Monthly Archives: December 2009

Finally: the Official Launch of Supergites.nl

It’s finally live: the official Supergites website. Though it’s still in Dutch, it’s there and that’s the most important thing. The French, English, and German versions will follow in January, as will the calendar and the automated reservation module.

We also registered the gîte at the funniest website, Vakantie bij Nederlanders in Frankrijk . nl, which translates to ‘Vacation with the Dutch in France’. We’re eager to see how it works and whether it gives us any leads.

The gîte will be ready for rent April 1. Tomorrow we’re off to France for 7 days of hard labour. 🙂

Check our new design at Supergites.nl.

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3 Days till Christmas Peace

Water mill in the Snow

Only a few days more till we’re in Tourteron for a full week. It will be our second time enjoying the peaceful valley for such a long period. But this time it’s all white, white, white. We really can’t wait to see the charm of  the mill in winter. We’ll be working, though. We have to plumb, fill joints with cement, and work on the electricity.

For anyone who’s around: you’re welcome to pay us a visit as long as you bring something to keep us warm!

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Looking for summer?

Mr. Winter is about to leave. The sun is getting warmer. The first flowers are popping up from the cold soil. In Tourteron we’re looking forward to Spring and Summer 2010. It’ll be the first time you can enjoy the peace of the valley, the shades of the fruit trees, the smell of the flower garden, and the quality of the house.

To be sure those weeks off are yours, you should go to supergites.nl and make your booking.

Merci!

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Old Habits and New Owners

We know the water mill is ancient. In 2013 it’ll reach its 200th anniversary. Everything about the mill feels old. The thick, stone walls are at some parts of the house more than 100 cm thick. The wooden structure of the roof has more joints than a wooden ship. There are windows that are long gone but have left a permanent mark on the outside. There are engravings with names of people who are old enough be the village grandparents.

three fishes in a bottle behind stone

While restoring the mill we’ve found an old custom that we’d left behind a long, long time ago–we’d even forgotten all about its meaning. As he was digging in a wall to reopen a door that was blocked, our builder discovered a glass bottle containing three dried fish.

How freakily superstitious were the miller and his wife when they moved in? Was it witchcraft? Black magic ceremonies? Or maybe they were following some weird, local religion and held gatherings around an open fire in the garden?

No…

Some quick research told us that the hiding of three fish in a bottle has a Christian background. It might sound pagan to keep dried fish in a wall, but its explanation has in either way a deep religious meaning. One tells the story of the three fish symbolizing the Holy Trinity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Another tells the story of the three fish being a symbol of Saint Peter, who was originally a fisherman. He’s closely related to stories from the New Testament about harvesting fish and the dividing of the Fish and the Bread. This dividing is a sign of God’s endless care for humankind.

In any explanation, the three fish are meant to protect the house and its owners in general and to ward off hunger and poverty. So we’ve asked the builder to put the bottle back into the wall where it came from.

One never knows–nor should one question everything.

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