Everyone has been asking for details about our place, so here goes........take a look at the photo album I posted at left for more visuals.......Pierre keeps asking "what is home?" and I say "where we live!" Oddly, there is what Pierre had assumed, who knows why, was a kind of LA gang sign at the turnoff to our road from the village, I think it is the mark for a Saint or of Local interest, something Breton which also means Celtic, but the jury is still out. It sort of softens the approach when we come from this direction.
We live in a small wing of a big house, with once white walls and original stone details retained from the 1770's during the 2006 renovation of our space, which is a lovely way to blend the old and the new. I wonder, if it were up to us, how much more of the old character we would choose to keep, and how much the practical considerations would reign us in? We both love old things, Pierre especially loves rusty wormy patinated things, while I like them a bit more refined, luckily he likes these too.
The set up is a bit similar to our house in LA, with a combined living and dining room on the first floor, with the odd name of Rez de Chausée in French) but with super high ceilings. This is a welcome change for us, a bit lofty, and neither of us has lived with such height before. It makes for rather an echoey room with all the hard surfaces, but with a few area rugs and paintings arriving it will get better.
The kitchen is modern and plain and just fine for us, again, structured like ours in LA, longer than it is wide, with two windows facing south to the cows grazing. No, we don't seem to have access to their product, we have never seen the farmer who takes care of them. We can make do with the delicious stuff at the market!
Upstairs there are three bedrooms in a row, just like our house, two a bit bigger and one a bit smaller (welcome guests ;-) We are using one as a closet and studio computer area, with two nice windows facing South.
The 18th Century original almost spiral staircase connects the two floors, and is quite a climb, almost vertical for our little cat who delights in running up and down. For us it is a bit of a balancing act, best to be holding on or at least touching a side for stability.... happily the fellows delivering our goods are contracted to put everything in the proper room, and fortunately there are two lavatories, one up one down!
The property is quite spectacular, with a wide allée leading to the grand house of which ours is maybe 1/8, the only thing like it for miles around, so it is quite legendary here. Because of the large flat surfaces front and back the wind can be very strong (or maybe it is some kind of sympathetic Hurricane Isaac reaction), and there is a nice wood all around, with a small lake that has sadly turned into a swamp, but will soon be fixed, yay! Oddly there is a lovely grove of bamboo very near our house -- one sees them here and there, probably one of the garden trends of the 2000's -- and we have two very picturesque outbuildings and walls containing our private patio, which you have seen in the last post.
Everywhere in our region there are Hydrangeas in colors I have hardly ever seen before In the US, particularly the dark red velvet I saw in the winter. This summer they have been every color from white and light green (rare and my fave) to pink lavender blue violet and a sort dark rose pink (my least fave). It is common knowledge in the States that to change the colors you simply have to change the soil ingredients, but here they say that "no one knows" how they change color. Right, I thought, just more stuff of local legend and the magic that is the French Countryside. BUT. A couple of weeks ago they started to change, and I mean all of the colored ones, OVER NIGHT. We had a friend visiting from Warsaw so there was an impartial witness, Saturday they were one color (in a day we see maybe 50) bushes) and Sunday they were changing. Here is some evidence, look at all the colors on the same bush, the pinky green is the direction they are going.......I'll make an album soon.
The album at left has pics of the ever changing and hard-to-stop-taking-pictures-of sky as well as bits and pieces of the house and our stuff in an album at left, I know everyone is very curious about it, as we continue to be...........it is very interesting to start from scratch, conceptually as well as aesthetically, though we both find the empty dirty white walls rather bleak, but have welcomed the chance to be have less instead of more, for the time being anyway........
Our cartons arrive tomorrow, so we will have art, a carpet or two, beloved books, dishes, a few choice pieces of furniture and Hoisin Sauce! First dish - Peking Duck Crepes........more soon.