Tuesday, June 09, 2009

The 'Hood

If you've been reading here for a while, you know that our house is part of a tiny hamlet outside of town. There are nine houses up here at the end of our road on the heights above the river, just where the vineyards begin.

Red roses at the end of our road.

Four houses of the nine are currently occupied full-time. One is temporarily empty because its last occupant recently passed away (he was ninety-six years old). The others are vacation houses owned by people who live in and around Paris, except for one which is owned by people from Blois, about thirty miles north.

What should now be a familiar sight: the back of our house.

It's a quiet place, but there's always some activity. Many neighbors have gardeners who come and work for them. Others (like us) do their own gardening. Some of the elderly neighbors have health care providers coming by daily for therapy or injections. A couple of our neighbors have regular cleaning ladies.

Then there is the constant traffic of tractors as the grape growers prune, spray, or plow up weeds. Sometimes military jets zoom overhead. Often, in summer, there is a hot-air balloon or two floating by. The bread lady comes by five times a week, and there is a butcher and a frozen foods vendor that drive by once a week.

A stone storage building in the vineyard.

And there are always several cars a day whose drivers are lost and end up turning around and going back when they get to the end of the paved road.

Sleepy hamlet, hive of activity.

9 comments:

  1. So, Walt, do most all of the homes date from around the same period? Or is there a big difference in age?

    Judy

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  2. Judy, there are big differences. Some of the buildings were part of an old farm complex dating back at least to the 17th century. Other houses, like ours, were built in the 1960s.

    Three of the houses were bought by people from Blois and Paris in about 1970. They were pretty much ruins. They've been fixed up to one degree or another. Two of them are lived in year-round, and one is used as a summer house.

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  3. The stone storage building looks pretty old. If I had a lady delivering french bread to my home everyday I would eat every single morsel..... and I would weigh 300 pounds! French bread is my Waterloo.

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  4. thanks for the walk down your street! such lovely views all around.

    i cannot fathom baking that much bread daily and then delivering it to customers on top of it. i hope she has a lot of help.

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  5. It is a lovely neighborhood.

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  6. You've painted a delightful picture of the hamlet. It sounds tranquil (apart from the jets) and easy going.

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  7. It looks like a wonderful day in the neighborhood, Mr Rogers! ;-)

    BettyAnn

    p.s. But so much traffic! How ever do you two put up with it?

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  8. any history to the area? Roman villas? medieval hamlet? sight of 100 year war battle?

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  9. judy, what Ken said!

    linda, some of the "stones" in that building are cement blocks, so it has been repaired a time or two. I have no idea how old it actually is.

    tansy, her husband is the baker, she tends the shop, and she just hired a new person to do the daily deliveries.

    nadege, I agree!

    victor, it's a very tame place.

    bettyann, the traffic is a drag. LOL!

    urspo, there are roman ruins around us, and our river was the dividing line between Free France and Occupied France during WWII. Otherwise, we live in France's valley of the kings, where there is much, much history all around, and like George Washington after her, Joan of Arc slept in many locations.

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