March 23rd, 1990
Spending the night in this tiny guest house, owned by the sweetest French couple. It’s hard to believe we’re only an hour and a half outside Paris and as much as I enjoy the city, I love the rustic nature of this place even more.
My room has a single brass bed and a quilt that Madame Bertrand told me took her over two years to make! She also told me she made the “rideaux en dentelle” (lace curtains) that are billowing slightly in the light breeze, plus she insisted on bringing me tea in a fine bone china cup. At this rate, I might just move in!
It’s been quite the day, tromping around fields, looking at houses and encountering all sorts of interesting characters. The first house we looked at was heavenly but it was in the middle of nowhere, which, with my single girl status wouldn’t be the best. If I didn’t travel with work, I’d get a dog but needless to say that’s out of the question.
The second place was basically a ruin and Jean Jacques laughed when I asked where the house was.
“It is here,” he said, gesturing around the open field.
“This isn’t a house,” I laughed. “This is a few crumbling bricks.”
“But at this price you make it what tu veux.”
“Building a house is out of the question. I wouldn’t mind chipping away and making some changes to something but I’d need at least four walls to start with!”
“Ok,” he smiled. “We go to next one.”
Seven houses later, I was more than ready to call it a day.
“Thanks for driving me all over the place, I really appreciate it.”
“It is no prob lem,” Jean Jacques replied, looking, I have to say, not only his age but also slightly exhausted.
“Are you ready to head back to the city?”
“Non,” he said, shaking his head. “Perhaps we spend ce soir here and look more tomorrow?”
“That sounds like a plan.”
“Ecossais is happy with this?”
Fortunately, it didn’t take long to find this little place, where Jean Jacques managed to secure not one but two rooms. We just had the most amazing dinner together and talked at length about, as Jean Jacques put it, “The boy who is making you sad.”
“Sorry,” I said. “Sometimes I have a hard time shaking him off.”
“He is la raison you want to come to France?”
“I haven’t thought that much about it but now you mention it, eh, yes, probably.”
“I think it is something for you to decide, oui?”
“Hmmm. Something to sort out before I make a big decision, like buying a house. In France!”
He laughed. “So for now you have a key to my appartement and you use when you like, ok?”
“Thank you Jean Jacques, that’s really kind of you. Sorry again for barging in on you last night, even though you didn’t seem at all surprised.”
“Pas du tout,” he said shaking his head.
“I’m that predictable, huh?”
“Non,” he smiled, “but you are still young.”