As we head towards another French Presidential Election, two of the candidates promise to retain the huge bureaucracy that ‘runs’ France. One candidate says that he will slash the numbers – and they’ve been striking already ‘in case’ he gets in!

Here’s an example of what?

Our water fees for 2017 arrived today. Deep withing the 10 pages of legalese about how the service provider is not repsonsible if one of their meters leaks, is this formula on how the rates are worked out:

They pay someone – sorry WE pay someone – to do this!!!!

 

I know, I know, it’s early but we’re excited!

A friend has painted one of our Bastide cats, the inimitable Mr. Worm in a typical pose.

The new BBQ kitchen and toilet facilities take shape.

A hive of activity

Right next door, the historic plain trees are being trimmed in time for the season.

An age-old skill now with modern machinery

Ménerbes’ answer to St Tropez’s Club 55, Le5 is taking shape with a major 2016/2017 winter renovation.

Grand opening April 2017! Builders willing!

The building site for a new terrace.

Rebuilding takes shape – a new Bistro deck and four luxury suites on the top.

A medieval structure re-born.

Once there was … a fence and a wall, now only the view!

A hive of activity

Back to the Bastide – 2017, here we go!

 

 

Naive representation painted by Tilda, of Chatham.

Near Chatham, Cape Cod

Near Chatham, Cape Cod

A Cape Cod house is a low, broad, often single-story frame building with a moderately steep pitched gabled roof, a large central chimney, and very little ornamentation. Originating in New England in the 17th century, the simple symmetric design was constructed of local materials to withstand the stormy, stark weather of Cape Cod. It features a central front door flanked by multi-paned windows either singly or in pairs. The space above the 1st floor was often left unfinished, with or without windows on the gable ends.

The style enjoyed a boom in popularity and adaptation to modern needs in the 1930s-1950s, particularly with Colonial Revival embellishments. It remains a feature of New England home-building.

Over the years owners doubled the full Cape and added wings on to the rear or sides, typically single-storied. Dormers were added for increased space, light, and ventilation. A screened-in porch was sometimes added to one side of the home, rarely the front.

Colonial Revival (1930s–1950s)
Colonial Revival Cape Cod houses are very similar to Colonial Cape Cod houses, but some have the chimney at one end of the living room on the side of the house. Elaborate replicas were designed for the affluent, while architects such as Royal Barry Wills modernized the Cape for middle-class families by including modern amenities that addressed demands for increased privacy and technology, including bathrooms, kitchens, and garages.Adaptations proliferated throughout suburbs which emerged after World War II, and planned communities like Levittown, New York offered Cape Cod styled tract housing, particularly to returning soldiers.

Whether you arrive by land, sea or sky, the Pilgrim Monument is the first thing you see when you approach Provincetown. Standing at 252 feet, the Monument commemorates the history of the Mayflower Pilgrims. It’s the tallest all-granite structure in the United States.

 

The Pilgrim Monument, Provincetown.

The Pilgrim Monument, Provincetown.

The Pilgrim Monument was founded in 1892 as the Cape Cod Pilgrim Memorial Association—Cape Cod’s oldest not-for-profit organization. Its purpose is to commemorate the Mayflower Pilgrims’ first landing in the New World in Provincetown, in November 1620. Here the Pilgrims spent 5 weeks exploring the tip of Cape Cod, before they sailed on to Plymouth. They also drew up and signed the Mayflower Compact, which established the rule of law for the new land.

President Theodore Roosevelt laid the cornerstone in 1907. In 1910, President William Howard Taft dedicated the finished 252-foot tower. In 1910, the Cape’s first building built to house a museum opened at the base of the monument, to educate the public about Provincetown’s role in Pilgrim history and American history.

Today, Millions of visitors and generations of local residents have admired and climbed the 252 foot granite Pilgrim Monument for almost 100 years.

“It’s Band Time in Chatham” by George W. Goodspeed Jr.

 

The Bandstand in Chatham town.

The Bandstand in Chatham town.

This often heard expression in this great little Cape Cod Town, was probably coined in 1945 when the Chatham Band started up after World War II. Some of the young men returning from all over the world, had used their instruments during the war years, and others had to dust them off, and get their lips in shape. The Band had shut down in December The Chatham Bandof 1941 with the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, but just about everyone came home to get things started again.
The Band was originally organized in 1931, when a group of local men, twelve in number, gathered and formed the nucleus of the Band. One of those men was my father, George W. Goodspeed, Sr., who had learned to play the saxophone from a Mr. Martell who lived on Crowell Road. They were able to get some other amateur musicians in town George Goodspeed Srand a few from the surrounding towns, and with Mr. Martell as the leader, they started what was known as the American Legion Band. The uniform of the day was a blue blazer, white pants and shoes, and a blue and white hat, similar to the design of the current hat. They started their music library by pooling their own money, and the rehearsals were held at the American Legion Hall on School Street in Chatham.
About two years after the Band was started and things were going pretty well, the American Legion Post in Chatham, in an effort to raise money, started to charge the Band rent for the use of their hall since not all of the Band members were members of the Legion. The Legion Hall was one of the old schools in Chatham, and it was known as the Village School. The rent started at $ 2.00 dollars per night. Because the Band did not have deep pockets, they started to look for another place to practice. They were able to get the use of a hall that belonged to the Improved Order of Red Men on Route 28, next door to the present Post Office. The Red Men’s Hall was later converted into a home by the Swan family that managed the Queen Ann Inn.

Since the late forties, the Band has performed free concerts every Friday night at Kate Gould Park, weather permitting.  “Generations of the Goodspeeds” have been a part of the Chatham Band since it began. Today, a Goodspeed serves as manager of the Band. They’re all working to keep this tradition alive for many years to come.
If you are free on a Friday Night in the summer, bring your blankets, chairs, and enjoy a fabulous evening. The locals say it’s the best entertainment in New England for the price.

Spotted the Batmobile at Fort Hill, near Wellfleet, Cape Cod.

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