Friday, June 25, 2021

The limit does not exist

WELL, WELL, WELL. Guess who had a great time slumming it in the Dordogne? NOT OUR FRIEND, THAT'S FOR SURE. 

LOL JK. We FORCED him to. The key to a good time when you have a small home is to LEAVE IT, and that's exactly what we did: we dragged that poor man to wineries, farmers' markets, flea markets, riverside beaches and through the forest. Anytime it looked like he was about to sit contentedly on the sofa, we'd leap up -- Wait! You haven't seen the bins by the rugby pitch yet!

It was delightful. Pretty sure he went home and slept for ten days.

The water we shoved him into

One of the best takeaways from our time together was having him as a flea market and brocante companion. One of his (many, varied) backgrounds is in antiques (he's even a guest judge on an Antiques-Roadshow-esque program in the UK) so the man not only knows when an item is special, but also its history, whether the price is right, and when to bargain. SHOPPING WITH HIM WAS THE BEST ANTIQUING OF MY LIFE. 

Just LOOK at how he's upped my pedestals- and plinths-game in two short weekends. (Finally! Places for the objets I'm now collecting! What a good influence he is! Alan is one hundred percent on board with all of this!)

18th-century butcher's table! I know how old something is now!

Solid marble! I can't even lift this!

And this apprentice piece, which Aidan pointed out is a great example of traditional French curvature in a modern style! (Alan definitely thought we needed this!)

There was a moment in this massive vide grenier flea market on Sunday, one so big it took up every street in its village, when -- possibly around hour two of cruising -- Aidan and I spotted this amazing 70s-style geometric set of side tables that we were desperate for (Alan had long since slumped against a wall under a tree, leaving us to it), right next to a sombrero the size of a dinner table and a giant set of iron letters spelling, mysteriously, CARP. And we realised -- as we formulated how best to convince Alan to hand over the wallet -- that regardless of what treasures we brought back to show him (not unlike a child showing his dad a nice rock), THE MAN SEES THEM ALL AS SOMBREROS AND CARP. 

Needless to say, when we rushed breathlessly back to him and pointed out the tables we wanted across the field, he ACTUALLY put his head in his hands and groaned. 

Father was unimpressed by our pebbles. 

He still let us get matching salamanders, though

Eventually we took pity on him (once we had finished with every inch of every lane, rewarded at the very last table with a set of gres dinnerware that is coming straight back to London) and returned home. 

Where immediately Alan and I saw Aidan was in danger of relaxing and prodded him into the nearest forest for a hike.

The best part of this picture is the angle that makes Aidan look even more giant than he actually is, and Alan his fierce tiny friend.

Not unlike the affect of every selfie we take together

It was the best sombrero- and carp-collecting weekend I've ever had, and Alan's promised that if those tables are at next summer's vide grenier, WE CAN DEFINITELY GET THEM, so that's RESULTS.

Now we're in the middle of laundry and packing, because we're off on a mini-road trip tomorrow! We've got clear PCR tests firmly in hand, and we're heading south to cross the border into Spain. We have no idea what the border crossing is going to look like, but we've been told they're actually stopping cars to check Covid tests, so things could get exciting! 

Wish us luck, and hopefully see you from Galicia! 

1 comment:

  1. Oh loves - we had such a time! Thank you for accommodating my apparently giant dirigible of a head for the weekend (the camera never lies). The haggling! The food! The natural wines! My face still hurts from laughing (and haggling) more than I have in years.

    Every day I look at the corner of my sitting room where the seventies side table should sit and shake my head wistfully at the memory of a magical weekend. Next time I’m just buying the sombrero.

    I’d like to say thank you and I’m praying to the gods of second hand furniture that you’ll have me back to your beautiful house and village for another “Tour du Vin”.

    PS Yes I did, I stole a towel. I’m SORRY. You can have it back but you have to invite me back for a whole weekend again.