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My top tip on how to relieve stress when renovating a castle? Live a dreamer’s life. Ballooning budgets, high expectations that can never be met, a phalanx of construction workers coming and going while you’re still in your PJs. None of it matters when you float through the foolish undertaking on a gauzy display of fantasies. Unless. The other week, a crazy tunneler was tearing up the beauty of the fields, digging deep trenches to connect water mains and electricity we’re introducing to the buildings. As I saw the conical mounds of soil and dirt grow to giant molehills, I felt besieged. The molehills became mountains, off came the rose-coloured glasses and soon all I saw was a muddy and murky future.

Gloom pervaded my heart and silenced the dreamer in me. I found myself roaming the estate with some pretty serious discontent. Cigarette stubs, broken glass and debris everywhere, cracked trees and shrubs. Ugliness! Disorder! It wasn’t until I noticed the periwinkle – surviving against all odds, its dark green shoots and violet petals threading their way through the rubbish – that I remembered age-old wisdom. It’s in the waste that flowers grow. Next, the sun came out for a second, turning the shadows on the gravel heaps into those of an enchanted desert landscape. I heard the birds sing, they weren’t going to be silenced by the noise of a digging machine. I could even make out the ribbit-ribbit of the frog who recently took up residence in the basin. Lesson learned: Life is both messy and magical. By welcoming and loving the unwanted chaos, we’re inviting transformation and beauty to our lives and to Lescure.


  1. After all the result with be beautiful. I am very sure. The magnificent nature of Lescure and your hands will bring peace and beauty again to the fields and the house. You two are doing a superjob!!! Enjoy.

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