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People often say to us that owning a property like Domaine Lescure must feel like we’re starring in our very own fairytale. Oh, the glamour of restoring a castle! Well, if it’s aristocratic glitz you’re seeking, don’t bother. But if you’re looking for an escape from everyday life, a chance to dream and lots of hard work, it’s just the thing. Thomas and I spend much of our time at Lescure belly-laughing our way through castle ground clean-ups. There’s cleaning up after wind and storm damage, after a flood, or after a big job in the garden. And of course, my inner white witch likes to come out and play, so there’s also lots of ritual cleansing to get rid of negative energies that linger and build up over time.

During one of our routine clean-ups, we found a huge antique bellows. It’s a magnificent beast of leather and wood, weighing in at almost 150 kilos. It could shed some light on former life at the castle. Was it used in the old kitchen, for the oven in the bakery or perhaps a blacksmith used it for the family’s horses on the site? We’ve safely stored it in one of sheds for the time being. My back still hurts at the memories of trying to lift it up on one of the horse troughs!

Treasure hunting in the meadows

As we roam through rooms and wander in the fields, we also keep coming across cast iron and wooden objects in the most unexpected places. Columns from the castle’s entrance under a sloe berry bush, an old door, ornamentation of the orangerie in a meadow, window latches. With a metal detector and some luck, who knows what other artifacts we could unearth. We’re collecting it all and keeping it safe in the shed until we need it during the restoration. All very organised, all logically sorted. Not bad for a couple of dreamers.

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