A friend of ours recently came to spend some time at Can Pit-Roig. She had just experienced something a little disagreeable and was looking for comfort.
At the end of her stay, she sent me a photo, taken on our terrace, of the book she was reading: El Pais de las Mujeres, the Spanish translation of Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman.
Talking to her later, I told her that a liked the Spanish title – The Land of the Women – because I think of Can Pit-Roig as a refuge for women where they can have ‘a moment for themselves’. She replied that that’s how she feels about Can Pit-Roig too, a refuge where she always feels safe, somewhere to recharge your batteries, a place you leave feeling re-energised.
It’s true that we have had quite a few women stay with us, some returning several times, and these feelings of security and comfort are often voiced when we ask them to talk about their stay with us.
This discussion made me think of some of my favourite, most inspiring books, all written by women…
Enchanted April by Elizabeth Von Arnim: I’ve read the book several times now, and it never ceases to move me. I’m not going to spoil the story for you, but here’s how I would describe it: The magic of a place changes the lives of a group of women and their families, allowing them to relax and accept being happy. There’s a lot more to it than that, of course…
The book was first published in 1922. The first time I read it in 1985, when I worked in a bookshop in Toulouse, I found it very feminist. Since then, I’ve re-read it several times, always with the same great pleasure.
The book was made into a telefilm starring Miranda Richardson, and I really loved it, although you may find it hasn’t aged well…
Babette’s Feast : A book I read after watching the film starring Stéphane Audran. Again, I’m not going to spoil the story for you, but here’s my description of it. A woman uses her culinary skills to cook a dinner and bring comfort and joie de vivre into a rather austere religious community. I very much like the idea that a combination of tastes can produce a moment of pleasure.
That’s really how I see Can Pit-Roig – a special place where all our visitors leave happy and full of renewed energy.
Those that follow me on Facebook (and other social networks) know that I agree with a lot of feminist ideas, and knowing that we can make Can Pit-Roig a refuge and a place of comfort for women brings me a lot of happiness.
With us, there is no judgement, no constraints. Everyone can go at their own pace. Jason and I are here to make sure there is no stress. The garden has lots of secluded spots where you can be alone when you want to.
Mealtimes are relaxed moments when we share stories or music (another one of our passions), talk about our favourite dishes or tell funny stories.
Can Pit-Roig is solace, a place of wellbeing, good food, positivity…
There are lots of other book that have been important in my life, almost all of the written by women… but that’s a whole other article ?