Day 219 (4 February 2011) – French Window Treatments

And by that I mean shutters, but not what most Americans think of when they picture shutters. Yes, here in France there are shutters like you find in the United States, door-like devices on hinges that one can pull shut in front of windows. But there are also these more elaborate things that most houses have. Called “volets,” these are lowered in front of one’s windows in a way that resembles enclosing a tank or something. Modern volets are handled electronically by flipping a switch near the windows. You hear a humming sound and this partition lowers, enclosing you inside a dark room by basically eliminating the function of a window. Older volets are hand-cranked. In our house, the volets in the kitchen have been modernized and are quite slick. All the others in the house are of the hand-crank variety. Oh, I should say, that some doors have volets, too.

So why am I telling you all of this and what does this have to do with today’s picture? Simple. Last fall I was hand-cranking the ancient volet associated with our dining room doors to the backyard. As I was cranking it, it broke. Ugh! We’ve been unable to close it since. I mentioned this to our landlord and he called a repairperson to come take a look. That’s his truck parked outside our house in today’s photo. I liked the truck’s color and got a kick out of the words across the top. Fenêtres is windows. Isolation is insulation. And services is, yes, services.

Anyway, the repairman, Bertrand, looked over our broken volet and will be back next week to fix it.

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