Robin and I are finally in Ardèche. We were welcomed on Monday afternoon with a beautiful weather: sunny, cold, and crisp. It was actually colder than expected, as the house needs to be manually heated with a wood stove. A few days in, we are getting the hang of it. We start the day by lighting a fire in the stove and keep it alive until the temperature is warm enough inside.
We spend our days tending to our fire, going to local businesses, visiting neighbors, unpacking our boxes, cleaning, cooking, reading by the fireplace, eating, drinking1, creating a space we can call our own. I am still waiting to see how I'll like it eventually, but so far, I love this new pace of life.
Read & Watched
I don't want to spend too much time on my laptop this week and will keep this section short and sweet.
By Jerzy Skolimowski
A Polish movie from the point of view of a donkey. I liked it better than Au Hasard Balthazar (1966) even though I didn't love it either.
The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964)
By Jacques Demy
A French classic that is surprisingly better than what I was expecting. And look at these wallpapers!
Return to Seoul (2022)
By Davy Chou
Pretty impressive to know that the main actress—Ji-Min Park—had never acted before. Not my favorite movie of the year, but it dives into the adoption topic that we don't see much on screen.
A murder mystery puzzle
A month ago, I watched Glass Onion. After watching a movie, I usually enjoy reading articles or watching videos analyzing it. In one of these explanation videos, I discovered that Benoit Blanc's introduction scene (in the bathroom) shows that he owns Cain's Jawbone. It is an infamous murder mystery puzzle printed as a book, first published in 1930.
Wikipedia will explain the concept better than I could:
The puzzle consists of a 100-page prose narrative with its pages arranged in the wrong order. [...] To solve the puzzle, the reader must determine the correct order of the pages and also the names of the murderers and victims within the story. The story's text includes a large number of quotations, references, puns, Spoonerisms and other word games. The pages can be arranged in 9.33×10157 (factorial of 100) possible combinations, but there is only one correct order. The solution to the puzzle has never been made public.
Needless to say, I really want this book.
I haven't had time to find a practical use for this tool yet. But well, I am a sucker for rainbow colors on my screen.
That you can use ashes to clean stuff
As explained above, we need to heat our main living room with a stove. This means that we produce a lot of ashes. Robin's grandma—France—usually uses it for the garden. However, we now have too much of it and need to find other uses. Well, lucky us, ashes can be used—a bit like baking soda—to do practically anything! Some of these uses include: cleaning anything kitchen-related (an oven, a pot, a kitchen plate), making washing liquid, repelling insects.2