Sunday, August 22, 2010

More Reading Material and Other Flea Market Finds.

     Before I get into the stack of books I brought home from the vide grenier at Fanjeaux last Sunday (including this 1950s movie mag), a word or two about why we returned not once, but twice, to a certain barn. To be blunt, we couldn't resist the prices--which dropped steadily as the hours went by. First find--and my favourite--is the enamel coffee-pot that now stands on the bistro table on the terrace. An art director moment or what?

    Next up, but too boring to photograph, an ornate wooden knob to go on the knob-less post at the bottom of the stairs. Also not worthy of visuals, but undeniably nice, were two vintage linen pillowcases, square in shape, which means I must now buy two typically French square pillows.
But the best bargains were the books. Someone had thrown out a large stack of English gardening books. By the time I found them, the price was down to three for a euro. I walked away with Home-Grown Vegetables (published 1927) -- best page heading: "A Table of Manures." Varieties described in Rare Vegetables (1960) include tree onions--"the curious tree onion is a useful novelty"--Hamburg parsley, and Good King Henry--"sometimes known as Lincolnshire asparagus."  I do intend to research all these. Whether I'll grow them is another matter. The smallest gardening book but promising endless hours of amusement is simply titled Liquid Manure Gardening and features ads both at the front and the back of the book for a product called Liquinure. Slogan: "Your crops and flowers are liquid feeders." A regular diet of that plus a bottle of Corry's Slug Death --"one taste and they are dead"--must have guaranteed bumper crops.
I  picked up these two little  books because I couldn't bear to think that they might end up on a scrap heap somewhere. Untold hours have work have gone into these pages, all covered in spidery brown hand-writing. 

A close-up so you can see how densely the writer has filled the pages.

 Fanjeaux was definitely en fête right down to this troupe of "medieval" performers. I imagine the sombre colours and general air of griminess are far more authentic than the usual romanticized costumes you see.

    It's a charming hill-top village with steep streets, an impressive 13th century church and a sweet little tea-room. Pictures coming up...

1 comment:

david said...

I've just read your book Hot Sun, Cool Shadow and what a wonderful book! I read it after reading Michael Sanders Families of the Vine. So now I'm torn between between fantasies! A trip to Cahors or a trip the Languedoc. I just found your blog and I will be looking for updates. All the Best David Stern dreaming in Port Alberni.