Pendaison de crémaillère

© Jessie Kanelos

Voila!  An illustrated taste of our new souped-up kitchen!  And just a glimpse into our new pseudo-Scandanavian love nest.  Since this is my first time living in an all-new place of my own, I have taken an obsessive-compulsive reacquaintance with cleaning.  And the thought of packing all of Paris into our crib for a housewarming has me reaching for the Ajax.  Nevertheless, the past week has been a marathon of calm, mini-housewarming events.  Much to my chagrin, a housewarming does not translate directly to chauffage de maison.  Instead it translates to pendaison de crémaillère.  After grilling my husband about its origins since we packed our first cardboard box, I finally got an answer this evening.  But like a lot of things in France, it goes way, way back in time.  From what I can understand, pendaison de crémaillère is the hanging of the chain which holds a pot of soup over a fire.  Straight up Medieval double, double toil and trouble!  That sounds like a big old mess. I’d rather turn up the heat and call it a chauffage de maison.

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Souvenir de Paris

As much as I am continually charmed by the life in France, some things lag behind. For example, to complete most bureaucratic tasks (banking, visas, health insurance), a secretary hands me a blank piece of paper to put my request in writing. Most secretaries have a desk piled-high with said requests. Hmm.

Peeling paint and spiderwebs are often a part of the decor.

Our old washing machine has been bust for months now. I’ve been begging my husband to ditch it. However, there is only one issue; it is also our only counter space. How I long for one of those stainless steel and granite American-style kitchens with a French-doored refrigerator and a freezer larger than a shoebox!

Finally, the other night I was brushing my teeth on my way to bed. Not only to find a worm on the bathroom floor. Of all the things that could come off the street and into our humble bathroom, a measly little worm is the least of our troubles. But it doesn’t mean I want to have my bare feet in the proximity of an unannounced worm.

Old world charm, first world woes.