Now on to the house:
Our tiny stone house was nice and cool inside when we arrived, but we could feel the heat rising by mid-afternoon on our first day, so one of the first things we did was to put up the sets of dark blue drapes we had brought with us in our luggage. In between each set of drapes, we have put up just one sheer panel, as we do not want to have too much fabric blocking our views of the village, but we need the sheers for light and privacy - especially on the ground floor.
Denise made for us to go with our navy blue kitchen. Denise is expert at quilting, and the colors are perfect for a comfortable country look. I was amused to see that there was a blue car outside as well when I took the above picture. Good timing!
Aside from putting up drapes and sheer panels, the best thing we did in June was to have our internet line installed. I can't really say whether or not there was ever a phone line in our place, but since it all had to be gutted, we had none.
The fellow from "Orange" - our main telephone and internet provider - seemed a bit put out at first that he had to connect a line outside the granite walls and drill through our window frame. It was amazing to see him ride up and down in his cherry picker attaching the phone line under the eaves of several adjacent stone village houses. In the end, he was cheerful, efficient and resourceful, and had our internet up and running in less than an hour. The connection seems to be very good and fast, though we have not yet tested it from upstairs.
This photo must have been taken before World War I, because there is a gazebo that likely was the center of the market in the middle of the place. Today that is where the imposing war memorial (established after World War I) stands, with the addition of the names of those lost in World War II, including nine Americans who lost their lives when their plane was shot down here on August 8, 1944.
The interesting building on the right in the photo, with an iron facade resembling a movie theater marquee, is still extant. I cannot tell from this photo what business was conducted there, but it was perhaps a Pompes Funèbres, or funeral parlor. I have always thought it would be a good location for a toy store in the present day.
Completing this set of antique images is this colorized postcard with a photographic image of Lonlay l'Abbaye. (I saw it for sale online for 10 euros.) You can see our house on the top right of the triangular square. I am guessing that this photo was taken sometime in the 1930s or early 1940s because the WWI war memorial appears in the square, and the cars look like they might be from that era.
It would certainly be interesting to know how this aerial photo was taken, and exactly when. Was it taken from a hot air balloon, a dirigible, a crop duster, or possibly a German or American war plane? It bears some similarity to the post-WWII photo below taken by Americans to document some of the damage done to the village during the war.
Most of our items were delivered by La Poste, and came promptly. On days when we wanted to go together to the Relais for lunch, we left the mail carrier a note, letting her know we were there, and would come right over if she called or texted us. Instead, on two occasions, she was sweet enough to drop off our package right at the restaurant - the owners being likewise kind enough to accept it, and to hand it to us with a smile when we left. A really old-fashioned sort of charming gesture that makes Lonlay l'Abbaye so endearing.
Thus arrived additional drapes and sheer panels for the upstairs windows (once we decided we liked the ones we had downstairs). Then a wooden serving tray to put on a low storage chest, serving collectively for now as our coffee table. Then brackets to hold soap and shampoo in the shower, a soap dish, a toilet paper holder, a toilet brush and a mattress cover, airtight containers for sugar and coffee, dish towels, hand towels, a drying rack for laundry, ice cube trays, a cutting board, a dish drainer, a small kitchen rug, a fire extinguisher, a long broom and dust pan, felt protectors to go under the feet of our furniture, an iron, and hooks to hang up our jackets and Pipkin's leashes. Whew!
I was going to comment on how it is somewhat bizarre that so many religious paintings and sculptures incorporate "flying baby heads" aka "putti." And when I looked up "flying baby heads," I found this link to a person who was asking herself the same question: www.artdocentprogram.com/favorite-art-history-baby-heads/