Looking at houses has caused this brief meander down D.I.Y. (memory) lane:
When we first talked about moving to France a friend warned us not to close the door when inside a room without taking careful note of positioning. Since the French tend to wall paper everything, including the doors and ceilings, one could be trapped forever, wandering the room, counting the flowers, looking for the door….
One of the first things we did to our current house was to convert three bathroom ‘rooms’ into one, slightly more modern bathroom.
It would seem that the proper French do not think that one should bathe in the same room that one sh**s, or brushes ones teeth, for that matter.
We had a lovely toilet in one of the tiny rooms (none of them had enough room to swing a cat!), a bizarre, child-size, 2-level bathtub in another and a sink with a mirror in the third.
They were all papered in various themes of pink flowers, and tiled in different shades of pink tiles, no two tiny rooms the same.
To get to them we walked down the ‘bathroom hallway’ which was papered, top to bottom, ceiling and doors in a vivid green, jungle motif with peach birds and apricot ferns (still don’t know why the pink bathrooms…)
Mon mari gutted the 3 little rooms, tore down the walls and built a lovely, modern bathroom, complete with new toilet, large shower, double sinks with cabinets, a corner linen shelf, and walls covered in a pretty, pale, sea green Italian ceramic tile to match the jungle paper.
The pink was gone.
Even with the combining of three former rooms, it was still a small bathroom and oddly shaped as well.
There was no room for a bathtub let alone a tub and a shower, which is what we had hoped for.
We opted for the largest prefab shower enclosure we could find.
Since we would be without a proper bathroom (we had a toilet in the garage) for the duration, we didn’t want to spend the time building and tiling one (we being mon mari doing the work and moi complaining about the lack of amenities).
Off we went to the D.I.Y shops, and, after much searching, found the perfect shower. We loaded it up, took it home and stored it in the garage until the right moment.
When said right moment arrived I was in the kitchen scrubbing cabinets.
Mon mari walked in with a stricken look on his face.
“It’s pink” he said.
I gave him a blank look “What’s pink?”
“The shower” he mumbled.
I assumed he was teasing me since I had been ranting and raving about how much I hated those pink bathrooms for weeks.
He said “It’s not funny”
I quit laughing and ran outside.
Sure enough there was a pink shower.
Not just any old pink but bright, hot pink!
It could not have been any more pink!
It screamed it’s pinkness!.
I didn’t now whether to laugh or cry.
We carefully inspected it.
It could have been any other color, but no!
It was obviously a mistake.
We hadn’t noticed any pink ones in the showroom.
We must have misunderstood or misspoke.
Our French was not very good but surely I would have not said ‘rose’ when explaining what we wanted.
This was beyond my capabilities to explain so we called a friend who called the store to explain that we would be returning it because it was pink.
My dreams of a hot shower were not to be fulfilled.
The next day our friend called back. (F.Y.I.: Our friend is not a D.I.Y. person)
In between fits of laughter he explained the the ‘pink’ was actually a protective layer of film over the properly white material.
They made the film hot pink so that people would notice it (kind of hard not to) and remember to remove it after installation.
Perhaps if we had read the directions (in French, and they were directions anyway, so naturally mon mari immediately tossed them out) we would have known.
Once again, foiled by language.
Think of all the new adventures waiting for us…..
In the meantime, it’s summer and salad time.
I love roasting vegetables on the grill, tossing them with some pasta and a light vinaigrette. It makes a great salad to go with simple grilled meats.
Check out Presto Pasta Nights, started and hosted this week by Ruth, of Once Upon A Feast, on Friday for lots of great pasta recipes.
Roasted Pepper Pasta Salad
1 1/4 cups bite-size pasta1/2 red pepper
1/2 green pepper
1 large onion
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs Balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup (3oz, 90gr) black, dry-cured, Greek olives
2 stalks (ribs) celery (about 1/2 cup)
2 tbs fresh snipped basil
2oz (60gr) feta cheese (about 1/3 cup)
3 tbs olive oil – or walnut oil if you have it (even better)
1 tbs Balsamic vinegar
2 tsp Dijon-style mustard
Cook pasta according to package directions. Slice peppers and onions, thickly. Put olive oil and Balsamic vinegar in a large bowl, add peppers, onions, and toss well to coat. Put into ‘grill pan’ (a metal or foil pan dedicated to use on the grill) or onto a mesh grill pan (the idea is not to have the stuff fall through the grate into the fire….) Cook over medium heat on barbecue grill for 10 – 15 minutes, until they have a nice color. Snip large basil leaves, leave small ones whole. Cut olives in half. Slice the celery at an angle. Put mustard in a small bowl, add vinegar and oil and whisk well. When pasta is done drain well, rinse briefly with cold water, drain well again, and put into a large bowl. Add peppers, onions, celery, basil, olives, feta and vinaigrette. Toss gently to combine.
I have got to get off this feta and Greek olive kick!!!!
Note: This post is a combination of 2 earlier posts…. Time is getting away from me….