All good things come to an end

Some of you may know that I have been in France for the past few weeks on a writer’s residency in a magical chateau-turned-artist-residency not far from France’s Champagne region.

If you’re imagining that the lord of the manor behind this ambitious enterprise is a noble Frenchman who struts around in a velvet waistcoat twirling his goatee and quoting passages from Diderot and Voltaire, you couldn’t be farther from the truth. The man behind the vision is Israeli-born American artist and entrepreneur Ziggy Attias, whose duties include Goat wrangler, Plumber, Lawn Maintenance, and Janitor. Ziggy’s long-term dream reaches beyond the grounds of the gorgeous Chateau Orquevaux to the sleepy (and largely abandoned) little village of Orquevaux nestled at the foot of the chateau.

The grounds here are truly magnificent. From the steps of the chateau you see cows grazing in the distance, a church spire rising up to the clouds, forests that once held plentiful boar and deer and a gushing river spanned by wrought iron bridges. There are several smaller buildings in various stages of repair – gatehouses, goat house, boat house, fantastic old stables, etc. I can’t really do justice to the ambiance and beauty of a French chateau so I’ll resort to a few additional images and you can always check out more on my instagram.

Morning walks

I managed to tear myself away from the natural beauty of the French countryside to dig into my second novel, and I did a number of small studies and sketches including a live model session by the banks of the river. I felt like I was living inside Manet’s Luncheon on the Grass!

Kitchen shelf at the chateau SOLD

Now, lest you think that one can go through life without the good AND the bad, I will wrap up this post with the unhappy news that amidst all this beauty and natural wonder, I contracted COVID. Yep, I’m fully vaccinated. I am writing this in isolation at the chateau. Four of us tested positive and like an ant hill that someone kicked over, everyone who tested negative fled the scene to return to their respective domiciles. So four of us have been left to recover here in the chateau, wandering the grounds and doing our best to overcome the symptoms – no picnic, I assure you. Ziggy and his partner, Beulah, are doing a great job of looking after us from a distance but it’s a really bizarre and emotional experience to say the least. It can be looked at as a blessing, or equated to the unnerving scenes from The Shining with Jack Nicolson!! Hopefully I fly back home soon. Fingers crossed!

23 thoughts on “All good things come to an end

  1. Lynn Goldstein August 17, 2021 / 3:41 pm

    How beautiful it all is! Except Covid, of course. Hoping you will be safely home sooner rather than later. Can’t wait to catch up an hear all about it!

    • liliannemilgrom August 17, 2021 / 4:55 pm

      Fingers crossed for a negative test Thursday but not feeling great today….

  2. Lenore August 17, 2021 / 3:41 pm

    Beautiful introduction to this surprising, sad news. Sounds like you are being well taken care of! THe chateau and surroundings are as beautiful as ever. NICE place to be quarantinedTRY and stay well. We have been in COlorado visiting son and fam in their new house. LOVELY. Miss saying goodbye to Abby as she heads off to James Madison Univ. Hopefully see you next week….or, at least wave to you.

    • liliannemilgrom August 17, 2021 / 4:56 pm

      Thanks Lenore. Sounds like you’re having a wonderful family summer xx

  3. Larry August 17, 2021 / 4:05 pm

    So your reference to « the shining »….did you write that before or after we spoke ?….obviously, i hadn’t read your post when i made the comment…let me know…important.. ??not really..just curious.

    De : Art and Beyond Envoyé : mardi 17 août 2021 17:13 À : Objet : [New post] All good things come to an end

    liliannemilgrom posted: ” Some of you may know that I have been in France for the past few weeks on a writer’s residency in a magical chateau-turned-artist-residency not far from France’s Champagne region. If you’re imagining that the lord of the manor behind this “

    • liliannemilgrom August 17, 2021 / 4:57 pm

      It’s you! Should have given you credit where credit is due! It was such an apt comment!!

  4. Tobey Partchdavies August 17, 2021 / 4:37 pm

    I hope you recover soon from COVID. You painted mine and my daughters portrait several years ago for AARP caregiving event. I’m so fond of your art and your posts. Please share info about your books. I would like to read them.

    Take good care,


    • liliannemilgrom August 17, 2021 / 7:03 pm

      Hi. Thanks for your concern. I’ve been ill for at least 10 days, comes in waves – I have mostly chest and breathing symptoms. Others have head/throat/ears/ I had Pfizer – both 😦

  5. Roxana Martin August 17, 2021 / 7:02 pm

    A beautiful place to be if you are quarantined.

    Wishing you a speedy recovery.

    Cannot wait to hear about your second book.

    Be safe, hugs,


    • liliannemilgrom August 17, 2021 / 7:04 pm

      Thanks Roxana. A beautiful place for sure, but when you’re sick you just want to be home!!

  6. Anonymous August 18, 2021 / 3:21 am

    Sorry to hear about your Covid.. what a bummer… Am leaving DC on Thursday – hope you are feeling better.. talk soon! xx Anne

  7. Suzanne Case August 18, 2021 / 8:46 pm

    So sorry you got ill. Hope are on your way to recovery and get back to the States safely. Such strange times.

    • liliannemilgrom August 18, 2021 / 8:48 pm

      Thanks for your healing wishes, Suzanne!

  8. Phyllis Hollis August 22, 2021 / 3:56 pm

    Lilianne, how wonderful. So lovely. Would love to escape to such a serene and peaceful setting.
    I am indeed jealous and also very happy for you!

    • liliannemilgrom August 22, 2021 / 4:02 pm

      Thanks Phyllis though I wouldn’t be jealous of having caught COVID. It’s been a difficult recovery and hoping to get home soon. xx

  9. dremadrudge August 23, 2021 / 9:00 am

    Dear Lilianne, I’m so sorry that Covid found you in paradise! I hope you are better now and that you can take the awesome memories you shared with us home with you for further inspiration.

    And your live model sketch does indeed remind me of Luncheon on the Grass! Beautifully done!

    • liliannemilgrom August 23, 2021 / 9:58 am

      Thanks for your good wishes Drema. I’m still in isolation. Hope to be back home soon. It’s been rough – even in Paradise!!

  10. Lifan September 7, 2021 / 2:22 pm

    Hi Lilianne, Gorgeous pictures. Hope you are well now. Best wishes!

    • liliannemilgrom September 7, 2021 / 4:42 pm

      Thank you! Yes, all better 🙂

  11. joembyrd2012 October 15, 2021 / 7:47 pm

    Glorious place. I’m sorry you got sick. I hope all is well with you and that you don’t suffer any long-haul symptoms like my son has. I hope to hear how the new book is coming. Much luck.

    • liliannemilgrom October 15, 2021 / 9:22 pm

      Sorry to hear about your son…I feel fine now. Glorious place indeed.
      See you at the awards ceremony!

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