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Coup de Cœur – Part One: Let’s start at the very beginning

An occasional series chronicling the tale of the renovation of a former medieval watch-tower in southern France ….. here begins the six-day retrospective of the first six installments which will land us gracefully next Monday whence we will pick up the story joyously as a start-of-the-week-day series – the excitement I am generating, is positively crackling, non?

Half Baked In Paradise

Actually, Julie Andrews, let’s not.  Start at the very beginning that is.  The fact is that this particular serial .. Oh! I feel the need to digress – I LOVE a serial!  All those wonderful adaptations that the British do so well – from The Forsytes, through The Pallisers, much Jane Austen, many Thomas Hardy’s and no doubt a glut of Dickens whose great works were written as episodes for a variety of journals, only later being published in book form.  This explains two things – firstly, why he serialises SO successfully on television and secondly the minute detail in his descriptives which can be the finish of many a secondary school student’s tolerance of his work …. his narrative can feel achingly slow to the modern reader  but gathers pace and impact on the screen.  Not so for everyone but I have carefully explained to four teenaged…

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  1. Its a competitive age of blogging and in which you are just superb. Keep going. Also we are the Men’s Clothing Manufacturer. Our Online Store name is Zobello. Please visit once. Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

    December 12, 2017
    • Thank you for taking the time out to stop by and comment … of course being called superb is intoxicating even though I am not convinced you have actually read what I have written. I am certain a Zobello is wonderful but I am a woman living on her own most of the time and have no real need for menswear. Have a lovely day 😊

      Liked by 4 people

      December 12, 2017
      • I think you may be right on all counts there!

        Liked by 2 people

        December 12, 2017
      • I just had an email from another follower congratulating me on my retort which doubtless fell on deaf ears and blind eyes but I enjoyed sending it!!!

        Liked by 2 people

        December 12, 2017
      • I do so hate those sort of users. It drags WordPress down to Facebook level; but we won’t let it will we!!

        Liked by 2 people

        December 12, 2017
      • We most certainly will not. WordPress is a sacred and decent place and those types can bluddy well bugger off!

        Liked by 2 people

        December 12, 2017
      • I don’t know the French for Hear, hear. Take it as spoken.

        Liked by 2 people

        December 12, 2017
      • Probably ‘bien dit, bien dit’ – that’s what they shout in parliament. Whatever the correct French I hear you and we shall not be moved!

        Liked by 2 people

        December 12, 2017
      • That makes more sense in modern times than hear, hear. Well said.

        Liked by 2 people

        December 12, 2017
      • 😊

        Liked by 2 people

        December 12, 2017
      • O M G
        Couldn’t you at least buy some espadrilles? 😉 You know…. Some ppl have nerves

        Liked by 1 person

        December 13, 2017
      • Unreal isn’t it! Normally I ignore them but this time I thought I would make an ironic comment instead. It made me disproportionately happy!

        Like

        December 13, 2017
    • I’ll just add touché!

      Liked by 1 person

      December 12, 2017
  2. Pan #

    Looking forward to tomorrow’s installment 😊
    I can imagine this future novel to be thoroughly illustrated with the photos.. I also believe your photos of rural France would be a great travel brochure, that would lure tourists to visit, enjoy and discover this beautiful countryside and its people..

    Liked by 2 people

    December 12, 2017
    • That is a wonderful notion that I had not considered. I will ponder it and think of how I might achieve it 🤔

      Liked by 1 person

      December 12, 2017
      • Pan #

        The suggestion I’d give you in particular would be to put together a travel brochure that you’d enjoy and find interesting.. You have a unique sense of defining the world around you.. Add the pictures you feel compliment each point of interest.. Then copywrite.. Then contact the tourism agency for France, with your finished product.. You could even beta test your brochure with family and friends if you wanted.. That’s my 2 cents anyhow..

        Liked by 1 person

        December 12, 2017
    • @Pan – I did that for free for the tiny village I lived in when I lived in Switzerland. They were clearly impressed, enchanted, and very afraid that one day I’d come and claim some money…. But you’re right!

      Liked by 2 people

      December 13, 2017
  3. Are you aware that on wordpress this post has been linked with an “erotic romance” and what my mother would have called a potboiler? haha! I wonder what tagged up these three??

