Oh, the things you can learn!

Gwen came all the way from California to join us at Chateau Duffy – en route to another European adventure on the Camino:

This Easter at Chateau Duffy was a wonderful first experience! The mix of Americans and British folks was a beautiful thing. Oh, the things you can learn! Such as what “pants” means in the UK. But really…the space provided by this experience allowed everyone to be who they are and to be in the space they needed.

Gwen at work in the house

Gwen, hard at work in the house.

On this week long Easter adventure I expected to work hard and do some massage (and I did). I dug up some serious roots, and pick axed stones out of a 400yr old floor, built some scaffolding with two other ladies, and used a chisel to remove grout (pointing) around the rocks that the walls we built of, massaged some shoulders and backs and then spilled my life story in a way that shockingly quick with a few peeps….

The female scaffolding team

The all-female scaffolding team.

As a result I wanted to run and hide. The combination of the physical labor and relational stuff was a real healing mix. It was the perfect place and people for me. As the week progressed my heart opened the sharing was reciprocated and Chateau Duffy continued to provide a little piece of freedom.

The adventure did not stop. I jumped onto the Camino de Santiago not without incident… However, Chateau Duffy was still the perfect jump start the Camino process.

Thank you guys for being so transparent and giving me the space to do the same. That week was a great mix of people and could not have been better timing.

Gwen, Duffy & Sarah Gwen, Duffy & Sarah on the newly finished Mezzanine.


The Ballad of Trip Five

Full-time plumber and part-time poet Mike’s tribute to Chateau Duffy #5:

And so to France! The time had come!
C’est ça and look alive!
Et oui, “Mon Dieu” in ancient barns
On Visit Number Five!

To Chateau Duffy everyone!
And none of us were late,
in picking up the pieces of
Our Hero’s real estate.

Our days were fired by frambled eggs
and all our diets binned,
on Cathers-wielded nights we’re fed
and three gîtes to the wind.

DIscussion pirouetted on
the Chateauneuf-du-Pape
and if we drank enough of it,
we talked a load of….

…really interesting theological issues.

The Texan task force turned and said:
“Let’s clear away these brambles.”
And everybody made to grab
the only pickaxe handle.

The scaffolding goes up and down
and pointing all raked back.
The willing team all dig and scrape
and generally attack.

Rachel Jordan dug her hole
with coffee spoons in truth
she dug so far, so deep and fast
she finished on the roof.

The plumber was exhausted then.
Every day he flinches
turning French and millimetres
into Feet and Inches.

The roof and floor were done before
So structure could go in
As concentration takes a hold
with patience wearing thin.

No-one’s really sure of why
it’s come to doing this:
taking all Matryoshka Haus
and pointing it at Chris.

Perhaps it doesn’t matter why.
The fact is that we do,
where bonds are formed, emotions had
and prayers hang over crew.

The earth of dirty process goes
to making old things new
the metaphor’s a hackneyed one
most cliches prove they’re true.

The final night’s a Bay Bay Qway.
We show them how it’s done.
And fête the village with our food
and serve it in a bun.

We’re filmed and fed and fired now
and so are French and Dutch,
Our courage in inviting them
the final crowning touch.

Then finally we separate
by planes and trains and cars
returning back to other lives
and once again Lone Stars.