My goodness me what a whirl the last few weeks have been but we are in the cottage and we have 24/7 internet access!!!! Yay!!
First of all, there we were still frantically trying to put up plaster board (the Dear One went up to a tiny area above the now entrance that housed a boiler to check something and put his foot through the ceiling board – it had to be replaced anyway…just now sooner rather than later), paint, finish the wiring etc and the three of us were just getting more and more tired every day. You know that feeling when tired goes beyond tired…it then becomes funny…because you either have to laugh or cry….
So the Dear One and Samuel were on the floor laying pvc wood flooring and I was trying to put renovation fiber paper onto the bedroom walls upstairs when tiredness made me clumsy so I stepped into the glue, got tangled in the paper and became one big itchy scratchy mess (it’s horrible stuff…feels like you’ve been wrapped in itching powder) so I packed it up and wandered downstairs to see what the two guys were up to – it was nearly 4pm anyway and I figured calling it a day was a plan – they were on the floor and had gone from bending to lay the floor, to sitting and now half lying down. Everything had become funny, Samuel had tears rolling down his face as he tried to clip in another piece of floor and it wouldn’t go in, the Dear One was looking a the straight floor meeting a scew wall and started to laugh at what could be done to fix it – other than the 10 cm wide skirting that Samuel suggested..it was just ridiculous..so we went to the farmhouse for a glass of wine to solve the problem.
And the next day, a couple arrived to view the Chateau to see if they wanted to stay here for a week. They were visiting as number in the area and we so happened to be on the list…and they arrived in a helicopter which gently landed on the front lawn and the Beloved, Samuel and I stood there…covered in paint, glue and dust and I thought to myself….”what on earth am I doing? How did I get to be Guardian of a Chateau greeting Russian visitors while looking like a walking human building site?” Fortunately they were very understanding and we promised we’d look times better when they arrive in April for their holiday.
The challenge came when our first lot of guests arrived. We were putting the finishing touches to the cottage and too-ing and fro-ing between the farmhouse, the cottage and the pool house where all our furniture was being stored. The usual stuff had to be sorted when people arrive, where is that? Can you find this? Can you phone a taxi? etc and one of them was the request to bring a single mattress from the farmhouse and hoof it up three flights of stairs to the very top floor so that three little girls could all sleep in the same room and laugh and giggle as little girls should. NO PROBLEM says me wondering how to do this…..
And ten minutes later I found myself sitting on said mattress on the tractor-trailer, bouncing through a field of little white daisies with the Dear One driving and the two of us admiring the view across the valley, the sun warm, the sky blue…just perfect.
Bit by bit we carried furniture and boxes and I spent time sorting through boxes and trying to work out what would stay in storage and what could fit where in the cottage. I have to admit there were happy moments as I unwrapped and discovered ornaments and treasures I hadn’t seen in a while..and the happy moments turned to tears as visited memories of moments and friends and family… a bit of a roller coaster of emotions but everything has a place now and the cottage feels peaceful and homely. There is still A LOT of stuff in boxes though but I’ve learned over the past year, that we seem to gather a lot of unnecessary paraphernalia as we go through life and it’s a good time now to simplify it all and keep what we use and what we need. It’s a “free’ing” kind of feeling is there is such a word.
We sat the other evening (the evening stay lighter now for so much longer) and this really cute little dining room table while dinner was cooking and we looked out onto the Chateau gardens and orchard and into the forest. As we watched, a fox popped its head out of the grass and trotted past, then four deer arrived to eat the new leaves, one must have been very young as it bounced around and had a game with itself darting through the trees. Then some woodpeckers landed on the that to look for insects buried inside and the sun slowly went down over this amazingly peaceful place. It really is a privilege seeing it all.
Spring has been incredible here. I’ve never seen so many flowering trees that are just flowers, no leaves. The magnolias were just breathtaking, the cherry tree behind our cottage and the two pear trees on the side – I can’t describe their beauty and now the apple tree next to the cherry has started to flowers as well. I walk around with my mouth open half the time..its hard to take in and no photograph really captures it all. The daffodils, the endless carpet of bluebells in the forest and the scent of them is mind-boggling. It’s all so new to me, so different from SA and even Brittany never had a Spring like this..Normandy seems softer somehow and everywhere you look, there are flowers – and when I mean everywhere, I mean everywhere! The join of thatch on the very apex of every roof is covered in a type of mud and then planted with irises..it’s a Normandy tradition and such a lovely one too!
The cows have arrived in their Summer pasture in the field between the Chateau and the Farmhouse so when I walk across I have their curious faces staring at me with their constantly chewing mouths and flicking tails. They’re very friendly and follow me to the gate to see where I’ve gone.
So that’s me for today…there is a lovely family staying in the farmhouse and I need to go and see if they’re ok. Thank you all so much for the encouraging comments and the responses to the poem..I even got a lovely one back so huge thanks for that. How is Spring/Autumn for you? I hope it’s beautiful wherever you are.
Take care of each other