19 June 2015



The house we have bought is called a “longère”.  This type of building is usually rural, one room deep and several rooms long, one leading on to another without a central hallway.  Longères typically have windows on the front only, making them rather dark inside. 

During the day and especially in the summer we get enough light in the house not to notice how dark it is and in fact the lack of windows and the thick walls mean that the house stays nice and cool inside even though it might be baking hot outside.

When we moved in the house came with four uplighters in the living room.  They are quite stylish, in a flying saucer made of concrete kind of way, but they give out hardly any light.  Until this week we made up for this by having lots of lamps dotted about and until earlier this year we also had a rather nice standard lamp.  Unfortunately that succumbed to one of Daisy’s mountaineering expeditions.  She decided it would be fun to climb into the top of it and it crashed to the floor, irreparably. 


So we bought ourselves four new wall lights, ones that give out plenty of light and are, we hope, Daisy proof.  Nick got round to fitting them this week.


Of course, we have flying saucer shaped shadows around the new lights, showing where the paint on the walls ended!  The shadows will have to stay until we get round to decorating the room again, and that’s not high on our list of current priorities.


We’re just pleased to be able to read comfortably in the evenings and not trip over bits of mouse that the cat has left behind because we can’t see them in the gloom.

Changing the subject and moving on to a more serious note, Nick’s mother is very poorly.  She had a fall and has broken her hip, a serious problem for a frail old lady of ninety one.  She is in surgery as I write this and whilst we hope for the best we are bracing ourselves for the worst.  She has been a lost soul since Nick’s father died ten years ago and now has dementia to add to her health problems.  I truly hope that this doesn’t leave her even more confused and dependant on others, adding to her woes and misery.

When my mother died she died suddenly, without warning, which was traumatic for us but great for her.  Her sister had the opposite experience, dwindling away and spending her last years bedridden, ill and totally dependant.  If we had a choice in how we die, I know which way I would choose for myself and for those I love.

Difficult times are ahead of us I think.

Bon weekend!


  1. We wish you well with Mum. It is my Mums worst fear, falling and loosing mobility. I am under strict instruction to pull the plug if it happens. They are scary times and you have our sympathy.

    The lights look great with the flying saucer features and you will have to take the new ones down again to paint!! C

    1. Pulling the plug isn't easy when the system is geared towards preserving life for as long as possible.
      We're hoping Nick's mother can be restored to a state where she is at least mobile and has some dignity.

  2. First of all, the lights look great - very stylish indeed and they look like they throw out a lot of light. I'm really sorry to hear about Nick's mum. I can of course totally relate. All you can do is support them as best you can but you're right to be braced for the days and weeks ahead. As you correctly say, I know which way I'd rather go. I wish Nick's mum well and also both of you of course.

  3. Sorry to hear this about Nick's mother, Jean. They say that often what happens is the hip joint breaks and the person falls, not the other way around. I guess that's a detail. I hope she can recover to the point of being as independent in the future has she has been in the recent past. At 85 my mother broke her wrist last year and that has healed.

  4. Oh, dear, you have my sympathies, too. Watching our mothers and fathers and aunt and uncles change and age like this, is tough business. I hope for the very best that can come for all of you in this.

    The new lights look lovely :) I got a good little chuckle from your line about wanting to be able to see the little bits of mouse that Daisy might have left behind :)

  5. Quick exits are preferable over languishing departures, yes. May Nick's mother and all of us have as good quality of life regardless when we go.

  6. Our current home is in two halves, half used to be an 18th century blacksmith's forge with a Victorian extension. Both have very different characters, the forge half is three rooms with no corridor, I'm going to refer to it as the longere from now on! I love your new lumiere :-) My sympathy over your mother, it's a big worry when parents are ill or hospitalised. My mum is well into her 80s and dad is 92 this year. I spend alot of time dashing up and down the A1 whenever there's a new crisis and they're so bad at accepting help from people who aren't family seeing it as charity rather than a system repaying them for something they've paid into all their lives. I wish your mother a speedy recovery.