Monday, April 30, 2012

Depot ventes and vide greniers

    Last Saturday found us in Pamiers (home to the famous Sunday flea market).  Feeling that my prayers to the depot vente goddess were about to pay off, we drove south to Espace 09 which, as you can see, apart from its looks-like-Ikea signage colours, doesn't look like much from the outside. But just you wait...

Once you've made your way past the ranks of pre-owned bikes, scarred tables and dodgy armoires, you enter an Aladdin's cave of delights. 
     Where else would you see a Barbie pink guitar and a life-size crucifix (already sold) in such close proximity?

     Before they began using things that look like plastic dustbins, grape-pickers carried these on their backs. Nearby was a piece of furniture that looked like a piece of real junk until you imagined it flanked by a leather sofa in a New York loft.

    Wearing the patina of many decades and quite a lot of rust, these metal drawers (costing 25 euros) reminded me of something I'd spotted recently.
   As seen in the current Maisons du Monde catalogue, priced at 690 euros.  What I did walk away with were two leaf-shaped platters to add to my collection (subject of a forthcoming post...maybe), which got me thinking about how collections begin. In my case, if I buy two of a kind, I'm already on the slippery slope, which is why I didn't invest in this extremely handsome cushion.

    Look closely. What you probably can't see is that those hand-crocheted oranges are three-dimensional. As soon as I saw them, I remembered the hand-crocheted mat I'd bought at a vide grenier a couple of years ago, which featured three-dimensional red berries. Can you start to spot a theme here?  A hand-crocheted fruit collection. Anyway, I resisted and the cushion can fall into someone else's hands.

   Sunday, despite black clouds hovering over the mountains, we drove south and west to the village of Nalzen, site of what a friend had said was a géant vide grenier. Adding extra fun to the stalls piled with kids' clothes and tons of plastic toys were delicate bouquets of sweet-smelling lily-of-the-valley, the traditional gift in France to give to those you love on May 1 ...
...and a mobile cart selling coffee, croissants, pains aux chocolat and, later in the day, ham-filled baguettes. Instead we went for sausage and pork belly slices cooked over charcoal, and slapped in a split baguette with fried onions.
    Buys here? A big of walnuts, which featured last night in a roquette salad, and a could-be-Persian-but-for-three-euros-obviously-isn't rug.
    With a small, imperceptible tear.
    Already mended with duct tape.

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