What’s in the Garden?

What’s in the Garden?

Palais de Versailles

Sunlight filled the palace’s cavity, shimmereing on the decorative gold moldings. A distant sound, barely perceptible, echoed. Marie Antoinette, in her flimsy nightdress, caught her breath. What could that be? The sound came again.

Secret column

She looked around, she saw no one, nothing, but for her reflection. Tall mirrors, short mirrors, wide mirrors, all framed in glittering gold. Her widened eyes caught the light as she turned to the sound. The sound of a muffled laugh. She bit her lip. But there was no one there. She called, “Hallo, hallo . . .” She walked toward the sound. It bounced off all the hard surfaces, mirror, wood, moldings, it got louder. She clasped her hands over her ears, but the sound boomed like she had an ear trumpet. Her nightdress caught at the bottom of the column, she fell forward and stumbled then gathered herself up, her heart pounding too many beats.

There it was, the laugh, coming from the column. She put her ear to it. Nothing. She swallowed her fear and slid her hand over the column’s edges. There it was again, that muffled laugh. Bang, a door smashed open right in front of Marie’s face. “Yikes.” Out popped her husband, a small jeweled box in his hand, he in his night dress, void of his powdered wig, lean of build, just the right size to squeeze into the boxy column.

She gasped, her hand over her heart, “Oh Louis, I will whip you for this.” He stuck out his hand and grabbed hers. He pulled her to him, so close their lips almost touched.

“My sweet wife, how could you be so crass? Might my peace offering dissuade you?”

She pulled away from his hold and held out her hand for the jeweled box.

He placed it in her palm and she looked inside. A fresh chocolate from Paris. “Yes, I can be dissuaded.”

“But wait my darling, can you save the delicacy for later?”

“If I must . . .”

His gaze lingered on her lush lips. “Marie, did you remember this day? It is the yearly celebration of our marriage. Will you permit me to take you to our garden? Something unexpected waits for you there.”

Marie glanced with apprehension at Louis. Her mouth was dry. “What would you like to have then, Louis?”

He tilted his head to one side and offered a smile that reached his eyes. “I would like to have you say yes.”

“This one time Louis, I will be what it is you like.”

When they got to the garden, four puppies jumped and greeted Maria. “Is this my anniversary present, Louis?”

“It is my darling, are you pleased?”

Marie wrapped one arm around Louis, and with her other arm, she held one of the pups. Her eyes glistened and as a tear escaped, she kissed her husband and whispered thank you in his ear.

Corgi puppies

Princess and her puppies

 

A brief history of Versailles from Wikipedia:

The Palace of Versailles or simply Versailles, is a royal château in Versailles in the Île-de-France region of France. In French it is the Château de Versailles.

When the château was built, Versailles was a country village; today, however, it is a wealthy suburb of Paris, some 20 kilometres southwest of the French capital. The court of Versailles was the centre of political power in France from 1682, when Louis XIV moved from Paris, until the royal family was forced to return to the capital in October 1789 after the beginning of the French Revolution. Versailles is therefore famous not only as a building, but as a symbol of the system of absolute monarchy of the Ancien Régime.

http://amzn.to/2j0LXLE

A work of art

 

THE HIDDEN COLUMN

THE HIDDEN COLUMN

Versailles Palace

Versailles Palace

Dim sunlight filled the palace’s cavity. Sharp shafts of light shimmered on the decorative gold moldings. A distant sound, barely perceptible, echoed.  Marie Antoinette, in her flimsy night dress, caught her breath and swallowed hard. What could that be? I see no one. The sound came again. Marie listened.  She looked around, she saw no one, nothing, nothing but for her reflection. Tall mirrors, short mirrors, wide mirrors all framed in glittering gold. Her widened eyes caught the light as she turned to the sound. The sound of a muffled laugh. She bit her lip. But there is no one here, where would it be? She called, “Hallo.” Her voice reverberated. She walked towards the sound. It bounced off all the hard surfaces, mirror, wood, moldings, it got louder. She clasped her hands over her ears, but the sound boomed like she had an ear trumpet. Her night dress caught at the bottom of the column, she fell forward and stumbled over her feet. She gathered herself up, her heart pounding too many beats.

