Vita has been to visit her cousin Brando at a grand seventeenth century fortified house.
When Airedales play, they play hard, which can be daunting for other dogs. But put two Airedales together and the barging and play-biting weight for weight is glorious fun.
They roar round the garden and house for three hours, stopping every so often to flop by us, tongues hanging out, joyous grins on their faces.
We are there to learn more about the house with our friends who have a château and are knowledgeable about old buildings. Brando's owners are aiming to sell their house (reluctantly) and are interested in understanding its history before they leave.
Local legend has it that the house was owned at one time by Charles de Batz whose life was fictionalised as D'Artagnan in Dumas' The Three Musketeers. What fun for the owners - to live in a house that may have been occupied by D'Artagnan!
In the 1970's I lived in Brazil and I wrote home to my mother in the UK every week. Those letters became the story of my life there. In 2007 I moved to south west France. Not quite sure where "home" is, I have no family left in the UK. If I did, these words would be my letters home, capturing the first impressions of my life here, to share, enjoy and perhaps re-read in years to come.