I landed in Paris in March, to be greeted by grey skies full of rain. Winds that put a chill in your bones. Paris in the springtime is one color – grey. The skies and buildings and streets all blend into one color. The Parisians dress for this weather wearing black jackets and boots. No cheery colors here – no red or yellow to herald the coming of springtime. Mr. Winter still had his hands around the city’s throat – and did not want to losses his grip. The winter was trying to hold onto the city as long as possible. The grey rain and wind filled me with despair, and longings for sunshine and heat.
The house in Paris was purchased for a few reasons, one being the intent of adopting a child – one that is over 3 years old, and needs a home. Adoptions here are free of charge, with simple rules. (One rule being- if you are over 45 years old – no infants; the child must be over 3 years old.) I was looking forward to fulfilling a promise I made to myself, to save a child from a foster home. I do not agree about Foster Homes, and have seen, first hand, that people use the children as a means of income in this legal system. They do not want to adopt the child – because the monthly checks would stop.
This was one of the reasons why this house was purchased- to make room for a child, that would have his/her own room. A nice garden to play in, safe behind a fence. In a suburb of Paris to keep a distance from the criminal element that resides in Paris. (more about this later). However, this dream of mine has been killed. I have been informed by several people, that I am not good mother material. Nic stopped doing the adoption paperwork – which is in French , and agrees with friends & family at this conclusion. Now I question, why we should even keep this house.
So now, as I walked into this 3 bedroom house, what do I find ? Rooms full of mold !! Nic decided that it was best to turn off the heaters in the rooms that were not being used. Yes this is a logical move EXCEPT in an old stone house. Why you ask ?? simple … lets go back to the basics of construction… which also requires some history ( one of my favorite topics).
Back in the day – when the Romans ruled this part of the world – they built things with stones and concrete (a Roman invention)..they built to last !! yes its true
BUT what you must remember during this era, there were fires that were burning for heat and cooking most of the time- especially in the cold wet weather.. ( I am getting to the point ) SO as the rain pours down , onto the house – the walls – made of absorbent concrete(i think its the sand in the mixture) soaks up the water – and the old fires, were in the house, drying the walls with the constant heat from inside the home .. so it ended in a stale mate, no damage done.
BUT now, we do not heat rooms with fire, nor do we cook with fire. As Nic turned off the heaters in unused rooms – the walls absorbed the rain water, but due to lack of heat – mold was allowed to take over the walls. It spread like illegal Mexicans crossing the boarder. In 3 months; the mold spread across the walls, and jumped onto the hanging artwork, and even spread to the book case.
And here I come into the story – very tired from working on the homes back in SC, and my first step into the house, I could smell the mold. Nic pretended not to notice, or think this was a big issue. (A typical man response – ‘ I don’t have to deal with the problem, as long as I deny it exist ‘). The smell was awful, heavy in the air, my eyes within 24 hours started to itch. I had trouble breathing, and could not tell if I was just so tired from working in SC, or was the mold in the air making me sick.
This issue, pushed me over the edge – back on the ladder I went – only 48 hours after I landed in Paris, I was back to work – and my feet were killing me by now. It was going on 4 months of every day working on the ladders—but I forced myself to do it. Nic did not think, it was a big deal – his solution was to take down the pictures because the mold had spread to them …yep a real solution to mold – ha. The real solution was to remove the wallpaper and clean the walls with bleach..( and all the women said – of course !)
The wallpaper was old, and the glue was stronger than I thought, but inch by inch, I sprayed my combo of bleach & dish detergent to loosen the paper. Each piece of green wall paper came down, with mold spores filling the air. I did wear a mask to protect my self from further damage. But there was no protecting my feet and heels from hours of ladder work.
For some unknown reason, they also wall papered the ceiling in this room too – I was going to make this into a small child bedroom – which now is no longer an option. Instead I will make this room, into a Breakfast room – for our daily meals. This way the kitchen will be 100% working space and this room will be the ‘Petite Salle Manger’.
All the wallpaper is gone – but now, I have paid a heavy price for all the work that had to be done. My heels are so painful to walk on, that I limp now. It feels like needles stick up into the bottom of the heel. I have had to pull out my sneakers for walking because I need the padding to lessen the pain.
Nic made an doc. Appt for me about the foot- no, there was no long delay in making this appt. Don’t believe the American media – I could have had seen him 48 hours after Nic made the call. My schedule now, has become difficult , so I had to wait one week for 6PM opening.
… we shall see …what is going on..