Charm is the word. Un nid de chardonneret, I described it to them, a goldfinch's nest, and later thought of the connection with the word charm. Charming, pretty, welcoming, to be sure, but also when there one is under a charm, spellbound, elsewhere, apt to be lost.
Inside is a lustre of treasure, stencilled plates and dishes and bols for cider, pots and jugs and other vessels, old tools and country bits and pieces, restored and given dignity again, pretty, worn, oddly shaped and slightly mismatched wine glasses. The front doorway is no more, it has become a china cabinet,
and everywhere Guy's paintings. In the Paris winters, and later in St Brieuc, and dreaming of garden and village, he decided to paint it. The work grew and grew, last year he had an exhibition in the Rohan pavilion in Gouarec, and was beside himself with happiness. They are rich, colourful joyous oils, proficient but slightly naive. He's lately been amusing himself painting on old pieces of glassware, a need to embellish every surface.
Claudine arrives, cheerful and serene and brisk as ever in spite of having worked all morning and come back to a houseful, some of whom she doesn't know. Without ever once seeming to fuss or flap, she keeps us up to the fairly tight schedule, before the events of the afternoon. It would be very easy to dawdle and linger and gossip. We brave the blustery showers and eat our sandwiches and then the raspberries with crème fraiche outdoors under the parasol.
Other people, and this rather engaging King Charles spaniel, appear over lunch time. When the tour party, mostly English, arrive, and set off round the garden, everyone seems to be doing fine without my help, so I lag behind and take in the detail.
I didn't bother with grammar corrections, lessons are finished, we're on holiday. Anyway, it's too late now, it's been printed, and it's very sweet.
Frogs in our garden are brownish, secretive, occasional, far outnumbered by toads, who are all right in their way but have some rather nasty habits. The frogs here are jewelled and enamelled green and gold, and bask and display themselves and are very much at home. I can imagine any of them would be more than happy to retrieve the golden ball and be kissed in return.