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Because of places like Versailles and Paris I have come to see life as fitting into three distinct categories.They are as follows : Number one, MAGICAL THINGS. Versailles is undeniably in this category. The second category is, THINGS THAT ARE SOMEWHAT LESS THAN MAGICAL. This is what is commonly referred to as a slippery slope. These are the things that can be creatively satisfying and they can often afford you luxuries like guitars or practicalities like paying the mortgage. But beware, these are the activities that occupy a good deal of your time and they will seduce you into rationalizing what you own over what you value. The third category is, HOW TO BUILD A DONKEY. This one is simple. If there is a lawyer or an insurance salesman in the room, you are building a donkey. If you had to choose between this reality and Versailles you would be daft to not choose Versailles.

Short of re-publishing all seven volumes of Marcel Proust (with particular emphasis on volume four) there is no possible way to summarize this period of my life. Somewhere between 1996 and 1998 Olivier de Rohan (one of the finest people I have ever known) engaged my friend Catharine Hamilton (same category) to take on the project of restoring the Trois Fontaines Bosquet at the Chateau de Versailles. Shortly after that Catharine gave me a call and within two months I was living in Paris. I am not exaggerating when I say that I could not have planned any of the amazing coincidences that allowed it all to happen but there I was, living in Paris, working at Versailles and setting off on what I now know was the beginning of a decade long party. To top it all off my daughter Rosemary was born in Paris in 1998.