Then I purchased a French Country barn in Ct. Now my ideal house would be a contemporary French country barn, if there is such a style. Lots of light and space but with character. As per Caroline Lacroix — I too live in the Charente. I am still renovating my lovely old Farmhouse but love the crooked doors, wonky walls and floating glass window panes. Hi Sheila, just loved your comment, we live in the Charente Maritime and it is the colour of the local stone and terracotta roofs that we love so much about the region, the Charentais stone — very peaceful, I love it. Sharon, There IS something about the aged stone, thick walls, and rich wood floors.
I love to see homes like this. You know the cost would now be prohibitive in every way, so these homes are indeed every special! There is something that draws me to old architecture. It somehow seems to command a great deal of respect because it is so old, functional and beautiful. It seems as if you take care of it and it will take care of you. There is a comfort. I live in a home built in in the US. I find this very sad. I only know France through photographs,many are your beautiful photos Sharon. I am in awe of their beauty.
I would love to live in a stone house. Someday I hope to visit France and surround myself the the beautiful architecture. That would truly be a joy. When I win the lottery…. Thanks for your lovely blog. Thank you for these beautiful pictures. I know how you feel.
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I live in a Victorian small in Texas. My bedroom still has the original floors. My sister wants me to move closer to her, closer to Dallas area, now that my husband retired from his last employer of 28 yrs. But, I can not buy a new home, so many all look alike.
I am not a shabby chic person, I love color. Sharon, I too am lured time and time again to the depth of the old stone architecture, wherever I may be.
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As we began to raise our family. I feel that the architects of the past did get it right and the people of the past live on in their stone structures. The character, the imperfections, the history and and the beauty of these old buildings tell their own story, each and every one of them and they beckon me wherever I go… to try and listen.
I feel honored and blessed to live in such a place and love every minute of it. I love what you do and present on the pages of your inspiring site Sharona nd hope one day to pay a visit! I love old houses. So guess that is my style. I do love everything French. I live in Ontario Canada in a Regency style bungalow that is years old. It is my dream home!
old stones and comfortable living - MY FRENCH COUNTRY HOME
I never thought that I could find a home this beautiful on this side of the Atlantic! We now live in a stone house in Lorraine which is years old. Keep up the good work, Karen I too love to look at your photos and also take my own in travels through France, Italy and Spain. But somehow I am always glad to return to my own home, a mid century ranch house in the American south. I think ones home is inside the self, not in any outside structure, and that to be truly happy one must be happy inside. Otherwise, no matter where you go, there will be discontent and envy.
And if you are truly content, you can be content anywhere, whether stone house, suburban house, farmhouse, or apartment. Just my thoughts…. My floors are crooked and walls uneven but it is solid and does feel like a protective bear. Although it is a bit drafty in the attic. I forgot the best part is the old Bank Barn, older than the house we restored it first, horses downstairs and tractor up top, hay in the loft.
Its beautiful!! Through the years we have lived in several old houses, and we have loved their character and atmosphere. We are lucky though to live near a Georgian harbour-side town in Wales, so we can still enjoy the wonderful old architecture. The thing I miss the most though is our old Inglenook fireplace and woodburner. Definitely old.
I have the good fortune to now live in a timber frame home, which I also love. While it is not old, 25 years, the wood and beams obviously are, and it has so much warmth and character. I love where you live and hopefully I can visit and go on a brocante tour one day. Love your site.
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I love old stone,wood or anything old. Old structures have so many stories to tell and i love wandering about them even ruins. I like your blog when you show us old structures and your beautiful home,thank for sharing with us.
Other places, too, but particularly France. No matter how run down and neglected they may be. But when I began to really take in the age and history of what I was seeing in France. I could never tire of it! Our house was built in , which is quite old for New Zealand! We lived, for a time, near Concord and Lexington, Massachusetts, where I experienced the same feelings of comforting and enduring architecture albeit not as long enduring as yours.
