I’ve always been fascinated by doorways and gates, especially if someone is trying to close them in front of me. I cannot resist peering in and imagining what lies beyond.
In this period of celebration of 25 years since the Fall of the Berlin Wall and the dismantling of Communist regimes in most of the East Bloc countries, events which marked me profoundly and changed the course of my life, I do wonder if the landscape we espied beyond those walls quite lived up to our euphoric expectations. Or if it ever could.
But I do know that I am forever grateful that we could open those gates and discover for ourselves.
The world is all gates, all opportunities, strings of tension waiting to be struck. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
Explanation separates us from astonishment, which is the only gateway to the incomprehensible.
The world is full of people who have never, since childhood, met an open doorway with an open mind. (E. B. White)
The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion. (Albert Camus)
Look on every exit as being the entrance to somewhere else. (Tom Stoppard)
We are afraid of the enormity of the possible. (Emil Cioran)
This is dedicated to East Berliner journalist Thomas Otto, whom I met in late October 1989, and who had the first open and honest political discussion with me. ‘All you need is more choice…’
I know you’ve all missed my ever-so-useful posts about acquiring the chateau of your dreams in France or thereabouts. Fear not: I’ve continued avidly collecting information and pictures (my future as an estate agent seems secure!).
Price available on request – need not apply if you have less than 21 million euros at your disposal!
And, finally, one that is not for sale. It’s been converted into a hotel and restaurant, it’s not that far away from where I currently live… so I still dream of having a civilised supper with friends on the terrace at some point…
It’s a grey, gloomy Friday over here, with menacing clouds and raindrops all the way. Time to imagine an escape, methinks… And where better to escape than to a lighthouse. Or is that as unattainable as in Virginia Woolf’s novel?
Just think of all the writing you could get done with no interruptions, no Internet, perhaps just the occasional storm to keep you awake…
Another week of school and it has felt like three weeks in one! And that’s just for me, the mother, let alone for the poor boys. While we still struggle to get into something resembling a normal routine, here are some pictures to help us dream of getting organised.
A ladder, a ladder, because any self-respecting library has got to have one, right?
For those long, blissful soaks… Just make sure you don’t drop your book in the bathtub!
If you need to get away from your guests, here’s reading nook with a view in your dream house in Estonia…
So many of you liked the barn conversion picture I posted last Friday that I thought I would go out and take pictures of more barns in the area for you. They are a bit different from barns in the UK or US: there’s a lot more stone involved, for one.
One little confession: When I first moved to this area, I dreamt of owning a chateau with a vineyard on the hills of La Cote, overlooking Lake Geneva. With this view.
By now I would be quite happy with a converted barn in my area, slightly further away from the lake and without a vineyard (but maybe an orchard?).
The truth of course is that I will never own any property in this area, as the prices are exorbitant. But hey, we can always dream a little…
Quintessential summer song: Kokomo by The Beach Boys. Never mind that it’s associated with the rather silly film ‘Cocktail’ (and that some of us don’t like Tom Cruise anymore)… when my boys sing it to me: ‘Come on, pretty Mama…’, believe me: it doesn’t get much better than that!
You know my love for cosy reading nooks. They are perfect for winter, particularly with a toasty fire somewhere nearby (for burning toes and marshmallows, not books, of course!). But, come summer, you long for something fresher, more airy, to do your reading. If you are not fortunate enough to have a super-comfortable cherry tree like I did during my childhood summers at my grandmother’s house, here are some worthy alternatives. Plain woodwork and white shades are the way to go…
Not for me a timid manor-house, a larger-than-average barn:
Towers, sculptures, crenellations are things I yearn.
A place where my imagination and I can gallop unfettered,
where no one has tethered my quiver so impatient.
Castles in Spain? Pah! I scorn!
It’s the chateaux in France that I adore!
It’s Friday, it’s been a crazy week, so I felt like having a silly little ditty to accompany the pictures below. I am also responding to the prompt over at dVerse Poets, where we are asked to experiment with slant rhymes: the ones that sound nearly but not quite right, and are so much more interesting than perfection!
They probably have libraries already, but just in case you are looking for the perfect one… (I may have posted this picture before, but it’s just the most romantic chateau library I have ever seen).
Another mainly visual post for the weekend. Now that Spring has sprung (or is doing its best to spring here in the Northern hemisphere), we are eager to bring the beautiful outside indoors. Or I would be, if we didn’t have a building site just opposite our garden. So instead, I dream about places such as these…
Over the top…
I think a trip to the garden centre might be in order.