Friday, July 08, 2016

The pig

 Rue de l'Egalité
The first house I ever owned in Argelès-sur-mer I shared with two anthropologist friends. The goal, never realized, was to live there half a year to write then return to the US to work half a year to earn money for the next six months.

It was love at first sight of the house, of the village, a coupe de foudre as the French call it..

The anthropologists' marriage broke up while they were in Burkina Faso where the wife was researching the Lobi. I sold my share to her friend. She installed the pig's head on the first floor (second US) under a 400-year old beam.

Anyone who has ever stayed there has loved that pig.

Eventually the house was sold to a Danish film maker who renovated the house, adding a terrace, a toilet on the third (fourth US) floor which was better than walking down the stairs to the one in the entrance.

He kept the pig.

 The pig

I found and bought my "nest" around the corner, which I also loved and filled my fantasy of having a loft. It, too, is in a 400-year old building on what was said to be the prettiest street in the village. Because of the franc to dollar ratio I paid $18,000.

It was tiny but I had space for everything I wanted and needed to live simply and happily.

Because I knew the new owner of the Egalité house and most of the people he rented to, I often was invited to meals or to watch fireworks from the new terrace which were shot off the church tower a few doors down where I could visit the pig.

 The kitchen and fireplace in the nest.

The dining and my office area. The stairs are between the barrier and stone wall making it seem much more spacious than it really is. There is a cathedral ceiling, skylight and beams.

The top of the stairs, my TV and the clic clac which turns into a bed. I had the armoire built in and holds my clothes, linens, books. I never wanted more possessions than I could fit into this space.

Rue de Vermeille. The nest and the warren are within two doors of each other. 
We can walk everywhere, doctor, dentist, movie theatre, green grocer, butcher, cafés, 
restaurants, dry cleaners, etc.

When I married, the tiny studio was too small for us, but we rented a flat two doors away. We call it the Warren. It too is centuries old with stone walls. Some of the stones had carvings.

We use the Nest, now as a guest room. The house with the pig is for sale. I would be tempted to buy it and the pig or maybe because of the pig.

However, I only want to buy properties for for cash and I can't pay cash for the house. I also never fall into the trap of not being satisfied with what have and always wanting. Also having lived without any debt at all for the past two decades, the idea of incurring debt, even for the pig, isn't worth it. I am not piggy.

Hopefully, whoever buys it will become a friend and I can visit the pig.

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