We have the rental car until noon today, Friday, so off we go again to Castorama, a large hardware store, to pick up the ladder we decided on on Wednesday. All of the “big box” stores are always outside of towns, in purpose-built areas called “Zone Industriel” or “Commercial”.
We also find that the bathroom cabinets that we liked at Leroy Merlin, another big box store, have to be ordered, so we go ahead and place the order. All of this takes more time than we had planned on, and we make it back to Aix close to the noon drop-off time (and closing time for the rental agency), which means that I get to carry the ladder home in the rain (not my usual type of task!), from a drop-off point as close as Kirk can get on the ring-road, and he goes straight to the car drop off.
After dropping off the ladder, I walk to meet Kirk, coming back from Hertz near the train station, and pass the emptied-out market on the way. The green suits are hosing the stone pavements, picking up the trash, and soon the Place Richelme will transform into a bustling afternoon-into-night bar scene.Lunch today? Not an elegant French repast, but a couple of carefully chosen items from the Monop quick meal case and a pint of gazpacho, eaten on the tables thoughtfully provided in Monoprix’s city center shop. We’ve sure taken advantage of this well-stocked three-floor spot alot since they opened last year. We’re expecting the plumber and electrician this afternoon too, but there’s another change in plans – these tasks were supposed to be done before Monday, when appliances will be delivered, but that work has been pushed back. Sylvie works with us to ensure that the appliances will be installed correctly by her team since Darty (rather like our Best Buy in the States – an excellent and reliable company we’ve used since our first French home purchase in 2004) won’t be able to do so due to the electric and plumbing not being ready..
It’s too soon for Kirk to begin the painting – he has to wait as long as possible for the plaster to dry. But there are always things to do, such as finding wood to extend the too-short ladder we’ve just brought home. Down the creepy stairs he goesto the ancient cave, showing all of its 300 plus years.“You won’t believe what I found!” he exclaims as he comes back in the apartment….a ladder that’s JUST what we need! I’ve only seen the cave (our storage area) once or twice since we bought the house, and he goes down maybe once or twice a year, so neither of us have a good recollection of what’s actually there, left from previous owners (we have searched for treasure, but none to be found). I try out the curtain we brought from the States – a temporary solution for the laundry closet until we find a vintage door. The rain’s finally stopped, and it’s time for an evening walk –bonne nuit, Aix!Saturday dawns bright and beautiful, a perfect market day. Flowers on the Hôtel de Ville square,and more flowers on Place Richelme – nasturtiums to adorn a platter.Every once in a while the sisters garbed in blue have a stand at the market, and today they’ve brought in Christmas decor from their gardens.Maison d’Espagne shows off a paella at the door – we consider some for lunch, but when we pass by after marketing it’s all gone!Le Bouddoir has become one of our favorite Aix restaurants, with their three daily specials, an excellent value at 12:50€. They’ve just returned from holiday, so we’re happy to enjoy lunch there today. Kirk takes in the beauty of the day at the fountain on Place de Tanneurs before we continue our errands. Christmas shopping is a pleasure, as we begin a Santon collection for our grandaughter Ivy, choosing just the right ones that we hope will delight her from the Santonniers Fair. And now begins the painting – not the entire kitchen, since there’s still work to be done, but the walls behind the cabinets which will be installed next week. Kirk flies back to Virginia Monday so now’s his chance. First the sanding to make it as smooth as he wants,then finally the painting, with blanc cassée (broken white). It’s looking better all the time!And a good night walkdown Cours Mirabeau…