Everyone should have a Cafe du Canard in their life. A place they can go to reflect, think or simply be.
I was recently watching a favourite YouTuber of mine, Justine Leconte. She had posted a video about ‘5 ways to find motivation and inspiration‘, even in tough times. As part of this video she mentions you need to give yourself the opportunity to be bored. And I have to agree wholeheartedly.
But what does this have to do with Cafe du Canard? Let’s begin at the very beginning (hmmm, I feel a song coming on…), a very good place to start… Except I don’t sound anything like Julie Andrews, so I’ll just tell you in my own written voice.
Cafe du Canard became a thought process the first year we were here, and came into being this year. Great ideas sometimes take time. That’s my excuse anyway.
When we originally built the duck enclosure we did a lot of digging and found the cement pond and a brick rimmed area near the wall. A path we think, as there were steps. And there was this cement platform. Not a big one, but just big enough to house a little French table and chairs. At least that was the initial picture.
As the cement platform butted up against the wall it was envisaged this would be a great place for an evening glass of wine. Sat as the sun set behind the overhanging trees, looking down in quiet contemplation of the veg garden below. That was the dream.
The trouble was this corner was the sunny corner, and come August way, way too hot to really make use of, even in evening. Fast forward to this year and the sunniness was dealt with by putting in a bean trellis which created a nice bit of shade come summer from early afternoon onwards. Thus making the area cooler, after mid-day.
Add in a find of 3 outdoor cafe tables (2 of which were earmarked for the new patio) and suddenly Cafe du Canard became a very real possibility. It was a matter of extending the cement platform. It was currently just large enough for two chairs, but nothing else. A space was cleared to the front. Using non-broken tomette tiles found amongst our plethora (favourite word) of broken tiles, we laid a little patio. A nice space for a table. And so Cafe du Canard was born.
But for those not understanding French, Cafe du Canard translates as Duck Cafe or literally Cafe of the ducks. I sort of prefer the latter concept. After all this space is in their home, and it seems only fitting they should make use of the cafe as much as we do.
The chairs make a great additional shaded space to sit under for them. And as they sit on cement, it radiates a coolness for a good long while. The table is a wonderful look out post. Ducks love to go to high places to view their world. Maggie has always loved standing on my shoulder, chattering down to the ducks below. No surprises then that we often find Maggie lording it over the others from her table perch. (Or maybe it is a table dance for her male entourage. Maggie?)
For myself, Cafe du Canard has become my go to place in the early mornings. The sun rises behind, to my left, lighting up the foliage with a golden glow. The birds are singing. Our neighbours chickens on either side of us are clucking to be let out. And our ducks, well, dawn is the best time for a forage.
It is so quiet and peaceful. A perfect place to write, whether letters or blog posts. Also to read. And more often to simply let my thoughts drift. So many of the ideas for our restoration home germinated in Cafe du Canard.
Everyone needs a space to let their thoughts roam free. To wing above with great imagination, or provide solace in moments of difficulty. That space can be anywhere. A park bench, a favourite chair, a walk in a nearby woods. It is a happy space when the mood is right. And also a place that wraps you in a metaphorical hug when needed. I hope everyone has the opportunity to find or make their own Cafe du Canard. With or without ducks.