Hall of Mirrors

Hall of Mirrors

There it is, the laugh, its coming from the column at the wall. She put her ear to the column. Nothing. She gulped, swallowed her breath and slid her hand over the column’s edges. There it is again, that muffled laugh. Bang, a door smashed open right in front of Marie’s face. “Yikes.” Out popped her husband, a small jeweled box in his hand, he in his night dress, void of his powdered wig , slight of girth, tall and handsome, just the right size to squeeze into the boxy column.

Wall columns in hall of mirrors

Wall columns in hall of mirrors

She gasped and pushed her lips together, her hand over her heart, “Oh Louis, I will whip you for this.” He stuck out his hand and grabbed hers. He pulled her to him, so close their lips almost touching.
“My sweet wife, how could you be so crass? Might my peace offering  dissuade you?”

“Chocolates. Chocolates from France.Yes, I can be dissuaded.” She said as she placed the delicate bon bon in her mouth.

His gaze lingered on her lush lips and said, “Marie, did you remember  this day? It is the yearly celebration of our marriage. Will you permit me to take you to my bedchamber so that we can pleasure ourselves?

Marie’s face goes crimson as her mouth drops open. She glances with apprehension at Louis. She takes a breath, her mouth dry.”What would you like to have then Louis?”

He tilts his head to one side and smiles his oh-so-special smile at her. “I would like to have you.”

“This one time Louis, I will be what it is you like.”

What are you doing this chocolaty day? How are you celebrating the world of love? What do you remember from days like this that have passed?

Happy Valentine’s Day. Enjoy your bon bon’s.

A brief history of Versailles from Wikipedia:

The Palace of Versailles or simply Versailles, is a royal château in Versailles in the Île-de-France region of France. In French it is the Château de Versailles.

When the château was built, Versailles was a country village; today, however, it is a wealthy suburb of Paris, some 20 kilometres southwest of the French capital. The court of Versailles was the centre of political power in France from 1682, when Louis XIV moved from Paris, until the royal family was forced to return to the capital in October 1789 after the beginning of the French Revolution. Versailles is therefore famous not only as a building, but as a symbol of the system of absolute monarchy of the Ancien Régime.

BEHIND CLOSED WALLS

BEHIND CLOSED WALLS

Extraordinary bedroom of Louis XIV in the palace at Versailles

Did you ever figure out how to make hidden spaces behind closed walls?  This is more than storage.  Hidden spaces are where you save stuff out of sight.  My daughter-in-law Joanne reminded me how they have pretty kool storage ideas—turning unused wall space into a computer closet, housing an attic behind a bathroom mirror.   Great storage in a 1/2 bath  in the Woodcliff Lake house behind mirrors.  And those areas are good for the large things.  Small things can be tucked behind outlet/switch cover plates, behind bricks, in door panels,

inside drapery linings, behind decor and more.  The movie “The Man in the Iron Mask” was on AMC (American Movie Channel) on Sunday past.  The wooden panels tickled me to see them open allowing King Louis XIV to leave his mistress’ bed chamber undetected. Getting any ideas?

The most interesting hiding places are behind moving walls of a library or walls that open between rooms.

The Queen’s bedchamber.

Queen's bed chamber in the Versailles

There is a barely discernible ‘hidden door’ in the corner near the jewel cabinet by Schwerdfeger (1787) through which Marie Antoinette escaped the night of 5/6 October 1789 when the Paris mob stormed Versailles.

 

Secret room/hidden door

Hidden rooms and secret passageways are the stuff of legend. Only found in ancient castles and fantasy books, nobody actually has a hidden door in their house, right?  Wrong. There is now an entire industry devoted to providing the slickest, most beautiful and subtle hideaways for adults who still have the dreams, and now the cash, to make fantasy a reality.

Would you like a secret store to stash your stuff?  How creative can you be? A moving wall, bookcase, panel might work.

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