I was very sceptical about using anything moist on wood, Stella, but ground floor surfaces especially the kitchen/sejour get a lot of traffic straight off the street and/or the garden, and can get muddy. It has to be cleaned periodically. A thin layer of cleaning solution evaporates in minutes, and I see no deterioration In the wood after 5 years of occupation here.
Like many older homes here, the main entrance to the house opens directly into the living-room kitchen, and all other rooms are off that large and hospitable room. It’s the room we use for entertaining visitors and for all our meals.
We have even tried to coax visitors into our dining room/salon which can easily accommodate twelve diners, but they always prefer the intimacy of the kitchen!
When the house was a bar-restaurant (up to the 1960s) it was reputed to serve 120 lunches to workers, in shifts, from the Degrenne (cutlery) factory 3km down the vallley. It employed 800+ in its heyday.
Many ex-employees live in the neighbourhood. A near neighbour, also ex-Degrenne, mere footsteps from us, hung himself the other day. His wife discovered him hanging. There has been no signs of life at the house since we got the news, so we haven’t been able to call on his wife. He was taken to the hospital at Avranche, we don’t know if he survived. His parents lived in our house, apparently. I can’t get him out of my mind.