Posts tagged “traces of the past

A second birthday in the French countryside.

August gave way to the celebration of a second birthdya here at Coin Perdu. This time round, we only took a break in between work for early morning croissants and coffee, a gift, a song and continued later the evening with a meal around the fire…where else!

…starting off the day…

starting off the day

The day started off like any other ay the last few months…old clothes, gloves, work and sweat. But no, nowhere on the chantier(construction site)  was I to be seen. After all, I was birthday girl! So for this dayI roamed about in pretty clothes(to be simply translated as clean clothes !)


taking a break for a croissant and tarte peche

And for early morning coffee break, we sat in the shade of the walnut tree. Took of the gloves and feasted on croissants and tarte peches.

…froth on a cup…

frothing a cup

Gifts were unwrapped…no boughs and pretty paper this year though! In the spirit of the working year, they came clothed in newspaper and wrappings from the brocantes where they were bought. I giggled at the gifts, clearly seeing the attention that was paid to my comments on our stroll at the brocantes.

…olde worlde…

memory on a spoon 8-31-2009 8-14-26 PMold plates crumb scoop

And last, but not least. An end to another birthday here at Coin Perdu. A special day with all my loved ones close to me.


Petillante - Vincent Carême


Traces of yesteryear.

Walking around on Coin Perdu delivers surprises around every bend.

…savouring the old…

savouring the old

Firs, it is the obvious: the kitchen with some of the belongings still lying around, the rooms with its wooden, tilting floors, the original closets built into thick walls, the old barns with its farming implements, the old stables with its original chains and feeding cribs, no bathroom, an old longdrop outside behind the four a pain, the chicken coop and pig sty…

Then the stories of long ago and the people and their habits, likes and dislikes, their lifestyles slowly reveal itself when you start losing yourself in the discoveries. And you wonder about them. About the past of this house that is now yours.

Coin Perdu belonged to three generations of the same family. The house and outer buildings were handbuilt by the father, passed on to the son, and the grandson then ended their generation. After his death at old age recently,  it was inherited by his sister, who sold it to us and we are now starting a new book there, with our own stories.

Growing up in South Africa, where storytelling is a fundamental part of growing up, of teaching lessons, of learning about life, we are now sensitve to the stories and tales of this old property. We will allow it to remember its past, while  breathing our new experiences .

Click on images to enlarge

…the stables, situated under the big barn, which will become our future wine cellar…

cow barn1cow barn2

…the working barn, with all its tools and farming equipment and hay fever triggering elements…

stable barn1stable barn2

stable barn3farm equipment1

…my soon-to-be-dinner-table…

farm equipment2

…the large barn – our living “chalet/quarters” for the next few months

large barn

…the old kitchen, with traces of a previous life untouched on a yellow oil cloth: a gas cylinder, a bar of soap, the yellow pages, a plastic bucket…

homemade sink

…an ashtray, wine glasses, string , a pen -we use Monsieur’s wine glasses and I think of him every time…


…his meals consisted of many bottles of  paté de canard, probably along with une baguette et du vin rouge …

paté de canard

…two woodburning stoves and their tools, an old kitchen cupboard with beautiful doors, some vintage frills on the dirty shelves, a modern plastic coffeegrinder, a chamber pot bench in the massive fireplace…

kitchen fireplaceold closet

…old porcelaine pieces dug up and discovered every day…

old porcelaine pieces

…plum preserves dug up under the ground, preserved peas in wine bottles from even deeper…

plums preservepreserved peas

…Old school books of Jeanne, inscriptions on 20 Aout, 1884, discovered in the barn

20 aout 1884Schoolbooks 1884