29 January 2014

A view from the kitchen window

Maybe it's the loneliness as much as the wet weather that's making this seem like a very long winter. Out of the kitchen window, we can see (or almost see) five houses strung out along the road that goes down toward the village. Doesn't it look calm and quiet? That's because it is.

Sunrise out the kitchen window

All these houses, including the one directly in our line of sight, are empty at this time of year. The owner of one house died last summer. Another house has owners who live most of the time in Blois, and still another has owners who spend most of the winter in their apartment in the Paris suburbs.. A fourth house is empty and for sale. And the fifth is also owned by people who live in the Paris area.

Sepia-toned views seem more realistic than color photos this winter.

The house we see out our back windows is also empty in wintertime. In the photo above, the femme de ménage (the cleaning woman) has parked her car in the yard across the street. She comes in to clean two mornings a week, even though the house is empty and has been since September. I can't imagine what she does over there for eight hours a week.


  1. The owners of the house must be very wealthy if they can afford to pay someone for eight hours' unnecessary work every week! I suppose it helps with security, having someone check on the house twice a week.
    Or maybe it's some kind of tax dodge.

    Loneliness is an interesting concept. Here on the edge of suburbia with open country on the other side of us it feels the same at this time of year. But it's a worthwhile sacrifice for the relative peace and quiet most of the time. It's the long winter evenings that are hard to bear.

  2. Jean, I figure it must be hard to get a cleaning woman or crew to come in just in a while. It's easier if you ask for visits on a regular schedule. Just a theory, though.

    The winter evenings are long but we usually find a film or a documentary to occupy our time. And then I go to bed at 9:30 or 10:00.

  3. January's always the worst month,
    I think. But it's almost over!

    Sounds like the month is ending
    with a bang on the Outer Banks
    with 6 inches of snow predicted.
    I'm sure the road crews are going
    to be busy, and probably not very
    well equipped for such an event.

  4. i have a picture of that cleaning lady in a big chair with the tv on, a cup of tea/coffee, and taking a nap!

    how are you people in this cold? talked to my friend in Charlotte and they cancelled schools. have you seen the horrible traffic pix from Atlanta? those folks are suffering. us? just - 10* this morning (not windchill) so i'm calling it a win. hope your family is ok :-)

  5. Love the first picture with pink sunset/sunrise?
    LOL Judy! Interesting about the maid across the street. She may have a connection with the family somehow.
    We had an exciting snow emergency day here yesterday and the calm and peace is still with us since no snow or ice will melt today.
    Remember each day is a bit longer now.

  6. Hi Evelyn, that color shot is a sunrise. Try to stay warm back there.

    And hello Ohio, I talked to my mother today at 10 a.m. her (your) time. She said they had a thin coating of snow. Nobody in her retirement complex had been outside yet so it was really pretty to look at. It's cold but the electricity and phone were working normally.

    Judy, tu as peut-être raison.

    And Sheila, see NC weather report above.

  7. I had the same mental image as Judith. If that's what the femme de menage is doing, she has my full support.

    Gray and cold and lonely isn't much fun, but as someone said, it will get better soon.

    Here it's threatening rain and 66. I don't think the rain's going to break through though.


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