The property was a two-story house on a large, 4-5 acre, treed lot with flowers and shrubs, a pool, and it backed onto the famous River Lot. In short, a beautiful setting in the Aquitaine region of the South of France.
Inside the house there were four bedrooms, a spiral staircase to the upstairs, and a back staircase, a winter kitchen and a summer kitchen.
Zut, Ziggy and Squeak were the most affectionate and lovable dogs we had met in a long time. Zut was a little black spaniel/collie, Ziggy was a grey shnauzer/griffon, and Squeak was a little blonde mouse-hunting terrier.
Then we met the hens: two white ones and two grey ones, and got instructions for letting them out of the chicken coop morning and night. One of the white hens was as big as a turkey, and obviously the big boss Mama too. And, bonus, fresh eggs for breakfast.
After getting instructions on the food, dog walks, neighbors, vet, and general house information, we could not stay awake any longer. We crashed early and slept late.
Our hostess wasn’t leaving for a few days now, so she suggested we rent a car and take the time to tour around the area. Unfortunately, since this is a very rural area, it took most of the day to find a car that was not a manual. Automatic transmissions are rare here, and we didn’t feel comfortable driving a manual, especially on hilly windy roads with frequent stopping.
Though we did take her little manual Peugeot into the village for groceries once, and I was surprised that I remembered how to drive a manual. I didn’t even stall it once.
We spent a lovely quiet afternoon enjoying the river, and gardens, and dogs, and for me, it felt like going back to my childhood days of living on the farm. There was a sense of freedom to it, with only the sounds of the birds and animals, the light breeze through the leaves, the occasional buzz of a fly or bee, footsteps on the gravel path, or the odd car driving by on the narrow one-lane paved road…
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