Friday, 8 March 2013

Freedom's Just Another Word for Nothing Left to Lose - Part One

I know from your lovely comments on this blog, that many of you envy my life in France, so I thought I'd just tell it like it is.

This is the house I live in...

Les Granges - front

The road where I'm standing to take the picture is actually a small lane that peters out just after the end of the garden of my house.  It doesn't go anywhere, so there is no traffic.  So my house is very quiet.  Nothing passes.  Idyllic, you're thinking.  That also means nobody passes and says hello.

This is the back garden...


Well, actually that was taken a few years ago and the shrubs are bigger now, but it's still basically the same. It's not a huge garden - easily manageable.  It extends to the line of fence posts you can see in the (not too far) distance and it faces south so is always full of sunshine.

On the left side of the garden is a fabulous view (to be honest, that's what sold me the house) over to some nearby hills called the Monts de Blond...

The view

The cows you see in the field are Limousin cows - that being the region of France I live in, which is famous for its beef cattle.  There are not always cows in the field, sometimes it's just left for the grass to grow.

I live in a tiny hamlet called Les Granges - which means the barns.  

Apparently it was the farm for a commanderie of the Knights Templar some time between the 12th and 14th Centuries. 

This is a seal of the Knights Templar.

It would be nice to say I dug it up in my garden - but no such luck

The commanderie was situated nearby, where there is now a small village called Champeau.  Not a stone of the commanderie remains.  It may be that the stones used to build the houses in Les Granges came from the commanderie or the original barns of the farm - no-one knows.  

Interesting, though.

The Order came to an end in the early 14th Century when King Philip IV of France accused them of heresy and gave away all their property.

My house is one of the oldest buildings in the hamlet, being on an early cadastral survey in the late 17th Century. It was probably just a small barn at the time!

Of course, I have renovated it and insulated it, so it is now a cosy little dwelling.  This is the kitchen...


Kitchen 2

I do love the kitchen!

This is my living room - although I have since moved everything around and the room is more spacious now, with the clic-clac settee moved right back against the wall...

Living room

The wood-burning stove in here makes it very warm and cosy in the winter!

There is one more room downstairs, but I think I've said enough for today.  Another instalment next time!


Elizabethd said...

Looks lovely, Penny.
There are, of course, many sides to the 'living in France'view, some good , some not so good. In the end, it is just living, nothing particularly idyllic....or so I found.

Christy said...

Penny I just love your French country cottage and I think my favourite room would be the kitchen, how lovely that is.

I know you've done a lot of work on it to make it that way.

Take care,

Floss said...

Ooh, a nice peep at your world! Your house and its remote situation remind me of one we viewed - I was really keen on it, but Ben (quite rightly)saw all the disadvantages and work that needed to be done (there was no kitchen)! So we are in a less exciting but also less remote house, and with teenaged sons, that's the right place to be. Of course living in France seems like 'the dream' to many, and the reality can be exciting, but it's not the dream that many imagine. No where is, I'm sure... But I do love your kitchen, and your view. Thanks for sharing them.

busybusybeejay said...

How great having a place in France.We just have to make do with going on holiday there.In the last few days we have booked flights to Nimes and will hire a car and tour around for a week and we have also booked a gite in the Loire valley for a week in July.It's not quite the same as having your own place and yours looks lovely.

quilterliz said...

G'day Penny. Your home does look lovely. The kitchen is so fresh and happy looking. I am quite taken by your backyard and the view. Well done for everything that you have achieved to make the house like it is. Take care. Liz...

Debra in France said...

Hi Penny, I have always loved your house - it is so cosy and welcoming and there is always a pot of coffee on the go! You have worked hard on it and it is gorgeous xxx

Anna said...

Lovely house and view...
Have a nice weekend.

Anita said...

Thanks for the tour through your house and yard, it was great!!! Such history in your hamlet. The story of the Knights Templar is always fascinating to me. The front view of your house is sweet and it's a pity that there isn't a bit more human traffic nearby. Can't wait to see your next tour.
Cheers, Anita.

Carol said...

It does look idyllic, what views and you have made your kitchen so warm and welcoming. A beautiful home.
Sometimes we like to be with people but sometimes it is nice to be alone. It is best when we have a choice and not to have either forced upon us.
Carol xx