Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Chateau

Let me paint you a picture of my life at this moment:
I'm sitting in a little flat situated in a chateau in the small village of Sacy-le-petit. Life is good - a small band of wwoofer's, six in total, have spent our day off in Compeigne, biking to historical war sites (one of the hundreds France has to offer), eating picnics on the quai, and watching newlyweds leave the town hall. The Scotsman is humming along to the Amelie soundtrack, while Miss H., the Mother and Daughter, and the Composer and Play write bustle around downstairs getting the table ready for dinner.

But. Let me tell you. It has not always been this way. At all. In fact, I nearly left my first night. An abrupt 'blow-up' left me sitting on a grassy knoll, wondering 'Why am I here?'

And then, deciding to take this as a learning opportunity, I stayed. And I'm so lucky that I did. I can't even to begin to describe this place, but maybe if I leave a list of 'things learned,' you'll understand this magical place in the L'Oise.

1. Miss H., in addition to being a somewhat erratic french woman, is also a former tightrope-walking-singer. She experienced a bit of fame in the '80s, before inheriting her grandparent's Chateau in the mid-'90s. And here we find ourselves.

2. Miss H. also has an incredible Rolodex (in the literary sense...organization seems to make her flustered, thus nothing in the physical sense exists) of fascinating friends that include not only painters, sculptures, but trapeze artists, and fellow tightrope walkers. Some of whom have come to dinner while I've stayed here.

3. The Chateau runs on a code of unspoken rules that include the following: no discussing recipes at the dinner table (or film scenarios for that matter), never ever bring the ceramic mugs outside - that's what the metal mugs are for, and when weeding, poppies always stay. Even if it's the carrot patch. Even if you're re-graveling the path that leads up to the house, keep the poppy thats growing in the middle. And you do. not. drink wine with soup. Oh, and asparagus is never a 'side-dish', always its own course.

Part French, part eccentric, part human, Miss H. is unlike any I've ever met before. What a two weeks it has been...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I want to meet Miss H.
and have her call me Mrs. H.
I lived with a room mate who's mother was french...
guess what ...they had lots and lots of rules...about eating and conversation....

Mrs. H