I'm writing from my adorable little 1 bedroom in Sancerre! It's on the third and top floor of a little rowhouse on le Rampart des Augustin, a road which rims the north side of town. A very tight and steep spiral stairway leads directly up to my apartment, and at the top there is not even a landing, just a slightly wider stair, which is one of those miniscule details that I find totally charming.
Once inside, the bathroom (with a washer and dryer!) is directly to the right. Upon entrance to the bathroom, I pulled the cord to what I thought was the light, but turned out to be a heat lamp. (of course!) After much searching for the light switch, I began to think that maybe this is one of those bathrooms that has no light source, but instead just a heat lamp (you know, like there are.) I did eventually locate the light, which is part of the medicine cabinet, with the light switch inside, but I couldn't figure out how to turn off the heat lamp and kept pulling the cord, like maybe this time it would work, and started to panic, thinking what if I can't get it turn off and I accidentally burn down my apartment on the first night? It turns out, it's on a timer, which makes sense and is fairly consistent with most heat lamps I've encountered.
To left inside the apartment door is the bedroom, which has a queen-sized bed, a southern-facing window (nice sunlight), a nook with a radiator and a luggage stand, and a full-length mirror that seems like it's not a fat-mirror nor a thin-mirror, but a this-is-your-shape mirror.
The rest of the apartment, straight ahead from the door, is open, with the kitchen on the right side and the living room on the left. The kitchen is so tiny and French, with a half-sized fridge just below the stove top (two electric burners). I'm excited to begin the French way of shopping—with such a small fridge you can't store a whole lot, so instead you just pick up what you need for the day, instead of doing a big grocery trip once a week or so. I'm also excited to have a condiment-free fridge (most people are not aware of the condiment situation at my apartment in Cambridge, but let me just say that it's bad: our fridge is plagued by condiments—some homemade with labels like "Pepper Jelly (?)" that Alex and I rarely use.)
As I'm on the top floor, the right side of the kitchen has a slanting ceiling that I've hit my head on a few times (just lightly). Here's a photo:
But there's a skylight! And it even opens out far enough for me to stick my head out, so I can stick my head out of the roof! That's something I've not been able to do since my days of breaking into the Alumnae Hall attic at Brown (I'd pop out of a hatch in the roof and get into the bellfry! )* Here's a photo from the skylight (looking North):
There's also a kitchen table with four chairs, a bureau for my clothes, and then the living room area has a chair and a two-seater couch, and a TV that I doubt I'll turn on.
I like how simple it is here, open and clean, not packed with stuff like almost every dwelling of mine ever. As I mentioned in my previous post, I have an accumulation-of-stuff problem, and sometimes I'd look around my apartment in Cambridge and feel that it was a reflection of my mind: bursting with stuff, controlled chaos, scattered and half-organized. While living in idyllic French town in the Loire valley is unbelievably exciting, I think I'm equally excited about having time to focus without being distracted by the rest of my life. Escapist? Perhaps. But it sure is nice.
*Parents: disregard this sentence.