10 November 2009

"Chateau Ventenac Here!"

Here is a little glimpse into our lives at our current humble abode...the appropriately named "Chateau Ventenac."  We are help-xing here with Julia Bristow, a delightful English woman who runs courses here and rents the place out to families for holidays.  

The chateau is an impressive and substantial piece of architecture.   From a distance, it is the most distinctive building in Ventenac, extending from the grey tower on the left to the white section on the right.

Our work here has been getting the place ready to close down for the winter months when Julia returns to England.  Lots of stripping paint, filling cracks, retouching the walls, organizing rooms and the like.  Such a big house is a constant work in progress -- there is always more to be done.  

Here is Nina, our new friend from down under, mopping the front stairs.  

The Chateau is actually divided into three properties.  Julia's section is in the middle.  The tower belongs to a French doctor and the right hand side belongs to another French family. 

The king of the Chateau is unquestionably this guy -- Teg (short for Tegwyn, meaning "handsome" in Welsh).  He pretty much runs the place.  

And ooooh the ducks.  Their constant quack quack quacking was almost endearing at first.  Now it is getting annoying.  And have you EVER seen such an ugly duck as this guy on the right?  We have not. Our new fav activity is feeding the ducks, and on this lovely afternoon we decided to throw ugly the extra large piece that apparently doesn't quite fit in his mouth. Too bad. 

During our free time, we are still loving our walks along the Canal du Midi.  It never gets old.  The London Planetrees (thanks Kathryn!) have turned from green to yellow and started dropping their leaves.  Many of the vineyards are now a stunning shade of red.  

We'll leave you with this little tidbit: In France, if you don't make eye contact with the person you are toasting, you get SEVEN years of bad sex.  We are being very careful.  So next time you find yourself in France with hopes of a lil' som'n som'n, take note!  A votre sante!