Cold Legs and Cappuccino

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Well, in my last post, I said that we could maintain an even 19°C in Closerie Falaiseau, our 400-year old home in Blois, but I spoke too soon. Also, I’m not convinced that 19°C is really warm enough when you’re sitting at a computer for long periods! To allow for the BIG FIREPLACE OPERATION, I’ve moved my office into the guest room. I still have more or less the same view, only a little more restricted, but when the living room is at 20°C, the bedroom is only at 17°C. Maybe it’s because there is carpet over the heated floor in the bedrooms. Who knows?

The view from my current office

We ended up going to buy a stand-alone heater so that I won’t have to sit with my legs wrapped up in a blanket and gloves on my hands any more. We could heat the house more, as we did today, but the cost is prohibitive and we don’t need a higher temperature in the other rooms. I also bought some leggings. I asked the lady for a collant sans pieds (tights without feet) which is what they used to be called, but she corrected me : “ah, des leggings” (pronouncing it the French way). I didn’t catch what she was saying at first.

My heater in Bricorama

Relationnel has completed stage 1 of the BIG FIREPLACE OPERATION. He has put up a PVC curtain to separate the room in half so that the rest of the house isn’t covered in soot. He added another curtain around the fireplace while he was sweeping the chimney and donned some more effective overalls than last time. Also, he made sure the vacuum cleaner didn’t blow the soot back into the room this time. It’s all a learning process!

Today, my wonderful new Pavoni espresso coffee machine arrived direct from Milano. This is a great extravagance, but I have developed a fixation about being able to make proper cappuccino. It has an automatic cappuccino attachment just in case I still can’t manage to make that thick creamy frothy milk that I like. We had to buy a magnifying glass along with the leggings because neither of us can read the tiny print in the multilingual instruction booklet, with or without lenses/glasses.

The translations into French and English leave much to be desired. The translator obviously didn’t have the machine in front of him/her when doing the translation. That is quite obvious. Also, the English has more information than the French. I am going to have to make an effort and try and read the Italian, I think.

So far, my milk foaming efforts have not been brilliant. It doesn’t help that I don’t have a stainless steel jug (the one my sister-in-law bought me in Australia is in my missing suitcase) and they don’t seem to sell them around here. I might try the Italian shop in Blois tomorrow. Drummer brother says you have to use the “kiss” technique, but I don’t really get it. I can see that I’m going to have to look at a lot more YouTube videos. Any suggestions are more than welcome.

The coffee itself’s good though.

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8 Responses to Cold Legs and Cappuccino

  1. Barb Hall says:

    Be careful Relationnel! There is a rather scary difference in scale. Whatever you do, do not drop the fireplace on your foot!

    • Fraussie says:

      He laughed when I told him what you said! I must say I’m a bit anxious too and keep checking (discreetly I hope) on the methods he’s going to use for each step.

  2. We have a coffee maker, and I find the coffee itself comes out very creamy on top: so I just add milk and microwave the mug for one minute. (I used to froth the milk, but not any more.) Everyone loves my method, even my fussy married-to-an-Italian-sister. I call it a 50/50.
    I sympathise with your being cold when using a computer. I get freezing, cause I am hardly moving a muscle… except the fingers and eyeballs!

    • Fraussie says:

      I’m certainly going to try that method!
      For the computer, I used to use WorkPace on my previous computer and haven’t put it on this one, which I am immediately going to do. It’s NZ software that makes you stop every hour and do exercises. When I use it, I don’t get nearly as many aches and pains from using the computer either. You can have a free trial.
      I’ve got my little heater on today and the room’s much warmer!

  3. Susan Walter says:

    I agree — 19C isn’t warm enough if you are seated for a long time. The thing is, it probably isn’t 19 at foot level. At the moment I’ve got 17 at knee height and 20 at head height. I’ve invested in legwarmers this year.

    That coffee maker looks the business! We used to have one, but the London water gummed it up irretrievably and I never replaced it.

    Best of luck to Relationnel with the fireplace works.

  4. Maple Leaf says:

    I’m always cold when I work at the computer. I definitely don’t get up and move around enough. In the winter I drink a lot of hot tea and wrap my legs in a blanket. I wear a warm wool sweater and warm wool slippers (Giesswein – if you don’t have any, get some! They are the best!). I think our flat is kept at about 19 supposedly as well but I’ve found the office is more like 17-18 which is fine if you are moving about but very chilly when sitting for prolonged periods.

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