July 27, 2015
Gathering in Baugé.
From the Atlantic Coast of France we headed to familiar territory: la Vallée de la Loire, where we met the whole clan at Xavier’s parents’ home in Baugé. Colette talks about her French cousins all the time and her eyes gleam in a special way when she talks about Jules.
Baugé is special because it is detached from the world – an inward-looking home and garden. Through the entry hallway, the thick stone walls and rhythm of the rooms beat seclusion. Even the garden is an island from neighboring properties – walled in - nothing communicates, it is total retreat. A perfect place to connect with a group of people we don’t see often enough.
Meals are ritualized – in French fashion. No one takes fruit or cheese before its respective time on stage, except maybe Colette (oh my! She needs some work on her table elegance…we think Romy might be more French by nature – sitting properly in her high chair, batting her eyelashes through meals). Meals last a long time. I admire this aspect of French food customs. Kinship around the table.
The girls love Baugé in its might – to them it is an ancient expanse – full of ideal alcoves for cache-cache. For Romy, the staircase alone was hours of entertainment. Up and down. Terrifying.
For us, city-dwellers, Baugé is tranquility and rest.