OK. A very quick note. The flurry of comments at the end of my last post are too good not to comment on. It seems that my romantic notions of a carpenter signing his work were slightly misplaced. The “name” I saw scrawled on the beam was, in fact, the name of the beam itself. However, it also seems that it was the tradition in greater and more important works for the carpenters to sign their constructions. So, there you have it.
In any case, I stand by what I said about signatures. And I love seeing the word scrawled on the wood, right there in the middle of my summer home-to-be. I thank everyone who knows more about French than I do for their comments. The whole exchange was a perfect example of how an ex-patriot sort of happily limps along in a foreign world, learning by feel and bumping awkwardly into things that aren’t well understood.