MY HOME IS A CASTLE--the tale of how and why I became a chatelain , four times .This is my present home. If you are visiting for the first time you may care to read the older posts first.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


The swimming pool , we had decided, was a must for a holiday establishment , and, for us too :) The position for the pool, though, actually presented itself to us! At the rear of the Chateau was a raised area with steps already in place leading up to it -- ideal for all, the position was grand.

Alex bargained with several swimming pool operators, and finally decided on the most local man, who had many years experience. We thought it would need to be big to balance against the size of the Chateau, and the amount of guest we could be welcoming, so we decided on 8mx15m. It took 2/3 months to complete, but when it was finished we saw that it fitted in perfectly.

There seemed at that time to be workmen everywhere! Mum loved it, flirting with all the young men, making cups of tea for everybody. Apart from the 6 guys on hire from England we had also taken on 6 frenchmen from the local ' chomage' who find temporary work for the unemployed. Although there was a language barrier, all the guys seem to get on really well together. The atmosphere was good, and work was advancing.

As we added more horses to our stock, I decided that I would need help to excercise them , as Alex was involved with the renovations. Then along came Isabelle. She was a young Mum who lived on a smallholding with her husband Thiery, who was a long-haul lorry driver, and for us she was a life-saver! Her expertise with horses and her friendly affectionate nature was heart warming. I knew that my horses would be in good hands. She already bred her own horses , the following picture was taken at her place , its Isabelle with one of her mares and it's foal......

Isabelle really helped me regain my confidence in riding and we would go out each morning hacking through the local woodland. Bliss! I even persuaded my daughter Victoria to join us occasionally . Displaying their native hospitality Isabelle and Thiery invited us and our English workers to a barbeque at her place one evening. That was so good, we didn't eat till 10 pm having sampled aperitifs and munchies for at least 2 hours, then the steaks were bought out and sizzled on the pine cones-- yes they used pine cones as they had pine trees all over their property, and, believe me they are just as good as charbon! Hunks of french bread, followed by cheese and fresh fruit. What a life!


  1. Hi Delphine, Thanks so much for leaving a note on my blog. Your chateau looks amazing! Where exactly are you located in the Auvergne? You can email me directly at I look forward to talking with you soon! :)

  2. Thanks Kim for your comments -- I shall certainly email you; look forward to it.

  3. Oh dear, now I'm hungry, haven't had breakfast yet.

    The pool looks stunning there with that gorgeous balustrade.

  4. Hello Ruth , yes it was a great pool to swim in and look up at that lovely building. Bon appetit!

  5. Delphine,

    What a life is right!

    I can't imagine being able to just hop on a horse in the morning and ride! Lovely!

    And the pool did look great there ... looks like it was made for it!

    I've never heard of using pine cones to grill! We usually have a ton!

    Thanks for writing your very interesting story!

  6. ahhh what a life indeed! and what a swimming pool! Love the horses, always, I love the horses...