The mill at Maisse.

Our house here in Maisse was once a water-mill. The wheel is long gone but the sluice-gates and water-runs remain. We all learnt a lot about water-wheels today as the boys’ schoolwork was to research them. With some research under our belts we were able to make some, I think, fairly good guesses about how the mill used to be structured.

Mill race.

Today it’s a large square building with a huge main room and lots of others. The part we’ve rented covers most of the ground and first floor although there’s a separate apartment taking up about a quarter of the house and an entire top floor that’s off-limits. The top floor appears deserted from the outside – the windows are almost covered by the vines that cover the rear of the building. If I hear strange footsteps from that top floor, I’ve promised myself that we’re leaving immediately.

Petanque in the back yard.

The gardens are dominated by the mill-pond and the mill-race. I think the pond was once larger and the immediate garden outside the back door is partly recovered land. Now it’s a lovely place to sit and has a petanque area at the far end. Over a little bridge to the left there’s an orchard with apple and pear trees.

Main room.

There are ducks on the pond and lots of blue dragonflies. There even appear to be some small fish in the mill-pond, but they’re largely hidden in the murk. So far no mosquitos have been sighted, so that’s one fear allayed.

Probably the coolest feature of the house is the main room which has a mezzanine balcony running around the inside. It makes the room look very Elizabethan although I have a feeling that it was not an entirely original feature.

Orchard and ducks.

Dragonfly.

The old mill house.

Feeding the ducks.