When we moved to France a few years ago, one of our projects was to be the restoration of a rather dilapidated cottage – the former caretaker’s cottage – in the grounds of our house. At the time the cottage was already in a state of poor repair but it did at least boast a roof and being typically optimistic English people with some experience of renovation we did not consider the task beyond us. One night shortly after our arrival we were woken by an extraordinary sound like a thousand large marbles rolling off a tin tray, the source of which we discovered the following morning was the roof of our cottage collapsing inward and the sound of all the tiles slipping from the rafters to the ground below. What had seemed at first to be a reasonable project had suddenly disappeared into the distant future and now required the proceeds of a small lottery win. I calculated today that if I manage to sell 25,871 greeting cards or 2,031 prints in the near future, the project may still be on……….. luckily I remain an incurable optimist.
The cottage itself remains remarkable for 2 extraordinary reasons – the first because it has a beautiful Charentaise style fireplace complete with limestone lintel and chimney-breast on the outside of the building and secondly because mother nature, in her infinite wisdom and artistry, has woven a design of golden leaves and intricate ivy forms around the facade, of the most extraordinary beauty. Maybe we’ll just leave it as it is……………..
ALL PHOTOS © JANE MORLEY
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