Sunday, January 13, 2013

Images from a pleasant week in January

My computer is in our office, which looks out on the castle, located right behind us. I spend a lot of time in this room. It is painted a heavenly shade of pale blue and on one whole wall is a topographical map of our area. There is also a comfy blue couch here where I often take a genuine cat nap... 10 minutes tops. The photo above was the view that greeted me the other day upon awakening. The afternoon beckoned and even though the week had been mostly gray, the rain had stopped and it seemed a perfect day for a walk in the woods.

The Virginia creeper that covers the front of the house is chartreuse in spring, green in summer, flaming red in the fall and just a tracery in the winter months. I love it in all its seasons

It's quiet on the terrace where the outdoor tables and chaise longue are mostly retired for the season. From time to time, when the sun comes out, I do relax here and soak up a few rays of sunshine, even this time of year.

The street still had puddles and Rick captured my reflection as we made our way towards the woods. We had on our rubber boots for muddy tramping.

The entrance to the forest always calls to me, no matter the time of year. It looks like the gateway to a magical world, and it almost always feels that way to me, no matter how often I descend the romantic holloways onto the ancient forest path below.

The path itself is very well maintained by the community. The trees and shrubs are copiced, the trail markers are repainted regularly, and this year new railings have appeared in a particularly steep portion of the pathway.

The red berries, with the rain still clinging to them, were vibrant against the green green of the grass.

A glimpse of Melleray, the village below ours. I do love the distinctive church bell towers in each village. Montmirail and Melleray never quite agree on the time. Our bells ring first and Melleray's follow a few moments later. Recently our church bells went silent after the first hard frost. It remained 4:20 for more than a week. Rick and I found we really missed the chiming, and we were reminded how many times a day we glance out the window at the church tower to know the time.

The woods are fairly barren this time of year, but I still enjoy this walk despite the gray, the mud and the sleeping trees. Rick pointed out that I blog this walk at least once a season. Does it get tiring? Apparently not for me.

At the end of the week, the sun came out for an entire afternoon. It was brilliant! It made it utterly impossible to stay indoors.

We took the opportunity to go to the garden and do a little cleanup - pruning, weeding, raking. We took our jackets off; it was that warm, as we worked in the soft soil. The promise of spring was definitely in the air and I must admit it made me long for it! But they say the snows will come this week. Perhaps this warm ray of sunshine which illuminated the inside of our garden shed, will be the last for many weeks. We felt invigorated, even if the day was strictly an anomaly.

Presumably my next post will include photos of a snowy Montmirail. Meanwhile we're cozy by the fire. I hope that wherever you are, you are enjoying this January as much as I am.


  1. Well, I'll never tire of this!
    Almost 5.30am and light enough to see outside so I'm off to water parts of garden. 32 deg C expected again today!Bonjour!

  2. The way you tell this pleasant afternoon makes me think to Alice in wonderland ! Especially the enter into the woods path. We make our way with you wondering if the things are still here or if they have moved. It is a real fantastic trip !