Last Friday there was news that some original Goya etchings had been found in a French chateau as they were going through their extensive library, probably conducting an audit for the first time in generations. (We all know how out of control our book buying habits can get, right?) What amused me most is that the report said the name of the chateau was Montigny. It is such a common place name in France that I can do a whole Friday Fun post with nothing but chateaux of that name. [Unless otherwise specified, all the pictures are from the websites of the chateau in question.]
High ceilings, large windows, light and airy rooms with a minimalist feel and minimum fuss and clutter are my favourites… in theory. When it comes to home libraries, however, I have a marked preference for the dark and sombre – much like my reading.
This is something I wrote a long time ago, on a very different blog.
My whole life seems to consist of being really happy in some wonderful places – and then having to tear myself away from them. I love exploring new places but I also like settling in, making those places my own, getting that intimate connection with them that can only come from repetition and routine. When it’s time to move on, I am excited about the new adventures I will have, but I am also sad to leave a certain part of myself behind. With each encounter with a different country and culture, I become richer in experience, but somehow also poorer when I leave.
It’s difficult to explain – but it’s like my soul has been bereft to a certain extent. I keep the experience locked up somewhere tight within and remember it with such delight from time to time. But the experience is unrepeatable. Even if I go back to that country, it will never feel the same again. If you go back as a tourist to a country where you were once resident, it can be exhilarating as long as you don’t think about it too closely. Or you can feel shut out, a stranger once more. It will certainly never again feel like home.
Last week, I had the opportunity to return to our village in France and took some pictures to try and describe the charm of the location (bearing in mind that these pictures do not cover all the seasons, only a sunny day in February).
Sunny spells announced today after yesterday’s stormy weather, but more grey bleakness still to come. So of course I cannot help but wish I were far, far away from it all, in one of these luxurious villas. (Small aside: have you noticed how most celebrity homes and holiday villas featured in magazines are rather tacky and over-decorated? It wasn’t as easy as you might think to find something appealing… even when money is no object.)
The final one is purely conceptual for the time being and might prove a little too much for my claustrophobic tendencies, but it’s the perfect desert island for someone.
Some grand old manor houses look good by day or night, and here are some which would make a great backdrop for a film or a book. Any additional suggestions of appropriate films or books would be much appreciated.