Thursday, 12 November 2009

Countdown to Carcassonne



The new abode never ceases to delight me with its own quirky character.  Take this jolly little fellow above the front door, how many people have their very own gargoyle with a lightbulb hanging out of his mouth to greet visitors ?  on reflection perhaps he was placed there to see them off.


I learn this week that the entire Bastide Saint Louis has a preservation order placed on it, which at first hearing comes as a welcome relief as I won't have the daily diet of destruction to witness on houses and sacred land.  I loathe white plastic replacement windows and the soulless front doors that accompany them, the culture difference between myself and certain French opinion on home improvement is a difficult pill to swallow, but it's neither my country or my heritage so I've come to the conclusion that it is none of my business.  


The Mairee of Carcassonne however seems to have grasped the importance of preservation so we are at least singing from the same hymn sheet which is a source of happiness to me.  I had a meeting with a representative this week who was a font of interesting information and passionate about stopping the recent pointless destruction.  I'm pouring over plans of the block where the house sits dating back to the consensus of 1624 stating the names of the people that lived there and their profession.  Next door Anthoine Malacoste simply describes himself as noble whilst others are simply Bourgeois.  Later on in 1729 there appears a smattering of grain merchants and drapers but in 1809 the time of Napolean names and occupations seem to be omitted.   I'm in my element, a house bursting with character, characters and waiting to be loved once again.  


Meanwhile the move looms on the horizon and a most unlikely calm seems to have settled on me which whilst most pleasant is worrying in itself if you get my drift.  This is simply not the time to be gazing out of the windows and observing the first settling of snow on the Pyrenees or watching the dawn rise and admiring the sliver of moon in the clear sky.  Equally naughty is participating in glasses of chilled Viognier at midday whilst I lift my face towards the warmth of the sun and idly prop my feet up. 



Shouldn't I be doing my Christmas shopping or something ?

12 comments:

bayou said...

Sally, I could just saddle my wee black stallion and ride down to you to help you with the removal! How exciting! And you will be in your new home for Christmas, I assume? Hope to hear more details - I will be waiting for them.
In the meantime, I cross fingers that it all works out as it should. Bonne chance, ma comtesse.

ChrisH said...

Interesting points about the different attitude to 'preservation'. I think you more than deserve a glass of something chilled in the sunshine... even though the rain's so heavy here I can barely see out the window.

her at home said...

If now isnt the time to sit back and drink something alchoholic I do not know when is, far better than tearign yor hair out worrying about boxes and bubble wrap! Love light fitting does it bite?!

Fred said...

Eleventh hour fiftyninth minute packing is always so much fun. It seems to be how I live my life. I'll join you in a glass.......

The gargoyle looks as though it's throwing up on unsuspecting visitors...

Frances said...

Hello Sally,

Yes, you certainly do qualify as a City Lady now. It really must be encouraging to be moving to a place that has esthetics right up your street so to speak.

I know you are going to have a fabulous time getting acquainted with all that will soon surround you, and adding your own chapters to the history of that building.

The light-bearing gargoyle is fanciful, a bit comical, and also just a bit scary. Just think what you might do with it next year around Halloween....

xo

Fennie said...

I love Carcassonne and you seem to be embarked on a wonderful adventure. Just love that description - 'noble' - the perfect answer at parties when people ask irritatingly what you do.
Sadly I can't claim to be noble other than being related to William the Conqueror - but then if you stop to work it out you have to have come from a very long way away not to be related to him. In fact the answer is almost as good as that of my SIL who used to respond 'I don't DO anything. I just am.

LittleBrownDog said...

How wonderful to be living somewhere with so much history - and no placcy replacement windows. Hope the move goes well and looking forward to hearing about your new adventures in Carcassonne.

Ange said...

And I myself wish you the very best of luck with the authorities with respect to the other minor details! I'm with you ... no plastic rubbish for windows (your above average French person doesn't like them either but unfortunately not every Frenchie that inherits is above average in taste! I would say 'or budget' except that those plastic windows cost a fortune too!!) I am meant to be doing up 900sqm of house and stables in Provence, but we are selling and will be looking round west Toulouse for something similar! Look forward to hearing your stories...
Ange

Ange said...

Have signed up as a follower - so I'll be back. When's the next installment?

Sallys Chateau said...

As soon as I arrive and open a bottle of sparkling Limoux Crémante !!!

toady said...

Wow! Turn you back for two minutes and you're off buying a fabulous house. It looks so interesting and quirky. Haven't been to Carcasonne for 40 years but remember how much I loved it.Now I want a blow by blow account of all the rooms and facilities - or lack of them.

CAMILLA said...

Hello Sally,

Apologies for not stopping by, just trying to catch up.

Wishing you much happiness in that new gorgeous house of yours Sally, I know it will be absolutely fabulous, lucky you too, I adore France, ah.... maybe one day I will get to visit again.

Happy 2010 to you dear Sally.

xx