10 July 2021

Plan B - The Art House

 We bought a house-!

In France. 

Wow. In retrospect, that went fast.

Last year, sitting on the aft deck of Maggie May - month after month, watching the world deal with covid, it was clear that travel - as a sort of lifestyle - was becoming less desirable. 

We began to consider houses. 
All over the world, in fact. 

From Hawaii and Oregon to Laos and Thailand. 
Back to New Mexico. Various Caribbean islands. 

An old château. An olive farm. 500 year old stone houses. 
Beach houses. Glass houses. Tree houses. 

Eventually, we realized - we like it here. 
The boat is here. We have friends here. 

Why not - here? 

So I made a little book. (I'm always making books-)

I wanted to identify exactly which elements were important to us. 
Which were "needs" and which were "wants". I was very specific. 

As usual, I had a list. 

It took a LOT of searching - mostly online. 
We almost gave up a few times. 
But - it happened-!

Here's what it looks like: 

Even online, we fell in love with it. 

It's easy. Simple. A bit quirky. 
Unusual, but still - kinda French.

Just big enough. 
But - there's space for a music studio for Stan - and an art studio for me. 

Of course, compared to Maggie May, it's quite large. 

It's about 20 minutes from the boat. 

(Oddly, the boat has MUCH better storage! There are NO closets in this house.)

We're still in the south of France, between the Mediterranean and the Pyrenees. 

The area is beautiful. 
Full of flowers and birds and markets.
Good food, good friends and wines. 

We're on the edge of the village, just below a pine forest.

Bize is a great little village - we'd stayed here once before with the kids in 2014.

A river runs through the village. 

The atmosphere is completely different from the Canal du Midi. 

After signing the documents, we had to wait 3 months to get the keys. 

We had NO furniture. No dishes, towels, linens, tools, containers. 
No house stuff.
Nada. Starting again from scratch.

In March, we went into lockdown for the third time. So glad we decided to get the house!
Stores were closed, but we could order things and have them delivered.

So - first thing we did was - put in a pool. 
Yikes! What a project. 

Cranes and tractors and what a mess. 
But - they started on Monday. By Friday - we had water in the pool. 

Okay, it's not really finished. 

They're all booked up over summer, and will come back in September to make it look pretty. 
Lay the stone surround. Finish the wall. 

However, it's fully functional, if not super attractive yet. 

It works. - And on hot days, man, it's great. 

In the last few years, there were some VERY HOT days on the boat. 
We dreamed of - jumping into a pool.

Now we have one.

We're also gardening. 

That was the main thing we missed on the boat during the confinement. 
Not TV. Or a freezer. Not being on the grid. It was - puttering - in a garden.

(Ice cubes came a close second-)

 The soil here is absolute clay. 
Terrible stuff and full of rocks! 
(How do they grow anything here?) 

But - plants seem to thrive.

We even planted tomatoes in May. 
By June, we were harvesting them!

Stan - looking for loquats...tomatoes in front.

Plus, in our garden, we have olive trees.
A plum tree.
An apple tree.
A loquat tree. 

Even banana trees.

These are loquats. Who knew?

And a cat - who seems to think he (she?) belongs here.

So - it looks like Plan B is working out just fine. 
It usually does. 

Again - we got lucky. 

"Won't you stay - we'll put on a day? 
And we'll talk in present tenses..."

- Joni Mitchell


  1. very good 360° view of a D-plan, or a B-dream, probably a W-project, sometimes, travelling is not far. I'm sure Stan he's able to go around a thousend miles just sitting on his pilot red chair...

  2. What planning. What a To-Do list. The end result is What a House! Of course, like everything you do Trish, it will be fabulous (even though it looks fabulous already) and I'm definitely putting a visit firmly on my To Do list. Bon chance and enjoy every little piece of what you create there. Much love to you both. X

  3. Yes, "Again-we got lucky"
    I love those first 3 drawings...and yes, we did consider those places as possible "Art houses". Thanks for posting...what a great way for me to see my (our) life!

  4. The pre-visualization paid off and helped bring this into your life. Looks very “Trish-like” as an abode. Very cool, well done. Buying any house can be a major life stressor but it looks like it all worked out great. Having a view is very important. Lokks quite idyllic. Je voudrais visiter!

  5. What an A-plan with superb execution.
    I love the garden, the house, the village - I'm envious.
    I'm devising a plan
    I must make a detour to France
    Who knows, the house has a cat, apple and plum so wine? Great view.
    Trish's art exhibition?
    Will figure out what to do with loquats