Not always..... 'a tranquil retreat in the heart of the Normandy countryside'

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Grand Designs

My neighbour here in Normandy is a man of many talents, a man of grand designs. Both he and his wife are creators of beautiful jewellery but Mr Lemur can also transform abandoned offcuts of wood into stylish garden furniture.

Pictured above is a lovely oak bench for two made by Mr Lemur a few weeks ago, which can be wheeled around to take advantage of the sunniest spots in the garden . It is currently gracing the lawn in front of the gites at La Foucaudiere and has proved irresistable to guests wanting to while away an hour or so with a good book. The mobile nature of this elegant piece of garden furniture is most advantageous, as the cider apples are starting to drop with wild abandon and a hasty change of location is sometimes called for in order to avoid an apple related injury.

Mr and Mrs Lemur's propietorial air in the photograph is no happenstance. Their pose was inspired by a portrait by an 18th Century English artist whose painting of a similarly stylish Mr and Mrs now graces the walls of The National Gallery in London. Can you name both the painting and the artist?


  1. hello :)

    thanks for following! Nice to read about someone else enjoying life here in France!!


  2. Yes there's a different pace to life out here in the sticks!!

  3. Hi if anything is going to lure me across the 'briny' it is the prospect of devouring some of those exquisite cakes in gay Paris.
    Greeting from a salivating Phoebemoondaisy.
    {may have to go and seek out Mary Berry in a bit}

  4. Hi Alison, I thought you might like to know that the painting of Mr and Mrs Andrews by Gainborough circa 1750, which I am sure inspired the pose, briefly shown in the BBC drama Framed. Go to the BBC site and search for 'Framed'. Then go to 49mins 11secs. Cheers Neil

  5. That;s the one!
    I did think of running a competition where the person who got the correct answer would be eligible for a discounted break here at the gites but couldn't decide quite how to get people to send me the answer without others seeing it! Of course I have just thought, I could have said 'click on the link on the top right to send your answer'
    Why didn't I think of that? I will have to try again with a new challenge!