Thursday, May 21, 2009

Finds at the vide grenier

Today is Ascension Day which means another public holiday in France. The month of May seems to have the most and because this is also a Thursday, most shops, banks and government offices will be closed tomorrow as well as people take le pont--the Friday bridge--that takes them neatly into the weekend. 
   After breakfast, we drove to Nalzen, a village on the road between Lavelanet and Foix. It's under a half hour away but the scenery by then has changed from our rolling local hills to definite foothills. 
    We'd been to a vide-grenier here last year so, based on previous experience, we anticipated leaving laden down with bargains. To be honest, this wasn't stellar although we did pick up a large white teapot, five glass footed bowls that seem ideal for strawberries and cream or vichysoisse, and a DVD, for a total of seven euros. We ate lunch there too at the buvette where a man cooked sausages, merguez and slices of pork belly on a barbecue. We lined up to pay for a length of baguette, sliced open and topped with mustard, ketchup or mayonnaise. The BBQ man added fried onions too if you wanted them which of course we did.
   As we sat on a stone wall eating lunch, we talked about the items you can almost always guarantee seeing at these village flea markets. Steven Seagal movies on DVD for one thing. Also ornate dolls (although we'd never before seen an entire carload). Also pastis jugs and glasses. Ashtrays galore and loads of demitasse sets. Old linen sheets and old faded books. Barbie dolls and children's clothes. Women's work in the form of embroidery, crochet. and especially needlepoint. If you've ever done this you know how long it takes. It's sad to see how hundreds of hours of work are disposed of for a few euros. Naked ladies were a popular subject today. I snapped these two (two of several) one snuggled into a hedge, the other leaning nonchalantly against a vehicle.

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