It’s a beautiful French day so of course lunch takes place outside the castle I will be working at for this month of May. The countries represented at our table include not only France, but also Ukraine, Hungary, Serbia, Syria and my U.S., so our passionate discussions I am able to sometimes follow, yet often times can’t. But when I hear in the same sentence my name plus the word, “condom” something tells me I should pay attention.
“Don’t get too excited. It’s not what you think,” says Michel sitting across the table in the sunshine, a smiling resident of Corsica with a very fine sense of humor. Turns out, Condom is the name of a local town here in Southwest France where a grocery store run will later take place, and it’s suggested I go along. First, let me tell you where I am at, and why I am here.
I am in southwest France, about an hour or so drive from the airport in Toulouse where I arrived from Barcelona five days ago. I am at the very large and extremely historic farm and castle of Lamothe, joining a team with the ultimate goal to make this a very special yoga retreat center. There’s much to be done, but already in just these five days many hands have done great work!
Our initial tasks are primarily to get the main castle ready for the team. One day we unloaded over 130 boxes off a truck from IKEA! I lead a yoga class each morning, and already I’m asked to focus on asanas for restoring the back. The rest of the day the projects feature power saws, drills and a good amount of sawdust and regular dust, cleaning and then setting up the furniture.
I saw this painting from the 1950’s in my room. It appears to me like the way the front of the castle looked back then:
And here’s a photo I took of the same view today:
A view from one of the large windows in my truly awesome room:
Here are more images I took just strolling around the grounds. Southwest France is magnificent!
On late afternoon we walked 20 minutes through the woods to this isolated lake. Man, I know there has to be some good fishing here!:
This separate structure is two stories tall and will be the main yoga facility:
It’s long and large with some interesting things inside from back in the day that will be renovated:
In the evening we gather for excellent, healthy dinners (Vive la France!). Everyone helps out. One night I grilled turkey in the main living room fireplace! I marinated the pieces in lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme. Happy to report it came out well. Tonight I grilled two kinds of sausages, one pink in color from Toulouse, the other local. Some of our wonderful dinner images:
Okay, as promised here are images from our shopping trip to Condom:
Condom looks wonderful with a river running through it. We walk the narrow streets through the town center passing cafes and restaurants I love to read the menus of. There is also the stunning Cathédrale Saint-Pierre de Condom with statues of the Three Musketeers and d’Artagnan outside.
We also bought some nice things today at the market in Lectoure. Fantastic market that goes on and on! Some images:
That’s it for tonight. It’s late now and we have yoga early tomorrow, followed by continued work renovating the castle. Many more people are coming soon from all around the planet to also participate and help with this remarkable project.
Yes, it’s a yoga world!
Love and Peace,