Posted by: kathandroger | April 26, 2012

Tomettes and J-35

We are still plugging away in our barns (or rather gites as they have now become). This has been a bits and bobs sort of a week whilst we await the arrival of our skirtings and bathroom tiles (tomorrow). Roger has done lots of boxing in and made various little hatches and covers whilst I’ve been filling and touching up. We’ve also finished the window sills …







These are the ‘tomettes’ that I cleaned up a couple of weeks back and between us we have finished all our window sills with them. We think it gives the place a bit more of a rustic look – and we are pleased to be able to use materials we found lying around in one of the barns!

So the jobs list is shortening a quite a rate of knots. Here in France they love to count down to any event with J (jour, day) minus the number of days to go. Hence the second round of the elections are J-10 – and by the same token we have decided to get our gites ready to go by latest 31st May. Hence, today is J-35 and counting!

Speaking of the election, it remains very close, with Hollande and Sarko in the second round and a point and a half separating them in the first. The big winner of the first round, I’m sad to say, was Le Pen who came in much better than the polls had been predicting at 17% of the vote. This was actually better than her father achieved in 2002 when he got through to the second round. It says a lot about people’s’ fears at the current moment that they should turn to the extremes of politics – and a lot about the lack of inspiration from the mainstream candidates. It also means that the 2 surviving candidates will have to appeal to the Le Pen voters, without damaging their more mainstream support. Hollande probably still has it by a head, but ‘rien n’est joue’ as they say in these parts…


  1. Kath, contrary to what we’ve learnt in the UK and elsewhere…. these are not ‘tomettes’… Simon and Susan of “Days on the Claise” discovered this when they went in search of new square tiles for their flooring. It would appear that ‘tomettes’ are the hexagonal tiles and what we’ve all got in this region in older properties, and call ‘tomettes’, are just homemade square tiles.


    I’m still going to keep calling them our ‘tomettes’….

    [sorry, Susan, if you read this!]

  2. I’m sure that you are technically correct, however all the locals call them tomettes, as do the masons and other artisans, so like you I shall continue to call them that!

    • Yes Kath…. I think that technically correct is “it”!!
      Don’t forget that Susan is a taxonomist… therefore everything has to have its correct name.
      I am now in the longere in my office, having been in Pauline’s office this morning [ie: our bibliotek]…. and the more I look at that windowsill of yours, the more I think ours over here will be done the same way… it just looks nice!
      So “Tomettes” rule, OK!

  3. We must have an unusually pedantic set of locals here in Preuilly then 🙂 The reason we stopped referring to them as tomettes is because whenever we did someone would chip us and inform us that technically tomettes is a southern (Provencal) term referring to the hexagonal style used there and that the square ones traditional to our region are carreaux des terres cuites. Terres Cuites de la Lorne, in the Brenne, where we bought our tiles, now deals with it on their website by referring to carreaux a l’ancienne appelé aussi tomette. I’m guessing that’s so their website appears for anyone searching for tomettes.

  4. Never imagined the subject of ‘tomettes’ could create such debate! Thanks for the clarification…

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