Week one is completed, and the gallery has a good skin on it which sighs and blushes as we enter. Yves has often mentioned that houses are like human bodies, with a skeleton, flesh and a skin, which is why putting concrete in them stops them breathing and makes them constrict. I didn't understand this on the course we did as profoundly as I do now, at the end of this week's work.
We also, thanks to Julian's multiple skills (and not after just a teensy bit of stress) have hot water again. We are sitting à deux for the first time in two weeks, in an orderly space. There is no-one playing Sufi trance music or mixing lime and hemp and we are feeling strangely lost in the sudden emptiness of the afternoon...
Never mind. It will soon be time to have a glass of grassy white wine and prepare our supper of roast chicken, morilles, fresh peas and a bottle of Côte Rôtie left over from a less romantic Valentine's day.
At eight in the morning, Les Couguieux is a serene and balmy paradise, the sun shooting through the vines and illuminating the little table where we have our coffee with emerald fairy lights. By about ten o'clock, however, the wind starts to rise and by midday a ferocious mistral is blowing at 5O miles per hour (drying a washing machine load of clothes in minutes and scattering 50% in the vineyard).By five o'clock the shorts are replaced by trousers and it is time to light a fire.
"Ways in which we are grown up" says Julian, showered at last and in long trousers. "The other day I broke my tooth. Then I went to the dentist and now it is fixed! And we have builders in! I've never had builders in. Have you?"
"No, darling" I reply.
It is always a wrench to leave, even for Bonnard and Rameau.