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The two fellows whose willow like backs have been lifting buckets of hemp up ladders, and the soles of whose feet have been softly tamping the mixture down between beams are wounded. On the day the mezzanine was constructed, both their girlfriends dumped them.

“You do something you love which gives you confidence, makes you ‘plus rayonnant’ and you have even MORE love to give…” said Thierry, his big brown eyes brimming with pride and heartbreak “and the girls just can’t take it. It is too much.”

The price of change is, naturally, letting go but oh, I feel for them. Later that day we find a cork and a bottle empty of crémant but full of their sorrow wedged in between sacks of chaux.

Meanwhile word is spreading along with the ‘rayonnance’. The couple from the forestry commission, who pass every day, are entranced by the process. They have decided to do their own house up in the same way and intend to stop by on their day off to give a hand. Walking tours of ladies who pass every year are amazed to find the price of the materials is comparable to cement, plaster and insulation. Touching the walls, still sweating through their breathable membrane, they vow to look into it when they return to Paris or West Virginia. A local farmer, who passes every day in her blue Citroen 2CV, has given us bags in which to dump rubble and invited me to stop by for coffee on my jogging route one day.

The new mezzanine is a very sexy place. We take a glass of bubbly up there when the work-force have left. Vibrant under our feet and sweet smelling it looks across the atelier and out into the vines and it makes us float. Empty of computers, canvasses and packaging it is still possible to dream of a zen sleeping platform…..

j floating

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Ruth - small point & friendly advice: your images are enormous (500kbytes+). Try shrinking them in MS-Paint or similar...You can literally see them unfold as the page loads.

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