Wednesday, 10 March 2010

the essentials of happiness

Working hard, as Mr H and I, like so many, tend always to do (tinctured as ever with talk of the illusive work/life balance) can leave the heart pacing relentlessly, one grows tardy. Going away shifted the attention for us. While there is nothing sparse about our lives, a visit such as this one served to remind us of other things. I admit one could form a habit for such a life. Our friends live in an 1848 year old farm in Bergerac, France, and this last weekend typified aptly a wonderful approach to life.
Following years of correspondence, this was our very first visit. I made a faint, rather squeaky exclamation at the sight of the luminous, peaceful blue above a rural piece of French heaven, their heaven
Misty standing guard
It is sometimes said that the grand essentials of happiness are:
something to do,
something to love,
and something to hope for...
Their home is beautiful certainly, yet what drew me most was not the extent of what they have, but in the fewness of their wants
log piles foraged from the woods
These are 'cow shoes'!

Misty                        Thomas
Thomas, when first met, spread voluptuously upon the rug, then rose and bowed himself, shooting half-opened condescending eyes at us

"Time, surely, for a walk...?" 

Rosalind         Cherry          Biggles 


 ... with a remarkably loud, varied tempo of honks! (we know... it was our alarm clock!)


Misty finally got her way, and a walk it was...

Misty plus cats, Cas and Ino - far right - names derived from 'Casino' the supermarket car park where they were found as abandoned kittens
.. the cats accompanied us for 2 miles
One of a number of intimate moments between Biggles and me (he may forget what I said, but he hopefully he will never forget how I made him feel!)

a kind of donkey heaven (mud bathing)

We may not all have long tails but what we have can be perfectly formed and needs to be showcased! (Cas was born with this little specimen)


Following Mr W to feed the donkeys

... and to clean their teeth (oh yes), but should you ever be placed to smell their breath (well I don't know, you might!)... rest assured it smells sweet, of hay, it is a natural, light and pleasant sort smell. Really!

... cleaned out and pressed tar into their hooves (to protect against rot)
... Mr H and Mrs W collecting logs - the vehicle in the distance is being driven by Mr W, and is dragging the log out on a rope (here it got lodged against a tree, a bit of a nightmare when you have 20 to do - and they all get stuck one way or another)


Mrs W and me shopping at the local market...
A French heaven


  1. Wow ... what a marvelous place to visit. Must have been hard to leave !!!

  2. Oh, reading this and looking at the photos made my heart and soul ache. I grew up in rural Quebec (Canada), never felt more "at home" than I did traipsing around the fields and through the woods. Had ponies, we had our dog....So long ago now. I've been a small city girl since I was 16, but it's never ever been the same.

    Ah, but what a glorious holiday you had/are having!

  3. Oh what a wonderful place, wonderful people, and wonderful animals. No wonder it seems like Heaven.


  4. Your cats sent me over to this blog!I can just imagine the French Heaven you experienced visiting this farmhouse!You certainly walked with Nature and I adore all the photos each and every one!(=^.^=)

  5. Heaven indeed - it looks perfect. I dream of French Markets - the kids love the Roast chicken and potatoes that they sell - always our best meqal of the holidays. xxx


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