There are times in this modern life when, to use the title of a certain Peter Sellers/Spike
Milligan film, you feel as though the day’s routine encompasses running, jumping, but never
standing still. And this why the blog will focus on the joys of lying in the garden of Château
Bois Giraud.

Firstly, the grounds are so extensive that, should you so wish; you will be able to hide from
any children and/or in-laws in contemplation of life, the universe, everything. Plus those
other mysteries of human existence, such as whoever thought that Britain’s Got Talent was a
good idea. Secondly, this is the time of the year when the Loire Valley really is bathed in
golden sunlight, so what better way to enhance the mood by listening to the theme from
Jacque Tati’s Mon Oncle – – on the iPod
or even a portable gramophone.

Thirdly, those of more energetic tastes might prefer to the sound of Les Costars singing Je Te
Veux – Fourthly, for any guest who feels
the urge to copy the dance moves of the lead singer Claude Sitruk, be reassured that there are
no neighbours to curtain twitch, point or laugh as you rock and roll your way across the

But whatever your preferred form of diversion, it will allow the illusion of time being
suspended. It is an illustration that will be dispelled by the dulcet tone of offspring arguing
about X-boxes but now there is now but you, a soundtrack of your choosing and the elements.
And, as sunset approaches, it marks the first barbeque of the season – which in a strange way,
is wholly appropriate to life in Saint-Philbert-en-Mauges. After all, in the words of the great
dramatist Jean Anouilh: ‘Everything ends this way in France – everything. Weddings,
christenings, duels, burials, swindlings, diplomatic affairs – everything is a pretext for a good