Wednesday, 13 June 2007
A small house in Segur
It was over a year since I first visited Segur le Chateau, in late 2005 on holiday with Mum and Dad, until I put an offer in on a little house on Jean d'Albret, Segure le Chateau. It was another six or so months, until Chris, Mum and I arrived to spend our first night in the house. The house was empty, with the exception of the borrowed airbeds, one of which required regular repumping throughout the night. Whilst Chris wondered what to do with himself outside of London, in rural France and devoid of mobile phone reception and and internet connection, Mum was ready to get renovating, furnishing and reconfiguring... Me, well I wondered where to start. A frigga perhaps, to chill the drinks?
The village was as gorgeous as I remembered and although we don't speak the same language (yet!), we made friends with our neighbours, we think they invited us to bring our French-English dictionary to afternoon tea.
Inside the house, we explored the cellar below the kitchen. Accessed via a hatch in the floor, it was bigger than initially anticipated and, once we removed a temporary wall, was found to extend out and four meters under the road. Plenty of room for 1,000 bottles of wine, a chandelier and a large dining table..... that is, once the load of building rubble and, strangely an old shower cubicle are removed. Although the house is 17th century and pretty new by Segur standards, the cellar was built in the 12th.
As it turns out, we are very lucky the cellar remains a vault as opposed to a collapsed vault and therefore a large hole in the road. Before our arrival Gordan and Anne popped by the house and found the road outside was soon to be excavated to lay mains drainage. Anne advised there was a large cellar under the road and was met with exclamations of "impossible, impossible". At Anne's request, the Chief de Construction accompanied her into the house, down the hatch and into the cellar and voila(!) Cellar intact and mains drainage hand dug around the perimeter. Merci Anne!