Flea markets are all the go in France during summer. Signs are placed on every street corner and roundabout, advertising the 'vide-greniers' to be held at local villages each Saturday and Sunday. I can't wait for the weekend to arrive. It's a flea market feast, and a restorers paradise! There are endless treasures to be found, as the unlimited supply of attic wares keep magically appearing, filling avenues of car parks and village streets.
It's as if a curiosity circus has come to town and set up shop, each smallholder displaying their odds and ends.
Mostly I'm a voyeur - and amazed at what I see. A Horlogerier, or clock fixer, with a battered and faded, old 2CV, showed me his bag of restored timepieces. His hands were cracked and weathered like old leather wristwatch bands, and moved slowly like the second hands of the fobs, as he dipped into his worn burgundy, velvet bag, and gently placed his timely treasures onto the old oak table. I was in a bit of a hurry to 'not miss a thing at the market' but time moved slowly for this Frenchman. So I curbed my impatience and listened, as he explained the works and history of each piece, with so much pride and excitement, as if seeing each for the first time. As I held each watch, his four legged companion next to me growled and starred - a faithful watchdog!
Hungry, I decided it was time for a quick crepe tasting - fresh, soft, with a crunchy buttery edge, followed by an intense flavour of grand mariner in the centre (I'm not going to settle with sugar and lemon!). When in France...
Of course, music played. I could never resist the sound of an accordion - my mum used to play.
Reflecting on what I have seen, I feel content having passed on certain items:
and a broken horse wagon.
I ended up with a few treasures though!
But had to leave the greatest love behind...
Château de Gudanes