I loved every minute of our time in there. You would see people caring for their properties and tastefully decorating their exteriors, where there was really no need, due to the natural elements surrounding them. Each season brought with it new sites to behold and cherish. We now live in the suburbs of Atlanta and I find myself homesick for what we left behind. Really what I love about France and Europe in general is the way the old is preserved and kept along with the new.
Almost like time travel. Also, whenever I do any remodeling work on my house, I always choose natural elements to work with, wood, stone etc. Someday I would love to do a stone exterior and tile roof. Love your pics. Hi Sharon, First, thank you for sharing all the beautiful photos and lovely commentary on French life with us. I enjoy reading your posts with such anticipation. There is beautiful southern architecture here in Richmond, Colonial, some Victorian, some Gothic Revival and even English Tudor, all quite old and charming.
But for me there is nothing that compares to the honey hued stone houses with running roses crawling up the slate tiled roofs and coins outlining the deep window frames, lovingly decorated with pretty blue shutters and lacy scalloped curtains. Of course I cannot forget the window boxes overflowing with geraniums.
For me, these houses are an overwhelming connection with the past that draws me in and holds me spellbound with their charm. I have only been to Normandy once, Epernay specifically, but I am forever mesmerized and catured. Our current home that we are renovating and bringing back to life is a yr old Cape Cod. We are hoping our updates, while still retaining the old wonkiness of the building, will hopefully get the old place through the next yrs. Ma—tre Charles Loups, a polished veteran, has joined his colleague Xavier Rastaing in defending the interests of the victim's parents absolutely free of charge.
Ma—tre Lionel Lamassol is the highly competent prosecutor. Hadi, your killer's Jean-Marie! Hadi Benfartouk's martyrdom makes him the symbol of all young people—of all human beings, in fact—who are stigmatized by the color of their skin. Some demonstrators launch into a mock-xenophobic slogan: "Free Brittany Now!
Send Le Pen Home! In the courtroom Judge Rontmartin goes over the facts in the case and, when the audience reacts too noisily, threatens to suspend the proceedings. But the civil rights contingent, seasoned by past experience with the media, takes care not to "play into the hands of the National Front. The court is to be a forum as well as a tribunal. A few of the murderer's supporters are in the audience; they keep a low profile. The lawyers in the civil pleading say they will demand that Jean-Marie Le Pen be summoned. This is the most notorious case Pierre Mine has ever been involved in.
It makes him something of a sitting duck. The murderer is so nondescript that if Jean-Marie Le Pen isn't summoned, the defense attorney himself may become the target of Loups and Rastaing, the lawyers supporting Hadi Benfartouk's parents in their ordeal. The victim was fourteen when Ronald Blistier shot him like a rabbit, with a rifle, in the middle of Paris.
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It was nine at night. Blistier and a friend were putting up posters for the National Front. To amuse themselves they attacked a passing Arab; the kid ran away, and the murderer killed him, apparently for fun. The assailants botched their getaway; some passersby nabbed them and called the ambulance as well as the police, but Hadi had died instantly.
There was a lot of emotion. Even today, when Judge Rontmartin states the facts, the audience gasps. At his arraignment, Blistier confessed everything and was locked up. To justify his deed, he said that he doesn't like Arabs, and that everybody would feel a lot better if they went back where they came from. Hadi Benfartouk was born in France, of French parents. Outside the atmosphere is less constrained.
There is on top of everything else a certain exuberance among the demonstrators—joy in being together, exercising their rights, performing an act of moral symbiosis. For them, getting Ronald Blistier convicted isn't enough.
They want Le Pen officially implicated in the affair, want it clear that what he heads is a death squad, not a legitimate political party. Al Capone could probably have gotten some votes, too. It is sunny and nice out; sociability is in the air. Hadi Benfartouk's parents thoroughly support these demonstrations. Questioned about Ma—tre Mine's strategy, they express the hope he will not obstruct a top-to-bottom investigation of all aspects of the case.
