House of Braces

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Legend has it that everything can go wrong during a castle restoration. If it isn’t the roof, it’s the foundation and if it isn’t the foundation, it’s the roof. While we prefer to see beautiful old things instead of a collection of problems, a year of temporary patching did turn us into the type of people who dread sudden shifts in weather. So, we’re now replacing the beyond- repair zinc roof of the orangery and trying to stop the slates of the main house from leaking. It’s scaffolding galore at Lescure! These metal frames are ridiculously photogenic, so I’m relaxed about their presence.

Bracing for the storm

I became a little less relaxed when the wind that “drives men and horses mad” started blowing from the south, announcing rains and clouds, building up to a storm that lasted for days.  I’ve experienced some bad storms here, howling at night, shaking at the old windows, but this wind roaring through the scaffolding, planks and plastic sheets, really made for sleepless nights. Though the bad weather largely cleared each morning, winds continued to gust to near gale force throughout the day, making conditions for working outside treacherous. One morning I sat reading in the orangery when a window came blowing in, missing me by inches only. After thanking my guardian angel, I sat out the rest of the storm safely inside the castle, in the company of Thomas and a team of workers who were as irritable as I was. I can now attest that it’s not only the moon that causes madness. But oh the bliss, when the wild weather finally subdued and we woke to silence and blue skies again. I guess we need a tempest from time to time to rejoice over serenity.

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