The entire house is being gently coated with a delicate film of dust with renovations well under way. Up in the attic where the space is neatly divided by an archway the fight is subtly being fought for the 'his and hers' domaine. But I can see there is some way to go before there is any space whatsoever. I freely admit to being a horder whilst fervently wishing I was a minimalist and guility reading articles on how to de-clutter and de-stress your life. But then there's a longing to explore such treasures and rootle through the past whilst DollyDayDreaming as the shafts of sunlight dance on the once loved bric-a-brac laden with rich memories of an exciting past life.
Beautiful exquisite handmade riding breeches with pearly buttons lie alongside heavy leather boots. Sparkly 60's style evening shoes lay wrapped in tissue in a box with a wonderful illustration for Carcassonne Chaussures. A trenchcoat from the war lined with bearskin, babies cots for the beloved children of the household, wicker baskets heavy with ancient books, one complete album of old photographs of the Languedoc and hundreds of black and white photographs of soldiers all staring fixedly ahead. A fencing mask lies askew, its owner having been a champion swordsman in the French Army, a cavalryman who survived the First World War including Verdin before converting to tanks and following General de Gaulle in the second. Debonnair, dashingingly good looking and the owner of three grand Palazzos in Carcassonne including Number 11.
To the left of the photograph the wooden device that looks like a sledge is in fact a moine the name for a large wooden frame and it would have had a brazier, of which I have found two, of glowing embers perched inside it. The frame would make a lovely large warm cave between the top and bottom sheets. It would heat up gradually without any risk of scorching the sheets, placed in your bed by the chambermaid to take away the chill and damp.
I'm wondering as I write whether you are filled with horror as the story of my attic unfolds or whether, like me, you are loathe to part with one single solitary item until you have found out its history and if by chance someone, somewhere, has a use for all these forgotten treasures.
I think I can be forgiven for a certain amount of lack of progress some days.
Someone posed the question as to when I thought I might be open for business. 'May' I answered confidently. 'May or may not more like it at the rate you're going' came a bossy voice from the background.
No prizes for guessing who uttered THAT.