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Interested in a Music and Markets Tour? We’d love to hear from you!
We’re looking ahead to Spring – Aix en Provence for the Easter Festival.

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.11281401 pm market cleanupLunch 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. 11281401 no workers today but needed before monday leroy merlin ladder in rain elegant lunch a monopWe’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 goes11281401 to cave to get wood for bottom of new short ladderto the ancient cave, showing all of its 300 plus years.11281401 underground shows its age“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). 11281401 you wont believe what I foundI try out the curtain we brought from the States  – a temporary solution for the laundry closet until we find a vintage door. 11281402 try out curtain on closetThe rain’s finally stopped, and it’s time for an evening walk –bonne nuit, Aix!11281403 rain stopped walkSaturday dawns bright and beautiful, a perfect market day. Flowers on the Hôtel de Ville square,11291401 flower martand more flowers on Place Richelme – nasturtiums to adorn a platter.11291401 flower sneaked into food martEvery 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.11291401 nuns once in a whileMaison 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!11291401 popular paella gone laterLe 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. 11291402 bouudoir lunch back from vacationChristmas 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. 11291402 santon tradition for ivyAnd 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,11291403 had to wait to paint sand firstthen finally the painting, with blanc cassée (broken white). It’s looking better all the time!11291403 then paint blanc casseeAnd a good night walk11291403 walkdown Cours Mirabeau…