Friday, 21 November 2014

Attic emptying and the joys of other people's junk.

I think I can do without this in my home.
I rarely visit car boot sales in England. I used to go to antique fairs quite often, but now,only go to one if it is very local and the parking is easy. Partly this is because I believe I have conquered my hoarding tendency, and am realistic enough to know that my little Hebden Bridge house is already stacked so high with much loved treasures and there really isn’t any more space !

France is somehow different. The house is bigger I suppose, so there is more room to display amazing finds. The real difference however, is that vide greniers are just so much more fun than car boot sales......and the weather tends to be better !

A gorgeous old French board game.....ludo with horses.

I have made some great buys over the last 3 years at vide greniers. Children’s toys are always available, and our grandchildren have benefited from many French children growing out of their toys and buggies.

Liam...thrilled with a 1 euro purchase.

 I have also started a pot dog collection,

This was the first dog ...the pack now consists of 4 of them.....and I reckon I've got space for another few.
 I have found some other great pottery, acquired fabulous casserole dishes and remain constantly on the look out for framed photographs of soldiers. I am also seriously upset when I see old photos, no longer wanted by family members, for sale for a few euros. So far I have resisted the temptation of providing a home for hundreds of strangers photos. Mark is hoping I manage to keep resisting that particular temptation.

Here I am trying to decide whether to give this portrait a new home. I resisted...this time.
I have used vide grenier visiting as a way to discover new villages in the Aude and in the Herault. Every Sunday, from May until November, I have been spoiled for choice as to which towns and villages to visit. Sometimes I manage to fit two or three in on one day.

The Bram vide grenier was held in the grounds of a chateau.

The moment of purchase, captured .....buying a gorgeous jug and bowl set.
Sometimes, the stalls are spread out along a river bank, or the canal. Sometimes they are just in a car park or a field...but usually, they wind around the village streets. Some people set their stalls up outside their own home....others arrive early and set up with a picnic to sustain them through the day.

Some people sell all their old rubbish, and there are usually some dealers who clearly make a living out of taking their stock from one village to the next. Those are the boring stalls, with the unrealistic prices. I think I've seen that sanglier ( wild boar) at several vide greniers over the last 3years.

Sometimes you wonder who on earth would buy some of this stuff !

The best stalls are where the family has had a sort out and is getting rid of things...emptying the attic.....which is what vide grenier means.

There is usually an old tool stall....dealers.....who come to each vide grenier
Some displays are brilliant
This tile pot stand has lovely little rounded feet....and I love it. I splashed out on this cost me 5 euros.

People chat, people bargain,  I practice my French and most of the time everyone smiles. Sellers being happy to not have to take stuff home with them, and buyers pleased with their bargains.

There is no doubt about it...other people's junk can be fascinating....not sure that the crib looks very inviting with the fox in it though.

I love this pharmacy jar. It is Limoges pottery, and cost me all of 2 euros....and I love the idea of having a pot of the elixir of long life sitting on the piano.


Saturday, 15 November 2014

Yorkshire catch up time.

Amazingly....this is in Hebden Bridge, not Caunes. Sun shining, window boxes still blooming away.
It is well over a month since I posted a blog. It is weeks since I returned to Yorkshire. Since we arrived back, life seems to have been very hectic. So this is a bit of a catch up on what we’ve been up to.

I spent some half term time with Jess in Liverpool, seeing her classroom for the first time, since she started teaching in September.

Jess in her classroom
We have ensured we have seen plenty of the grandchildren, including having 4 of them to sleep over for Halloween. The question is, will we cope with all 5 of them next year...or maybe there will be even more by then.

I have returned to working my shifts at the Hospice shop, and am loving seeing all the people I enjoy working with, as well as the excitement of never knowing what treasures have been donated every time I walk through the doors. The customers are pretty wonderful too.

We enjoyed putting an Armistice day window together at the Hospice shop.

I got another “all clear” from the hospital.

There have been a couple of Christmas shopping trips,a meal out with women from the shop, coffee with a few friends to catch up, parkruns with the children and grandchildren, dentist visits, hairdresser visits and even a first session with the personal trainer I worked with before I was ill. I've also managed to spend a bit of time doing some family history research and have made a couple of breakthroughs that are very likely to become the subjects of future blogs.

My cubby hole office ( how dare the estate agent call this a 4th bedroom ! ) where I wallow in my family history research.

So, all in all, I’m not surprised there has been no time for blogging. I had various blogs from Caunes planned, and one or two of them may emerge over time....but at the moment, it’s just a matter of enjoying the new routines of being back in Hebden Bridge.

It is a little strange. We felt more emotional leaving Caunes than we expected. We are missing friends from the Minervois ( looking forward to seeing them at Christmas, when they are planning a quick trip to Hebden Bridge), but we are really enjoying Yorkshire again.

The fact that the weather has been lovely ( until now) has helped. The Calder Valley is stunning this time of year.

Hebden Bridge last week.....looking so beautiful.