Maison Popeye is a small but character-filled house in south-east Belgium, not too far from Chateau Miranda. This was once a very picturesque house, backing onto a small stream and surrounded by woodlands. Vegetation is encroaching this house, giving the internal light a lovely soft and diffused nature. Houses nearby are still inhabited, and while we visited a family were enjoying a picnic in the late summer sun as we quietly entered the property.
Up the narrow and rickety wooden stairs are two small bedrooms. Beds are simple dark, heavy wood with a traditional and frugal feel. Lovely rustic furniture remains in pristine, but dusty condition. A heavy tartan-pattern blanket lies neatly on top of the bed. Blue slippers sit on the window ledge, unlikely their original position and more likely a staged photo by another photographer taking advantage of the light streaming through cob-webbed windows. Pictures and mirrors still hang on the walls, and quirky old-fashioned lamps sit upon dusty bedside tables.
Downstairs, a dining room with a curious iron anchor on the wall (this must be where the name “Maison Popeye” was derived from). The lounge/living room features red-stained wooden cladding walls, and well-worn sofas. The inhabitants were clearly avid readers, as books are found in nearly every room. A small wooden bar complete with bar stools sits in the corner.
As the soft afternoon light shines through the cobweb covered and vegetation-encroached windows, it is not hard to imagine the inhabitants sitting here and reading a book with a glass of wine on a long-passed summers afternoon not too dissimilar to this one.
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