to rid them of the burden of plaster and cement that clings to their backs. So far, between Baticrap and Bricotrash, I have been given conflicting advice from men in green uniforms and women in blue ones; I have taken tips from passing joggers and I have been sold an expensive product by a kid lost inside white dungarees. I have soaked them in smokey this for 6 months, fizzy stinkbomb that for 10 minutes, been on the brink of buying a high pressure water thingy machine and attacked them with screwdrivers and scrapers. I have one square metre clean and twenty-nine covered in crap. I am overwhelmed by them lounging up against the wall. My enthusiasm has waned suddenly and I am close to tears. Then I spot two tiles which were made for eachother and I smile instead of weeping. There are still twenty-nine square metres left to do but they seem a bit friendlier.
Meanwhile Julian just gets on with it. What a hero.
The skate I bought for the beurre noir was dumped last night – it smelt of ammonia - but we gobbled up the tatties lyonnaise and the capers. Today I brought a cep back from my trip to buy plug sockets and tiles and it was very fine with pasta and a dusting of red sand. We ate on the sofa moving hand made tiles - vert provençal, cuivre, tournesol- around on the floor. It was another renovation highlight.