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House Talk

No. 27 - August, 2008

A French Swimming Pool Summer with a Splash!
A talk with Monique and Gerard Cabin

Like many other Bay Area residents going on holiday in August, Sheila Sabine of the Glass/Sabine team decided to visit one of her favorite spots in the world, Le Gue de la Roche, a small hamlet near the town of Limoges, about three hours south of Paris. It is a quiet spot where a wonderful French family, Monique and Gerard Cabin, own a small 19th century chateau, which they have transformed into a welcoming bed and breakfast. This charming place is situated in the heart of the Limosin region, rich in culture and tradition. Indeed, across the road one can hear the roaring sound of the Nacienne River, an ancient waterway built by the Romans or one can take a stroll five minutes away to the tiny hamlet of La Roche dating back to 3,000 B.C. or visit the spot where Richard the Lion Hearted actually met his demise.

The Cabins restored the chateau little by little without disturbing its original spirit and always listening to what the chateau had to say. For them, time does not count - it is much more important to wait and listen to what to do next. They realized that there was one important piece missing from their bed and breakfast - a swimming pool. Monique, a talented and respected artist, had always dreamed of having a beautiful house and a swimming pool and when her two granddaughters came along, she began to insist on a pool for their enjoyment. Gerard, her adoring husband of some forty years, wanted to please his lovely wife.

Also, being philosophical, a common trait among Frenchman, Gerard approached the idea of adding a swimming pool from his point of view. He talked with Sheila about the notion that all homes should incorporate the four main elements of earth, fire, air and water. For Gerard, the element of water is very symbolic. There is the notion of purification, dating back to all ancient religions. There is the sense of pleasure dating back to the ancient pools constructed by the Romans and finally there is also the notion of the reflective quality of water - a mirror to displays the full moon and trees thus providing a sense of the ideal or ethereal. Certainly, all the great chateaus in France have ponds or lakes incorporated into their design.

So, once it was decided to build a pool on a level portion of their land, it took only fifteen days to finish. The water in the pool is salt water, which the Cabins believe is much better for the skin. The pool is filled in the early spring and emptied in the late fall. During the summer months the pool is very much appreciated by the guests at the bed and breakfast as well as by the Cabins and their friends and family. When their granddaughters arrive, the first thing they do is jump in the pool and one can hear their gaiety and laughter as they thoroughly enjoy themselves. Both Monique and Gerard find time time each day to completely stop and rest by the pool. They also love to spend late night hours hand in hand like two young lovers watching the stars by the pool.

For sure, the swimming pool has been a tremendous addition, bringing pleasure and magic to everyone. The motivation for the Cabins to offer this exquisite bed and breakfast is summed up by them as follows, We believe we are living in challenging times where people are thinking only of themselves and how much money they have. We want to promote more important genuine qualities brought about by authentic dialogue, and respect and tolerance for one another.

To learn more about this lovely chateau, you may visit their web site at www.domaineduguedelaroche.net.

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For further information or questions for our House Talk column, 
please contact Glass/Sabine by email:  Sheila@GlassSabine.com
or call us at 510-326-5055.

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