Sunday, January 23, 2011

the fireplace that makes a statement

Katie was invited to sleepover at her friend Margeaux's house. Margeaux has a French mother and a Irish father. She goes to a French school but watches TV and reads books in English.

Mom, Ellie and I took Kate over to Margeaux's house. We drove a good 20 minutes away from town out in the country. We went through a couple of little villages before arriving at the big stone house where Margeaux and her family live.

We were invited in for coffee and ended up chatting for 2 hours. We got to see the inside of their old stone house. They even pulled out the paperwork they got when they bought the house. A timeline of owners back to the 1500's. Old documents from the 1700's. The previous owner left a written record of every renovation he did and how much everything cost.

The heat was broken so we sat by the fireplace. You can't help but to notice that the fireplace is painted black. The black paint is very faded. They told us that during the French Revolution, the people in the Vendee (the region we live in) were very upset after the King and Marie Antoinette were beheaded. To show their support to the Royals and against the new Revolutionary government, the people in the Vendee painted their fireplaces black. A sign of protest.

Here is a picture of the fireplace that is still protesting.

For some reason I think about this fireplace now when I watch the news. I could get all heavy and start talking about revolutions and the protesters in Egypt and Tunisia. But I won't.
I never have known revolutionaries to take to interior decorating. I don't think the protesters on the news today are painting their fireplaces black.

Oh, I can't forget to mention that on the other side of the room, across from the black fireplace is a big screen TV. Black, of course.
But the Wii video game attached to it is white.

1 comment:

  1. Surprised the fireplace can still be mad at the Revolutionaries, what with all that wonderful TV news to get angry at every night. Maybe they just use the TV to play Wii...