Well I’m not at 100% but at least I’m getting out of the house. After 4 weeks of ‘taking it easy’, also known as lying on a bed and staring at the ceiling until you descend into madness, I’m finally getting out of the house a bit. Thanks be to- deity of your choice- because the weather is unbelievable. Who knew that there are places in the world where spring actually arrives before the end of May?

All the Newfies know what I’m talking about. Why it seems like just yesterday I rolled out of my tent in Terra Nova Park on May 24th weekend, hungover and blue from the cold, into half a foot of snow. Ah those were the days. Here in Semur the forsythia is in bloom, the willow trees are coming to life and the window boxes are already full of flowers. So spine be damned, a walk was in order.

We stopped in front of the Wreck for a moment and in the warm sunshine we were dreaming of the finished thing for the millionth time. Everything seems easy in the first blush of spring. A little further up the street we stopped to admire a fully renovated house when out of nowhere appeared a man who greeted us warmly, congratulated us on moving to France and asked us what we liked about his house. Oh where to start?

He started talking a mile a minute about how the house dates back to the 1600s and then he bolted down the hill to get his keys because we had to see his cave. Alright then. I couldn’t believe how anxious he was to show us. So he opened the doors and voilà, a cave which really was a garage with a nice curved ceiling.

Inside there were tools and all kinds of crap that one finds in places where cars are supposed to be kept. I was a bit underwhelmed to say the least. I was thinking ‘This is your man cave? Where’s your 10 foot television and framed Montreal Canadiens jersey?’ Then I looked a little closer and behind all the regular stuff, lining the dark walls, were bottles and bottles and more bottles of wine. Too many to count.

Then he went to the back wall where there was an old piece of cloth hanging in front of several milk crates. He reached in behind and started pulling out bottles to show us. These were his ‘collection’, dusty bottles from the 40’s to the 80’s with beautifully ornate labels from all over France. He even had one from Israel. Oy vey!

Now North American men take note. This is a man cave. Not a paneled rec room with orange shag carpet, a bar with brown vinyl padding, a neon Labatt 50 sign and a poster of Don Cherry (Americans replace with Bud sign and Baywatch poster). Not that I would frown on such a room. I’m not that kind of wife who tries to own every inch of the house. I’ve decided that my man can have a room all for himself if he wants, his very own sanctuary, a mantuary if you will, and he can fill it with any vintage he likes.