Friday, June 4, 2010

First Impressions that Deceive

Hard to believe that it’s now been months, MONTHS! that I have been involved with construction concerns and bureaucracy. I shall leave the saga of the water for a later post. Now that the fence is finished, lacking only a coat of cement to waterproof and beautify it, my thoughts have turned to how different construction methods differ from one climate to another. For example, the fence. Not the kind of fence you’d see up North. Here everything is concrete, cement, stones, bricks, or a combination of any of these. In rare cases only will one see a chain link fence. One of the things that truly enchants me in Mexico, is how a house is truly an individual unit, wrapped in privacy, surrounded by high walls often covered with flowering vines, and accessed only through a gate that prohibits any onlooker from stealing a peek. A fortress whose look is softened by coats of many shapes, scents, and colours. The very first time I had experienced this was here in Mexico and in France, many decades ago.

I have always been fascinated by houses whose external appearance give no inkling as to what might be inside. There are many such houses or even apartments in the south of France where I spent some time in my twenties. I recall visiting a spacious apartment (co-propriété) in Nice, which gave no clue as to how truly magnificent it was on that first impression. The stairs were drab, nondescript affairs, which surprised me as I had been told that this was an architect’s place!

Things changed at the door. His large apartment-office combo entrance was through a huge mahogany door that would have looked at home in a castle; it opened onto a (to me) gigantic foyer with panelled walls covered in velvet in deep warm colours, in elegant contrast with the coolness of the marble floor. His office alone was the size of a whole downtown apartment. The huge mahogany desk mirrored the classical style of the whole place and I was smitten for life. I suppose that’s when I learned first hand that one should not judge a book by its cover and that first impressions may be deceiving, despite the customary warning. Could it be that sometimes you get a chance at a better second impression?

Not that my plans are aimed at deceiving anyone. The house plan is simple and in a style that I hope will turn out to look truly Mexican with brick ceilings arching up to a cupola that will trap the heat of warmer days and will let in light through arched windows. A one bedroom affair. I’m still working on the plan right now. I’ll publish it some time really soon just as soon as I’ve tweaked it to my liking.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to see your house plans. I hope the red tape is overcome and you get the homestead you're dreaming about. Glad to see you are blogging again. I look forward to the updates.

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