Living the dream: the commoners who bought a French castle

12/12/2019 6:00:00 AM

For most of the year, Willy Nanlohij, a 62-year-old retired bank worker, lives w...

‘Excited’ commoners who participated in a crowd-funding initiative attended a Christmas party on the grounds of the French castle they now own

For most of the year, Willy Nanlohij, a 62-year-old retired bank worker, lives w...

Elizabeth Pineau 3 Min Read LES TROIS-MOUTIERS, France (Reuters) - For most of the year, Willy Nanlohij, a 62-year-old retired bank worker, lives with his wife Hilda in a comfortable yet unremarkable home in the Dutch city of Enschede.Richard Lough 4 Min Read PARIS (Reuters) - France’s prime minister said on Wednesday its people should work two years longer to get a full pension, drawing a hostile response from trade unions who said they would step up strike action to force an about-turn.™ , the textile premium fiber brand under the Lenzing Group, which strives to set a new standard of sustainability with innovative fibers and an environmentally friendly production process.Print On Black Friday of all days, I had just finished eating lunch at Knife Pleat, the 6-month-old French restaurant inside South Coast Plaza, when the lights flickered and then stayed off in the dining room.

But on Saturday night, the couple were trying out their new status as owners of a fairytale French chateau that dates back to the thirteenth century, and comes with turrets, a clock-tower and a moat.“It was a childhood dream,” Nanlohij said.The legal retirement age would remain at 62, Philippe said, but workers would be encouraged to work until 64 through a system of bonuses and discounts.Surveying his property, his wife at his side, he added: “I feel something in my belly, excitement.I’m one of those people.” Their dream comes with a few caveats: they share ownership with 25,000 people who joined an innovative crowd-funding campaign (minimum contribution 50 euros), and the chateau is an uninhabitable ruin.The reform-minded CFDT union, which has hitherto stayed out of the strikes, said a “red line” had been crossed and that it was calling on members to join mass protests on Dec.But none of that diluted the romance for Nanlohij when he joined 350 of those co-owners for a pre-Christmas party in the grounds, to get a taste of what it feels like to join the ranks of French chateau owners.The French-born chef spent years cooking in New York and Monte Carlo under French master (and renowned perfectionist) Alain Ducasse; the lights going off didn’t faze him in the slightest.

“As a little boy, I was fascinated by chateaux so today, to become a co-owner, is extraordinary,” he said as guests gathered around a Christmas tree in the shadow of the ruined building, shared gifts, and drank mulled wine.The moderate CFDT’s entry into the industrial action marks a perilous escalation for Emmanuel Macron, just as more hardline unions show no sign of backing down in a battle of political will that could make or break his presidency.I didn’t even know what recycling was until I was in college — and, quite frankly, when I finally learned about recycling, I didn’t even really care.The Mothe Chandeniers chateau, 300 km (185 miles) south-west of Paris, is steeped in a history of wealth and privilege.Built in the 13th century, Mothe Chandeniers was captured by English invaders in the Middle Ages.“I am determined to see this reform through because I believe it to be fair.In 1654, Marquis Francois II transformed it into a lavish home with gardens and parks.I wrongfully assumed that every product on the shelf had been tested for safety; as it turns out, many, many household products that we use daily contain endocrine disruptors that interfere with our hormones.Paris entrepreneur Francois Hennecart took it over in 1809 and restored it, and Baron Edgard Lejeune and his wife Marie Ardoin later transformed it into a neo-gothic structure.He showed some flexibility to unions over the timing, saying anyone within 17 years of retirement would be exempt - a longer period than the five years initially envisaged.The couple relocated to Orange County this summer to focus their efforts on Knife Pleat, a French restaurant that opened in June in the mall’s haute couture wing (the restaurant’s name, a play on a fashion design term, is a nod to Oscar de la Renta, Christian Louboutin and the other designer boutiques surrounding it).

But in 1932, fire destroyed the interior and the roof.Since then, the chateau has stood abandoned with trees growing inside it.Reform of France’s pension system, which offers some of the most generous benefits in the industrialized world, has proven a treacherous task for past and present governments.I made my own cleaning products (who knew a one-part water, one-part vinegar solution could clean virtually everything?!).The crowd-funding initiative, launched in 2017 by a French company that aims to use new funding models to preserve historical monuments, raised 1.6 million euros, from 25,000 people in 115 countries, including Cuba and Burkina Faso.But if the unions are able to draw more people out of the workplace, the strike which has crippled the transport network, closed schools and forced the cancellation of some flights could run for days, or longer.Reuters correspondent Elizabeth Pineau is one of the co-owners.I took a long, hard look at my budget and eating habits, and I began prioritizing whole, plant-based foods.Advertisement Legumes de saison are individually prepared farmers market vegetables with jus vegetal.

The cash allowed work to start on shoring up the building.Thomas Samson/Pool via REUTERS “RED LINE” CROSSED The hard-left CGT union accused the prime minister of turning a deaf ear to the strikers.Scaffolding is in place.The objective is not to restore it to its previous state, but to keep it from falling down.“It is a joke.I saw San Francisco’s severe litter problem and, for the first time in my life, made the connection between my habits and their effect on the environment.Slideshow (14 Images) British couple Robert and Suzanne Powell who run a nearby bed and breakfast, are also co-owners.“It’s really good to have an investment and that interest in the property, to be able to go along and see how progress is being made in bringing it back to life,” Robert Powell said.CFDT union boss Laurent Berger said Macron had broken a promise by setting 64 as the average age needed for a balanced pension budget, making it a de facto new retirement age.Thin, tender coins of carrots, radishes and beets seem only barely altered by the kitchen while cauliflower florets are steamed until they nearly collapse into buttery fluff.

One part of the chateau will be made habitable: a room in the clocktower, for co-owners to spend the night in their castle.That one homemade household cleaner led to other homemade products — deodorant, toothpaste, lip balm, and rosewater toner.Additional reporting by Udi Kivity; Editing by Giles Elgood Our Standards:.Philippe said a universal, points-based system would be fairer, giving every pensioner the same rights for each euro contributed, and enable workers to move more freely from one job to another in the modern-day labour market.

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Um. Everyone in France is a 'commoner', the time they got rid of their aristocracy and monarchy was... quite a big deal? That is great. I hope they get to enjoy it. Greatness Reuters said “Christmas”?!?! Живут же люди!!! Респект!

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