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From a “Petit Coin” to a “Grand Pièce” to a Pile of Rubble

I haven’t left the apartment since last Friday at lunchtime, nor the bed for that matter, except for necessary trips to the kitchen or the bathroom. Meanwhile, outside it was obvious that the sun has been shining bright, the sky has been blue, the air warm and days like that in Paris don’t happen as often as one might like. I was also missing all the amazing things there are to do in the City of Light and all the wonderful people there are to do them with. For someone who doesn’t like to miss anything at all, being under the weather is sheer torture.

Jeffrey GreeneJeffrey Greene

In Pursuit of Wild Edibles - by Jeffrey Greene

The Leak Begins: November 2015The Leak Begins: November 2015

The Leak Progresses: August 2016The Leak Progresses: August 2016

After the Rubble: September 13, 2016After the Rubble: September 13, 2016

Since 2002, I’ve never missed a single Après Midi, until yesterday’s. Not only was this the beginning of the new year as La Rentrée kicks off, but Jeffrey Greene spoke, one of my favorite authors and favorite people. You have no idea how much I hated being sick in bed with an intestinal flu while so many of you were having the pleasure of his talk about his latest book, “In Pursuit of Wild Edibles.” (If you haven’t read it, then you MUST. He’s the master of prose and story-telling, not to mention an expert on such edibles as mushrooms and oysters and the like. You can get your copy by clicking on our Recommended Reading page.

Thanks goes out to “Paris on a Dime” Patty Sadauskas, my devoted personal assistant, who orchestrated the event in my absence, and The Essoyes School’s Janet Hulstrand, who assisted Patty, both of whom who have kept my freezer full of soups from Picard and water in my glass on the nightstand. Also thanks to Bob Eifling for helping Patty hang the black paper shades to block out the light for Jeffrey’s PowerPoint presentation.

To read the report with photos (taken by Patty Sadauskas) about yesterday’s Après Midi.

Meanwhile, while everyone at the afternoon gathering was enjoying Jeffrey’s talk, I was not void of entertainment from my sick bed. Finding a place to empty my bladder was the biggest challenge of the morning, seeing as my toilet had been dislodged, placed in the foyer and the entire room turned to rubble. I had visions of having to use the shower as a porta potty in an emergency and if of a more serious nature…well…I had no answer for that one.

To put this into perspective, we must go back to 2012 when I turned my “petit coin” into a “Grand Pièce” with the help of my contractor, Tony, and a big over-expenditure. You may even recall the story from Parler Paris titled “Talk de Toilette or ‘Parler Potty’” from June 6, 2012. 

Last November, a leak from above appeared in the ceiling of my “Grand Pièce.” I contacted the Syndic (building manager) and over the course of 10 months, I regularly sent photos, registered letters, emails and made phone calls. A plumber came once or twice to investigate, but from what I could see, nothing was being done to fix the problem and it was worsening all the time. As it worsened, I took more photos and sent more letters, made more calls…until last week.

That’s when the plumber called to say he was coming on September 13th to start the work. I had no idea what that entailed, but a sign was placed on the door of the stairwell that the water would be turned off from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. till Friday of this week while they worked. I filled bottles with water in preparation for having no water during the day and agonized over how I would manage this under the circumstances.

In my nightgown and robe, I crawled out of bed to answer the door at 8:30 a.m. About a half-dozen men stood outside my door with all sorts of equipment ready to take on their task. We moved the art and all the little knick-knacks from the toilet and foyer while they protected the floor and furnishings with plastic, then they began to tear away at the toilet and every inch of my beautiful “Grand Pièce.” (I am so sorry that I did not think to take a photo of the pile of rubble they created with the toilet sitting out in the foyer while I was huddled in my bed having closed off all the doors to the dust, the dirt and the noise of the drills and saws.)

Intestinal flu means a few more visits to the powder room than normal and there I was needing the facilities…then and there. Thanks to a communal toilet on the floor above…and then later, when that one was also torn up and out…to a neighbor upstairs, relief was achieved. Just at about when Après Midi started, they returned the toilet to it’s rightful spot and declared it fully functioning again. Thank goodness.

Of course, the room was left a disaster with gaping holes into the closet that abuts it on the other side. They began again today and lord only knows to what extent I’ll find my “Grand Pièce” by the time you read this, but all night long I could hear the crumbling walls falling down and each time I make a trip to the “Grand Pièce” I have to dust away the particles before plopping down.

Fun and games “dans les toilettes de Paris!”

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds - in her tub

Adrian Leeds
Adrian Leeds Group

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P.S. We’re hosting a very special, important North American Expat Financial Forum October 17, in Nice. Full details on our Conferences/Events page. Make your plans to attend now!

P.P.S. I will be in New York City in September and am welcoming personal consultations September 21st through 24th on the subjects of working, living and investing in France. This for the special price of $330 for up to two hours (normally 330€, a $42 savings!) If you are interested, please email me at [email protected]


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