For Ma—tre Mine, it's as if he were being asked not to obstruct his client's top-to-bottom conviction, since he isn't aware of any deep dark secrets. Not even the National Front wants the law against murder changed to make the victim's race a mitigating factor. They take our jobs. I had an unhappy childhood," says Ronald Blistier as soon as Judge Rontmartin addresses him—to Mine's consternation. Any lawyer would rather defend a hundred murderers than one idiot. If foreigners didn't come here, they wouldn't run into any trouble. Mine gets him to quiet down.
This isn't easy, but it isn't impossible, because in fact Blistier trusts his lawyer. He wasn't picked by chance. She'd been expecting trouble from the audience and is caught off stride at first by the defendant's expostulations. An idiot defendant is not ideal for a judge, either. Since cameras are not permitted in French trials, the little demonstration out in front of the courthouse provides the TV crews with their only material.
One after another, they interview Joseph Calussin. He is twenty-one years old, the brother of a school friend of Hadi Benfartouk, and black. It is he who founded "Friends of Hadi" as soon as he heard about the murder. He tells how youths of all races got together, all of them shattered, and how staying united seemed the best way to channel this emotion and make it last.
They are not connected to any political party, not even to S. Racisme , which supports their movement; they simply demand justice for the living and for the dead: the right of all youths to lead their lives as they see fit, respecting the laws whatever the color of their skin, and resisting anyone who tries to deny them that right. They speak of youths because they themselves are young, but obviously they don't find racism any more defensible when it affects older people. But Ma—tre Mine has picked his side. The defense attorney won't be marching with the anti-racists as he used to, but this goes unnoticed because nobody remembers him demonstrating anyway.
It's only the trial that's making him notorious. Each appears in turn, saying the same thing: justice must be done, because if it's not, France will stumble backward into the darkest excesses of its past. The first day's session is very disjointed. Both defense and plaintiff ask for delays, which Judge Rontmartin gladly grants. The defendant keeps offending everyone, hurting his case, worsening his already horrible image. He doesn't seem to pay any attention to the advice that Mine can't possibly have failed to give him. He can't shut up, though that is what his attorney must certainly have recommended, adamantly.
Ronald Blistier: "I had my gun along in case I'd see any rats or niggers, it could have been them that was armed, your Honor. Judge Rontmartin: "Unluckily for him. And luckily for you, you haven't tried to claim self-defense, because it wouldn't have held up for one instant. Ronald Blistier, waving his identity card: "I'm at home here, in my own country, I was born in Cachan, your Honor, I have the right to defend myself against whoever I want. Ma—tre Charles Loups, rising: "If the session must continue in this vein with insults added to injury, then my clients, the father and mother of the victim, ask not to attend.
I would myself prefer to follow them out of this room if staying means having to endure more of this racist madness. Judge Rontmartin: "Be quiet. And Ma—tre Mine, try and make your client see an ounce of reason. Otherwise his trial will continue without him. Court adjourned. There are countless such incidents. During one interruption a journalist asks Mine whether, since an insanity defense apparently won't work, he has thought of bringing in stupidity as a mitigating circumstance.
I am not here to make light of murder. I ask that the court call Monsieur Jean-Marie Le Pen, president of the National Front, an organization of which the accused is a proud member and whose speeches, whose entire operation, I suspect of having inspired and then sanctioned the racist sentiments of the accused, thereby leading straight to the tragedy of November 19th. The prosecutor, Limassol, adds his voice to this request.
Mine offers no objection, and a summons to appear is issued. The president of the National Front holds a press conference on the first day of the trial. Man exists only insofar as he is separated from his surroundings. Stay inside or you perish. Death is divestment, death is communion. It may be wonderful to mix with the landscape, but to do so is the end of the tender ego. The sensation poor Pnin experienced was something very like that divestment, that communion. He felt porous and pregnable. He was sweating. He was terrified. Pnin, This was disturbing.
Only in the detachment of an incurable complaint, in the sanity of near death, could one cope with this for a moment.