Well, we have settled at the new digs, unpacked and uncorked and we’re finally getting back into something that resembles a routine. The new place is nothing short of spectacular and I hope to give you a worthy description with photos as soon as possible, it’s worth the wait. I have a lovely new writing spot where I sat at 7:30 this morning reflecting on the past 5 days.

I think the allure of France (for me anyway) is the way people live and we’ve just experienced it first hand and in fine style. We stayed at a family run boutique chambres d’hotes (bed and breakfast), a renovated farmhouse in the tiny village of Buncey. It’s called La Ferme Ancienne and it is everything you could imagine it to be, beige pebbled courtyard behind huge metal gates, clay pots of lavender on the steps, ancient beams, stone walls, on and on. Each day we were greeted with fresh juice and croissants and yogurt and every evening a feast prepared by a charming young woman, so skilled at hosting and cooking that I wonder what the hell I have been doing with my time.

We had roasted vegetables fresh from the garden, salads and velvety soups, local chicken, salmon, boeuf bourguignon, chocolate mousse cake, apple tartin, fresh fruit sorbet, every kind of cheese from the area and of course the wine, the wine, the wine. On Friday night we were invited to a family dinner in the kitchen. The room was right out of a French country decor book complete with long harvest table and professional range, not the hulking steel things that we see in North America but the custom made in France ones that look like furniture with brass knobs and handles everywhere. The evening began in the cave deep under the farmhouse where we sat at an ancient table and sipped local Cremant (think champagne only better) by candlelight. This is the way these people live, all the time. Oh yes, count me in baby.

On the day we left I was strolling around the courtyard in the morning sun with the family dogs and I thought this is the job for me, Lady of the Manor with Labradors. I could just eat, drink, write a blog, feed the dogs and occasionally hunt for pheasant wearing some kind of tweed ensemble. Then later pull on a little Dior number for the bubbly in the cave.

Of course I realize how hard these people worked to make our stay the true French experience. I know there was much toiling and troubling over stoves and laundry machines and vacuums. The daily maintenance of a property like that has to be significant and I’m sure I would be a disaster at it. For one thing what the hell would I serve, toast and jam? I could not believe what we got for our money. I can’t imagine how challenging it must be to manage all the wants and needs of a Canadian with delusions of grandeur.

But I guess there’s no such thing as being a professional guest now is there? I need to get off the high horse and recognize that the days of retirement and leisure are coming to a close and that I have many things to be busy with. If you see an job ad for a bon vivant let me know, I’ve already got some valuable work experience…

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