Firstly many thanks mes belles for all the wonderful notes and good wishes I received. A particularly "grand merci" to Di at Yonks whose delicious blog is an absolute must see: http://yonksnews.blogspot.com/.
I did venture out and did just a little gentle truffling this morning after the nurse had been to change my dressings. I am usually up away by 6am on Sundays with my nose well and truly into a brocante - so waiting for Madame to pull into the drive at 8.30am seemed like an eternity! As soon as she had gone I was in the car and on the way!!!
I arrived at the "Place de Chateau" in a nearby town with the depressing feeling that most of the best treasures would have been scooped up by torchlight much earlier in the morning. But then I gave myself a kick as I have discovered that there is always a little sleeping treasure hiding on a table somewhere waiting to be discovered, whatever time you arrive.
There was of course no chance of me bending down to rummage about in boxes lying on the floor making me pay more attention to what was actually for sale on the tables! Leaving no stone unturned I sifted through a batch of old sepia photographs and found amongst them some divine handwritten letters from the late 1800s. I always have lots of people asking for old script for scrapbooking and various other projects, so I bought the batch without really looking what each letter said.
When I got home ( shattered I might add and yes, I know, you told me not to go!) I was amazed to find that one of the letters was the handwritten last will and testament of the Marquis de la Rochemballe - and it is such a wonderful insight into his life. I have not been able to translate the whole document word for word but did manage to understand the following bequests which he had made:
To the priest who I love and revere I leave my large organ (yes, it does say that!) and the crucifix which belonged to my mother ;
To my noble friend Le Seigneur du Chatel I leave the zinc girouette weathervane that sits above my castle;
Too bad for Barbarin as not much ( for him) , I can only leave him my big telescope. Perhaps with that he will see much clearer and will judge the people by their manner and behaviour;
My small dog to my kind Agnes;
To Daniel Lascochien I leave my little donkey to carry his loads.
To my dear brave friend Gervaise I leave an ounce of my goose fat (!! charming....what for I wonder!!)
To old Lepelletier, for transporting his hay I leave Le Gerfleur (not sure what this was - a type of vehicle/name of a boat perhaps);
I leave to Gambillon my best pair of trousers - and to his dear wife the "Bidet de Boulotte" (stuck on translating this but might be 'a small pony').
And then, to continue, to poor Robert I leave my wardrobe of clothes.
The Marquis then goes on to thank his lawyer for carrying out his wishes and the adds a "codicille" stating that " I leave to you all the responsibilty for the destiny of my rabbits; I would want this to be done well."
I wonder who the Marquis and his family were, where was his chateau and is it still standing ? and I wonder whether Gambillon wore another mans best trousers and if the rabbits had a happy life?!!