We had our first fire downstairs. During the coldest months of the year, this fireplace is aglow throughout the day. This week we had our first light frost. When I woke up and looked out the window to my favorite view over green hills, there was a light powdering of white. Still, days were mostly gloriously bright and sunny and not cold at all. The fireplace in the salon was lit only in the evenings for clients who took dinner with us three nights this week.
We had two rooms occupied. A charming young couple from Marseille were traveling through and stopped for one night, but Marie-Claude and her husband (just plain) Claude, from Blois, stayed on for several days to explore our area in detail, so we've gotten to know them rather well. They did what I want to call "deep sightseeing," and we had the pleasure of hearing about their adventures and discoveries at both ends of the days. Claude is a retired archeologist and Marie-Claude is from a family of historians. They are very knowledgeable about all kinds of things, the kind of knowledge that makes you appreciate and understand the world around you. For instance they told us that our church in Montmirail and many other churches in the area are constructed in "the English style." Since parts of the church were built as early as the 11th century, clearly English influence in the area has been long-standing. When William the Conquerer set sail, not so far from here, and claimed the crown of England for himself in 1066 the two countries became one. That's continued to be big news, as I can remember having to memorize that date when I was a child in the U.S. Of course William himself was from Viking stock, so all these European countries became mixed up with one another from earliest time and the idea of "country" is rather a modern contrivance. In those days it was about kingdoms.
I have posted perhaps far too many photos on my blog of the view from our windows. But I can hardly stop myself from trying to capture all the personalities that are presented to us through the glass. The big sky, the pristine landscape without an ugly thing in the picture to mar the view. These days the sunrises continue to thrill, but it is the sunsets, casting a long golden glow over the green fields that have particularly caught my eye this week.
I never seem to get bored with this very same vision day after day. Of course, the light constantly alters the scene, the trees and fields change color with the seasons and clouds come and go making bold abstract paintings in the sky. A small piece of this view is particularly charming to me because of the way the sun kisses it so warmly.
It looks like a painting.
Another enjoyable part of fall days are elongated shadows.
Even though we continue to be busy at the Maison Conti, our rhythm of life is definitely more leisurely. It has been weeks since we've seen Anne. She goes back and forth to Paris and the last several weeks we have had little opportunity for even a quick greeting on the Place. This week we were able to sit down with her on the terrace in the sun and share a cup of coffee and some irresistible locally handmade chocolate after lunch.
I spent some time in the atelier this week. I've been working on more leaf prints as I keep finding wonderful samples at my feet. This one, from the lime tree in front of our house was so huge, I couldn't help giving it it's very own page.
I also am working on a few book projects, inspired by our week with Gail. This is a monoprint I made this week which will be cut into a cover for a book I'm making, using some of the leaf prints.
The book itself is finished, an accordion fold star book with a little leaf print on each page.
I also pasted some stamps in a little triangle book I made last week.
Going to Paris at the very end of the week was extremely pleasant. Not only is the scenery breathtaking this time of year, but the end of the drive brings us to Quinn´s house.