Mark, my husband, has just started refitting a new kitchen into La Maison Orange, one of the gites we are planning to rent out as soon as possible. A lot of work needs doing as after Mark finishes fitting the kitchen, it will be my turn to get started. I need to redecorate the entire place, starting with the paintwork and moving on to the varnishing of the parquet floors. This also means moving all the furniture upstairs and downstairs, as well as all the bits and pieces.

La Maison Orange is located in a tiny hamlet called La Ville Hatte. There are only four other houses there and three of those are inhabited by elderly sisters, all widows.

The three sisters love Mark working in La Maison Orange, as his presence brings a bit of excitement to the hamlet. Not much happens there on a day to day basis, as it is so small and isolated. Having said that, I doubt that it’s the fact that Mark is an exotic British builder in Brittany is that appeals to them: I have a funny feeling they simply appreciate a bit of young male company. I remember how much they enjoyed the recent military manoeuvres that took place in the hamlet: they relished every minute, sat outside on their chairs enjoying the show! Anyway, in the absence of handsome soldiers, all three of them have to make do with Mark and they troop in to see him every day to check up on his progress!

Breton peaches
Breton peaches

Melanie, the youngest at 79, has been known to offer him a lunchtime whisky for ‘la force et le courage’! Apéro is part of the culture in France and any excuse is welcome. But the sisters are also very generous people and have a heart of gold. Today, Mark came home with five enormous bunches of grapes and a huge bowl of peaches from Melanie’s garden… absolutely delicious!

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