This week, PM ( R4's daily late-afternoon current affairs magazine) asked listeners to take a photo of where they were at 5pm Wednesday, and to send it in. The results are here: Window on your World
These are some of the photos I took that day. This computer is top L. Through the door and across the terrace is Mary's studio. This whole open-plan office/livingroom/kitchen is 3 floors up - so we look out over the village roof-scape.
So - for all those summer art course visitors who were curious about where we disappeared to when we left the Big House during the day to 'check on e-mails' (code for Nip next door for a Quick Smoke), or at night (to sleep the sleep of the utterly exhausted, or slightly drunk) and for anyone who is just plain nosey - here is our 'umble abode.
It is the original (but rebuilt) Cook's House, attached to the side of the main 1860 wine-growers mansion (Maison de Maitre). All the cooking for the De Longueval family was done here, and carried through connecting doors and passage-ways to the dining-room in the Big House. All the dishes were then carried back and washed here. All the laundry was done here.
When we took on the property in 1999, the buildings (houses,barns,stables,forge) had been standing empty for 30 years. The roof over this room had fallen in. We did most of the renovation ourselves. We tried to keep its character - but one thing had to be changed: the Big House had to have a big kitchen. Apart from that, little has altered in the subsequent 150 years : we still cook & wash & scrub floors & clean toilets like the Cook and spouse did. The money's no better - but at least we're the bosses.
For those who have yet to visit, your virtual tour starts here!