    Liked by 3 people

    December 12, 2017
    • Oh. My. Gawd! Goodness knows how I managed to get linked as a bodice ripper ….

      Liked by 3 people

      December 12, 2017
  4. Really interesting Osyth, and I shall be patient and wait for the reposts. Quite where you find all the time to do everything I have no idea.

    Liked by 1 person

    December 12, 2017
    • My father’s nickname was ‘Chaos’ Kennedy …. I take after him. So long as I don’t step back it sort of works!

      Liked by 1 person

      December 12, 2017
      • …and very well it would seem!

        Liked by 1 person

        December 12, 2017
      • I like to think of myself as a swan … sometimes, I fear others would say it’s more headless chicken 🐓

        Liked by 1 person

        December 12, 2017
      • I saw a single swan flying over yesterday. Sheer beauty. I do so wish I could do that!

        Liked by 1 person

        December 12, 2017
      • I was in Annecy on Sunday and the swans were sitting on the weir seemingly unfazed. I wish too …..

        Liked by 1 person

        December 12, 2017
  5. Looking forward to getting to Re…

    Liked by 2 people

    December 12, 2017
    • Thank you – I hope I won’t be a flat disappointment. Actually when I get to the history we have uncovered since this post was first published 2 years ago, I think you will be interested given your pedigree!

      Liked by 1 person

      December 12, 2017
      • Pedigree??? That suggests I know what I’m talking about… 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        December 12, 2017
      • Don’t burst my bubble – I believe everything you write … So well researched and informed – it’s what I love about your posts. And your quiet calm voice.

        Like

        December 12, 2017
  6. When I see the outside of the house I understand your “coup de coeur” (like the French “agents immobiliers” say), I hope you’ll show us the inside. Thank you for reblogging, because I was not there for the 1st episodes, now I will get the whole story 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    December 12, 2017
    • Have no fear! You will get plenty of opportunity to see inside … it will be sometime before I am proud of it but this is a story to be told with all it’s drama and horror and comedy intact … the only question is, who should play me in the movie 🎥 😆

      Liked by 1 person

      December 12, 2017
  7. Looking forward to the discoveries on the history front…
    By the by, my mother used to refer to immobiliers as immobilisers…..which given the idleness of some seemed quite appropriate.

    Liked by 2 people

    December 12, 2017
    • Excellent word – it is likely to enter the vernacular chez moi! After we have played catch up during this week, I will probably do another moment on the history before I set forth on the joys (!) of the restoration …

      Liked by 1 person

      December 13, 2017
  8. How exciting for you Osyth, it all looks absolutely wonderful and I can’t wait to read and see more. This reminds me of a windmill barn and cottage that my father grew up in, in northern Italy and that my cousin bought and transformed. History rewritten, love it.

    Liked by 1 person

    December 12, 2017
    • Wow! That I would have loved to see! I lived in Rome in the 1980s and always thought I would retire to Italy – then I met my husband and he always dreamed of returning to France (he lived here throughout the 1980s) and since I have always loved France I thought pourquoi pas? So here I am in my fifth year … it’s funny how things turn out. I hope my stories won’t disappoint …. as I said in my post on Monday – this is definitely a series designed to entertain rather than educate … I’m delighted to have you along!

      Liked by 1 person

      December 13, 2017
      • Aww that’s so nice. I have no doubt you’ll entertain us with your stories Osyth. Yes, I heard many stories of the famous Grumale in Italy when I was growing up and I was thrilled to visit it in person. It was many years ago now, but it always stayed in my mind.

        Liked by 1 person

        December 13, 2017
  9. Gosh, you own a heritage building! *faints right away. I would like to set my eyes on it someday (please pardon the shameless hussy trying to hustle an invite). xx

    Liked by 2 people

    December 13, 2017
    • Of course you shall come! Such fun and we have two Auberges in the village …. and a jolly good boulangerie – he makes the best Chaussons à Pommes of my life and pretty mean viennoiseries in general. And his Pain de Siegle – oh la la! Drop everything, get the next flight!! In truth it will be 2-3 years before we are in a position to have visitors …. but it WILL be worth the wait even for one as immeasurably impatient as me! Xx

