On the first floor of a seemingly small yet pretty spacious inside old stone house in the centre of the old part of Laroque-des-Albères,in the southern French Mediterranean, windows are open behind the closed heavy wooden shutters letting cool evening air in. I open the shutters increasing the cool breeze also welcoming the sun, tired after a long hot working day.
Our house is right on the top of the village, close to the medieval tower, the only one that has survived the centuries. It is proudly holding Catalan flag. Typical old French village stone house, with windows looking into other houses’ windows and a narrow street path snaking uphill that no car is able to enter.
Streets of the medieval village like loving hands embrace the steep hill, meeting and parting on their way, heading to the very top; and stone houses of various sizes, shapes, colours and heights climb uphill stepping over each other, making secret turns and shortcuts in their effort to reach it. They stand proudly exposing their tiny balconies, wooden coloured shutters and vintage lanterns, peeping with envy in the tiny courtyards – real luxury in this kingdom of stone.
We had the luxury – a tiny stone walled courtyard, originally part of an older house in its previous life, with a big lemon tree providing the desired shade during the day. Forged metal table and chairs, a small flowerbed, grape covered wall and two sunbeds – all you need to savour a glass of rosé on a hot day.
The house itself with squeaking wooden floors, steep wooden staircase to the first floor, small windows and inevitable wooden shutters was full of treasures.
Cushions on this old leather sofa. On the famous first floor.
Two more in the adjoining room – stitched with various stitches and various colours on the woollen thin fabric. Bright ornamental motives.
A picture on one of the walls – nothing interesting in the design, but the way it is stitched?Probably someone’s first work in satin stitch, as the stitches are very uneven and the lines are not curved. It was stitched on the white linen, most likely just a bed linen and then the stitched was coloured with ink.
Interesting solution in the times, when probably it was not possible to buy DMC even in France.
Could be that sitting on the old leather sofa surrounded by those cushions is why I picked up the needle and started the project?
Or maybe a real jewel helped me?
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