June 01, 2007

Shutter Dogs

A description of our living arrangements while in France: The apartment building was built in the mid 1850's, and consists of two apartments on the lower level, the first; with one bedroom, and ours; which has a second bedroom/classroom off the bedroom/main foyer area. Parquet wood floors are found throughout, with hard tiles in the foyer and the other apartment next door, and newer small ceramic tiles in the baths and kitchens. Upstairs there are two 2-bedroom apartments, one overlooks the street, and the other overlooks same garden we can view out our apartment windows. Lace curtains on the front of the building, along with the requisite heavy wooden shutters, while on the back - shutters only, which is becoming an interesting hobby - every night, close the shutters so you can sleep, otherwise the sun is up around 5:30 a.m., and it does not set until almost 11 p.m. Steam heat is wonderful for cool morning showers, and the washing machine is free/1 Euro for 1 dryer cycle, or you can hang your clothes in the basement or in the garden.
Our hosts/instructors have furnished these apartments with a variety of antiques with supplements from IKEA (inexpensive sleek decorating, and nice cookware, too!), and the kitchens are fully stocked with all cooking utensils and dinnerware.

First, a shutter lock, ("shutter dog"), holds shutter open against the building, usually made of wrought iron. Anchors at back of our building are upper torso of a figure with a hat, have seen others around town with figures of horses or decorative designs, all the way to a simple flat piece of metal. Anchors are lifted on their hinges to unlock, and swing away from the shutters to allow shutter to be closed over the window.

Outside our front entrance to the apartment, a view of the smaller square where we live, with the cathedral's bell tower in the distance.

Invited on a scavenger hunt through a local flea market; all purchased after digging though glassware, cookware, and other assorted treasures at an outdoor area of rows and rows of tables. Rainwater had to be poured out first, before inspection: The cost? less than 5 Euros ($6.75) for everything, including a wire egg basket and a cup/saucer with a kangaroo design - (which did not fit on the buffet) - a birthday gift for a classmate from New Zealand.
Love Goodwill... M