      Liked by 1 person

      December 13, 2017
      • Thank you for enriching me with bits of French as always. Auberges this time. I have not tried a Chaussons à Pommes yet though I meant to when we were putting up in Versailles for Adi’s work there. I think a boulangerie in France is the best place to be. The nose tingles with the possibilities, and as for the eyes, they cannot believe the line-up of treasure. I did indulge in pastries and baked goodies thrice a day and yet I could not try everything! Bring on all the ‘pain’ in the region…my imaginary four stomachs is accommodating and very elastic.
        You are so lovely to not blanch at the hustling but I shall wait a few years to see the full glory of your work 🙂 xx

        Liked by 2 people

        December 13, 2017
      • It will be our pleasure! My favourite cookery book is called ‘Paris by Patisserie’ – I rather think I should try and find you a copy 😉 xx

        Liked by 1 person

        December 13, 2017
      • That sounds like a dream. What if one could eat all that a patisserie has to offer every single day and not grow as round as Tweedledee? xx

        Liked by 1 person

        December 13, 2017
      • You are SO slender I am amazed you allow any pastry to pass your lips. For me it is a question of desire-guilt-hike or run it off-desire-guilt-hike or run it off! xx

        Liked by 1 person

        December 13, 2017
      • Erm you are generous here because my desire to run comes from my incredible appetite for anything baked. Twice (the scoffing bit, not the running) on a Sunday 🙂 xx

        Liked by 1 person

        December 13, 2017
  10. jdraymaine #

    When I look at that house I think of my father and the skill and craftsmanship he put into the homes he built in his lifetime. Nothing as grand as this, but carefully constructed nonetheless. It also makes me long for an apprenticeship with a stone mason of old, many of the skills lost to the ages now. No electric hoists, no gas driven mixers, just brutal labor and a keen eye, skills I will try to learn as I restore my boat.

    Liked by 2 people

    December 14, 2017
    • As we have progressed with this project (as slowly as it has been) the outstanding thing for me has been to imagine how on earth those men in the 19th Century rebuilt (albeit quite simply as you will see as we go forward) the house let alone the men in the 12th Century who built the original tower. For me, seeing the cellars is always humbling. The walls are 8’ thick ….. the men who came after, men like your father were simply out of the same mould – they got on and made good with the materials they had and primitive equipment. Part of the joy for you will be learning the old ways and the sheer satisfaction of the hardest labor. I am so looking forward to following your journey ⛵️

      Liked by 1 person

      December 14, 2017
  11. Intriguing! I’m hooked …..

    Liked by 2 people

    December 14, 2017
  12. I read the original but it didn’t recognize my like die to my silly cellphone not always recognizing me as WordPress.
    Anyway, I think adding a watch tower into the mix of it’s heritage really makes a big impression on me! Wow! This is amazing and I like how you allowed your heart and soul to embrace this house to already be part of your family, so to speak. 💞 🎁 A wonderful gift of yours to see beyond the obvious. . .

    Liked by 1 person

    December 18, 2017
    • It is a project of love. We first saw the place in January 2013, signed the papers to say we would become the owners in March of that year and signed the papers to take formal ownership in March 2014. It will be another couple of years before we are finished and can stand back and admire the house in her finery but it is worth the hard work,which we can only do from time to time given that my husband is the wrong side of the Atlantic and I am the wrong side of the country. But patience is a good lesson in life and we will get there. Meanwhile, I write the story as entertainment not education so feel free to laugh and smile – no tears required!! Xx

      Like

      December 18, 2017
  13. “die” in the comment is really “due.” Silly cellphone! 🤔

    Liked by 1 person

    December 18, 2017
  14. Wow Osyth… what a beautiful and very magical project in an amazing City and I can’t wait to read more. Just a thought though… maybe you should add a pot of gold onto your Vision Board for 2018! Maybe then those cheeky spirits will align with you. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    December 18, 2017
  15. Oh my, don’t you wish the walls would talk….sit and listen I bet she will tell you a story or two…on with the post……whoooo hooooo great pictures……she really is a beauty…XX

    Liked by 1 person

    December 25, 2017
    • Small but perfectly formed on the outside, abjectmess inside – which is probably why we relate 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      December 25, 2017

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