April 10th, 2007

International Kittens of Mystery

Proofs and Fontaines

Another busy weekend - this time split between proof reading (Shift) and clearing the land around our fontaine.

When we first moved in we were told we had a fontaine on the land but it had been blocked up and overgrown. George, the brother of our vendor, hacked his way through a jungle of brambles to give us a glimpse of where it was and showed us what looked like a hole in the ground, a lot of mud and a trickle of water - the whole under a canopy of dense bramble and blackthorn.

Not very exciting. Then he took us to see what it could look like if we cleared it. That's when we found out that he wasn't talking about a spring but a real fountain - a naturally fed fountain fed from the granite hills and gurgling forth in all manner of mineral water goodness.

The fountain he took us to see was a holy one at a pilgrimage site a few miles away. There was a group of stones, a small fountain of water ... and a queue of people loaded down with empty plastic bottles. Whether they were queuing for the curative powers of the water or because it was free - and they really liked mineral water - it was difficult to tell. But people were turning up in vans and carting away gallons.

And yours tastes just as good as this, said George. So, now we've got the house sorted we've been gradually clearing the area around the fontaine. And keeping quiet in case the pilgrims find out. It doesn't look like a fountain yet. The main jet is still blocked with mud and we're going to wait until we've cleared the rectangular pool it feeds before we clear it. The pool is stone-lined on two sides and is about three feet deep by ten by six. A little more investigation this weekend has shown that it may be bigger and stone lined on four sides - the banks having partially caved in. I think it's old - and being a few yards from the ruin and the medieval house, I think it might have been used for washing as well as drawing water. You often see medieval wash houses sited close to streams. All in all an interesting project.

Now back to proof reading. And honing the Shift back cover blurb.