Nicola Harrington - guest blogger living in France with 7 holiday rental gites

Nicola Harrington

My paint brushes have taken me to La Maison Blanche this week.

La Maison Blanche (sleeps eight), is located in a small hamlet about 3km from Reminiac. The hamlet is inhabited by three widows all in their late seventies. Melanie, the most active (and curious) lives next door to La Maison Blanche.

I had just finished painting the upstairs bedroom and bathroom and was huddling over a radiator drinking a scorching mug of soup, no, I know, not exactly a typical lunch in France, when Melanie walked in the front door.

‘Ah Nicole, what are you doing here, it’s 12.15?’

‘I’ve just stopped painting to have some soup, it’s freezing upstairs…’

‘Yes, I can see you have been painting’, Melanie continued, a little impatiently,’ What about the children?’

‘They are eating in the canteen today.’ I replied.

‘And poor Mark, why haven’t you gone home to cook his lunch?’

Heaven forbid that ‘poor Mark’ could cook his own lunch!! I tried not to smile.

‘I’ve left him some soup and I made him a quiche before I left this morning.’

She raised her eyes to the ceiling, just as my mother would. ‘Et pour le dessert?’

‘Rice pudding and stewed plums.’

Melanie seemed happy that ‘poor Mark’ was being fed, although I could tell that she wasn’t entirely happy that he may have to put his soup from the saucepan into the bowl!

Melanie turned and left. Ten minutes later, she was back with a steaming cup of coffee…

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