La Maison Des Professeur



C’est le plus grand projet que nous entreprenons cette année, pour la simple raison que la moitié de la maison doit être reconstruite.
Nous allons moderniser cette propriété pour y inclure une cuisine/salle à manger séparée et un salon avec des portes-fenêtres offrant des vues sur le terrain et au-delà.
A l’étage, il y aura une chambre spacieuse et une grande salle de bain séparée.
Notre intention à long terme pour cette propriété est d’y vivre nous-mêmes, il sera donc achevé au plus haut niveau, mais avant cela, nous allons offrir à la location hebdomadaire comme un Gite indépendant, l’achèvement prévu et la disponibilité de l’été 2023.

A true story.

Memories from ” la maison du professeur”.

I had the honor of sitting at the table in the main room of the little house a number of years ago with the nephew of the owners, Jean-Pierre or as we now know him “the Professor”

Little did I know that one day I would be the owner of that little house and keeper of it’s history. Among the many stories he told me that day, there was one I was reminded of when I came to clear one of the barns of items that had long since been discarded as rubbish, for me they were memories of when this house and the small hamlet in which it stands was alive.

The young boy and the barrel of water.

The hamlet did not have any drinking water, this would have been in the late 1940’s, piped water didn’t arrive until the mid to late 50’s. It did have some storage underground for rain water, but the nearest supply of fresh well water was some distance away in the next hamlet.

Daily the Professor’s father would walk with the single wheeled barrow that carried an oak barrel to that well, fill the barrel and walk back to the little house with that days supply of drinking water, along side him would walk the young boy Jean-Pierre.

On many occasions he would ask if he could push the cart only to be told “no you are too small and the cart is heavy, maybe when you are older and stronger”. Well summers came and went, the young boy grew stronger every year, until one day he asked if he could go alone to get the water, his father laughed but seeing the look of determination on the little boys face he relented and said he may go and get the water alone, maybe now he was big enough.

As proud as a boy could be he walked the one kilometre to the next hamlet, at the well he stopped, sat the cart that was carrying the barrel down on it’s back legs and slowly lowered the bucket down the well, slowly he turned the handle to raise the full bucket of water, repeating this many times until he could get no more water in the barrel.

He was now ready for his return trip with the barrel of water on top of his cart; he carefully lifted the cart onto its single wheel, noticing how much heaver it was now it had the barrel full of water on board. He slowly and carefully pushed the barrel down the lane towards the little house.

Today the road leading to the next hamlet is paved, 70 years ago it was just a dirt path with broken rocks and stones. Jean-Pierre knew he would have to avoid those obstacles as best he could or risk loosing the barrel and contents, unfortunately every time he hit a rock the barrel would rock and contents would slosh from side to side, spilling a small amount each time it did so. His progress was slow and accompanied by no sounds other than the splishing and sploshing of the water and occasional thump as the cart went over a larger stone. Finally he rounded the last corner that led to the little house, there on the step stood his father as if he had been waiting all that time for him to return. As he approached with a smile on his face and beads of sweat on his brow he remembered noting how much easier it was to push the cart the nearer to home he was.

He stopped at the door and set the cart on it’s two hind legs and proudly presented his effort to his father, he looked in the barrel, let out a load laugh and exclaimed “but the barrel is nearly empty, there is more water on the lane than in the barrel” all the little boy could think in reply was “but it was full when I left the well”.

Later that day they returned together to the well to fetch the water. It was to be another 12 months before the little boy was to be big enough to successfully collect the water in the barrel on the single wheeled cart from the well in the next hamlet.

Béthines, Poitou-Charentes, France