Monday, August 1, 2011

Dog Days??

It's August! How did that happen? And August, in France, is the month for vacation. As I've mentioned before, this is really NOT the month to try to head to the beach. And so I don't. But in my world, August means it's time for my mini-vacation as well. I don't go far...actually just a few blocks up the hill. My end-of-summer vacation (this is my 3rd year) involves relocating myself to "the mansion".

I house-sit for an lovely, older couple who head up to Brittany every year for a month or two. I believe this big, old house is 17th century with a remodeling done in the 18th century (but don't quote me on that). And I don't have the whole house, just a lovely little apartment at the top, with my very own...turret. My job is to keep the house looking lived in, harvest and eat the grapes and plums, and take care of the garden.

This year is the best year ever because Madame got me an internet key so it's not necessary to plod back to my apartment in town every day to do my work. Now, Arthur and I are settled into our new digs for the next month or two. We are happy campers...and I LOVE this kind of camping!

Our first night, Arthur couldn't sleep. He just didn't know what to do about all...those...delicious.... insects. In the morning, he went cat-batty when he heard mourning doves and numerous other birds as they welcomed us to our vacation home. We have neither of these things in town. Yesterday, I let him outside. The poor puss. He's a city cat. His tender paws have touched nothing but my terra cotta floors and the clay roof tiles of Aix en Provence. He gingerly explored this new thing called....dirt......and found himself a lovely perch on the old gate of the villa. He sharpened his claws on a real tree. He dutifully chased away all the neighbor cats as has now transformed himself into a bourgeois, summer-home-living, feline prince.

As the princess, I think it is my duty to show you around the old dump. It's a very simple apartment, but at the same time it's luminous, comfortable (aside from the mattress which could possibly also be 17th century), cool, and tranquil.

My teeny kitchen is charming. It has no less than I need...but certainly not more. My knives are going to have to make the trip up here.

I love the old cloth on the table, it's wounds and tears disguised by patches from another fabric.

The living room, with it's old....everything (aside from my speakers sitting on the table), just makes me feel all cozy.

The morning sun pours in the guest room...yeppers...I've got TWO bedrooms!

My bedroom is big and bright and I love laying on that bed and reading...aside from that little back problem the mattress is causing.

The view from my princess turret looks like this in the morning

And when you look down from that window, you'll find my stone-surrounded, private terrace.

My writing desk in my bedroom... just an oh-so-perfect spot. And sitting here, I just couldn't resist the urge to share my little vacation house with you.

It's not the Ritz, it's not high design. But there's something about it's relaxed antiquity that makes me feel at home. And by the way, Arthur has his own special feature. Long ago, in who knows what century, some other cat owner cut a little hole in the bathroom door so cat princes could access their boxes as well. Isn't that just nifty? 

I hope everyone is having a wonderful vacation..however large or small it may be.



  1. Hello Madam D
    Sounds like you are having a great time (minus the bed) in that cozy place. I wish I were there. Its so cold in Downunder. brrrrrrrrrrr..

    Julie x

  2. It's absolutely PERFECT!!!! Can't you stay there permanently? I love picturing you enjoying it all Delana...

  3. oh, and how about buying an "egg crate" for the bed? Do they sell them over there? Great invention..

  4. Beautiful! Love the tales about Arthur. How about an air mattress or foam topper for the bed? Or would that require a trek to, say, Marseille?

  5. Lovely. I'll be right there to partake of that other bedroom. I definitely would feel like I'm vacation every day. And I'd like to think that I'd be extra productive in my work.

  6. It looks lovely Delana. You are so free! And it's a break from the neighbors.
    aidan xo

  7. So you are the chatelaine of this enchanted chateau? Lovely tour of your quarters, I can feel the charm of this old place.
    I would like so much to come and visit, the little terrace seems perfect for a cosy dinner.

  8. Wow! How beautiful! You must truly get inspired there. And for all of your efforts I've given you an award!

  9. Want to rent out the other bedroom? I'd say you scored great digs to finish out your summer. I think I would love it there too. Thanks for sharing a little piece of paradise........

    The French Hutch

  10. How's the bed in the guest bedroom? It might be better to sleep there during the night, and admire the morning view only from the main bedroom.
    Certainly looks a lovely place.

  11. What a lovely little place and I just love the view out of the Princess Turret. Diane

  12. Julie-that's's your winter right now isn't it? Well, your winter project is....CHAIRS!

    LibbY- I wish...although I love my apartment as well. Too bad you're not coming now. You could stay here with me. In the BETTER bed!

    Lee-I'd need to fill in the deep hole first before I even think about a topper of some sort!

    Paulita-The door's always open, you know!

    Aidan-It's true...I am free. It was a long time coming! As for the neighbor...I have guests staying at my apartment right now. They say he's quiet. WTH?

    Blandine (I know I'm not spelling that right!) I feel so secure in my status that I left my tiara at the apartment. And you can visit anytime.

    WF-Oh my goodness! An award? Thank you so much. My status really is improving.

    Sarah-Why didn't I think of that?

    Diane-It's a bit surreal, isn't it?

  13. I don't know how you do it, I really don't. You must be quite a friend to put up with this for a month every single year!

    If only I had such fortitude...

  14. It looks lovely and Arthur is enjoying it too. No trip to France for us this year but maybe next. We like to visit the Luberon.

  15. You are a princess with your very own turret and King Arthur has his very own little door! It's a lovely vacation :-)

  16. Thank you Delana for sharing your delightful summer home with us - I think it's even better than the Ritz with those wonderful views and I'm sure Arthur will settle down and enjoy les bonnes vacances!

  17. I'll bet the entrance to this fairy palace is somewhat better than the entrance to your own place....

  18. Oh my, this is quite the beautiful little place. And perfect, except for that bed. I'm with Sarah--sleep in the better one! Enjoy, though I suppose you don't need me or anyone else to tell you that!

  19. Wow it is beautiful and serene. You are very lucky :)


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