We had a fabulous opportunity last week to take a personal tour of the Montmirail château. While we were in Portugal the castle changed hands and is now under extensive renovation. The maitre d'oeuvre, or general contractor, is a client of ours and he offered to show us the work site from bottom to top. The photo above was taken from the terrace of the tallest tower, from which one has a glorious 360º view of the patchwork of fields and farm houses that surround Montmirail in all directions. You can see our roof in the very foreground. Considering that our house has three floors, you get the idea how high we were.
The new owners of the castle are allied with a huge medieval theme park that will open a few miles down the road in several years. Our client tells us this will be a park much more like Williamsburg, VA than Asterix... in other words classy rather than crass, with period recreations rather than fairground rides. In any event, it will certainly bring a lot of life to our area. People here are quite excited about it.
From far above back to ground level, let me present a red cabbage. Our friend Martine brought us this adorable organic vegetable yesterday. Besides being such a pretty object, it gives me the opportunity to recount a tale which I find amusing.
Martine is an example of what I refer to as the miracle of French genetics. Her parents, who are simple country folk, living in Montmirail, gardening and taking part in village life, are short and a bit stout. Martine is tall, slim and very elegant. She lives part time in New Jersey and part time in Paris and she visits her elderly parents in Montmirail frequently, which is how we got to know her. One day while talking, she mentioned that she has a friend she often stays with in Lafayette, California, the town we lived in for years. She mentioned that she loves shopping at Diablo Foods, which just happens to be the market where we also shopped. What a coincidence. The next time we saw her some months later she brought us a photo of our butcher and checker and stocker from the shop waving to us. She swears they remember us. We certainly remember them.