One Summer In France – Episode 55

“So, what do you reckon?” Libby asked Suzette. She’d just given her the guided tour of her small apartment at the top of the auberge, hoping that she would be able to give her some inspiration for decorating the sitting-room in a few weeks’ time.

“It doesn’t work at the moment, does it?” she asked now, looking around.

“I don’t think it needs redecorating,” Suzette said slowly. “The walls are a good neutral colour. Maybe a cream throw over the settee would make a difference. It’s quite a dominant feature in the room. Perhaps even change it for an old-fashioned day bed you can pile with cushions. Place it against the wall and leave the centre of the room free.”

Libby clapped her hands in delight.

“Evie, you’re brilliant. It’s my English furniture that’s all wrong, isn’t it? I need some French stuff up here.”

“An antique ormolu mirror on that wall would look good, too,” Suzette said. “Gold decoration always adds something to a room.”

Libby looked around thoughtfully.

“I need to think . . . oh, what’s the phrase? Shabby chic. That’s what I’ll aim for. Pale colours, distressed wood and an ornate mirror.”

“I have some cream velvet material I can make up into cushion covers for you,” Suzette offered. “I saw a couple of tapestry designs at the festival that I’d like to try to copy.”

“Thank you. I meant to ask you, how did your day with Pascal go?”

“It was great fun. I like Pascal a lot,” Suzette said. “And the festival was amazing. I got so many ideas and,” she hesitated before adding, “it confirmed that something I’ve been thinking about could be possible.”

Libby looked at her and waited.

“Could I bounce some ideas off you? I think discussing things would help me to decide what to do. And now you know my secret . . .” Suzette smiled “. . . I can talk to you.”

“Of course,” Libby said. “Start bouncing!”

“Let’s go down to the gîte and I can show you everything I’ve worked out so far.”

“OK,” Libby said. “Give me five minutes while I check on the guests in room number two. They said they were staying in for the evening and I’d like to make sure they have everything they need.”

While she waited for Libby to join her, Suzette placed the large file with her ideas, brochures and contact addresses on the small outside table and sat down to go through them again.

Should she stick to her original plan? Go back to Paris, dance a final ballet and then retire gracefully to her apartment and concentrate on her embroidery. Or was the plan B that had been forming in her mind for hours now at all feasible? Hopefully talking it all over with Libby would help clear her mind and highlight the pros and cons of both plans.



Margaret Scott

Margaret is a sub-editor within the Production Team on the "Friend". Her main job is to work on the stories and make sure the magazine leaves us in its best possible guise. When not doing that, however, she either has her head buried in the old “Friend” volumes or is out and about giving talks or going on Warner trips (fab!). She hates cheese.