Monday, May 21, 2012

Vide Grenier

The Antiques Fair was on in Sablet this morning, which meant that we walked right through it on the way to Bruno’s for the ritual coffee-and-chess.

It was good. There were some stunning things to buy and the prices were not exorbitant – but we'd already been spoilt last weekend at the Sablet vide grenier, where the stalls belonged to locals and all the treasures had once belonged to grandmere or grandpere’s maman and came with stories attached, and smelled of Provence and woodsmoke and lavender. Where I'd found  –

 baby dresses, of course, hand sewn in the late 1890s; 

some poetry, playbills - and French grammar books  once owned by a real French school child. (Hatchette, 1918). They were covered in old brown paper, ruled and titled and named and probably loathed as well - though her marks were good.

I nearly bought another missal, stuffed with cards and indulgences – but no, this has to stop, it’s becoming quite the obsession, something I bring back from every vide grenier and I’ve not been inside a church for so many years: so instead, I find a photograph, a child of indeterminate age, not-pretty not-plain but uncertain, assessing, wondering whether to smile with her hat-ribbon tangled into her curls.

We found other things, too, that we needed, that we’ll leave in the house when we go.

 A kitchen bench, old and tiled and just the right size; a carpet, some bowls and a coat-rack - to make the place warm and welcoming. Just like home should be. 

And later we went for a walk to Seguret, to find a Juniper bush that we had been told had berries ripe for the picking. We didn't find it - but we have time on our side. We can look again later.

And anyway, we still have 

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