mardi 6 avril 2010

No Easter bunny....................

I had the choice of two brocantes to visit yesterday. One had been advertised as a couturiers` brocante,  the other a sale of vintage clothing. Last year the vintage clothing sale hadn`t been too good so we decided to start at the couturier event. We set off expecting it to be knitting needles and dress patterns but WOW...... as soon as I entered the hall I knew I was going to be able to buy. I almost felt that panic of where should I run to first as I scanned the stands and saw some divine treasures for sale!!!! I thought I knew most of the antique textile sellers in the region but there were many  faces I didn't recognize. Advertised as just a small "salle de fetes" village hall sale - the first time such an event had been organised in that town - but which turned out to be simply amazing, the stands brimming over with old textiles, trims, ribbons, buttons, lace and frou frou fripperies. This is what it must be like in textile heaven..............

The hall began to fill up with other textile buyers. Quick...quick....quick.....panic....!!!!!!!

So as it got busier I just got my head down and did what I do best...truffle for treasures!

One very sweet lady was selling the contents of an old lingerie shop, her stand full of  beautiful vintage soft pink confections, all from the 1930s. She had a wonderful roll of  satin for corset-making, rose pink lingerie lace and ribbon trims, runs of tiny hooks and eyes on rose linen. Needless to say I almost cleaned her out! The goods are simply divine - and to find so much in one place was quite rare. Poor Mark had to keep humping huge bags of delights back out to the car!
By the time we finally left the hall it was so packed with visitors that you could hardly move.

We set off  for what I believed would be simply a cursory visit to the clothing sale which was held in village sports hall, more to stop and have a coffee and to say 'bonjour' to everyone rather than expecting to find anything.  But what a surprise! We walked in to find the hall virtually silent but with tables full of gorgeous 19th century costumes and textiles. The organiser, who is a member of the local historical (hysterical!) society, had managed to raid the attic of a local chateau. So under much less pressure than at the first venue we sauntered from table to table - and bought even more divine items................
The volunteers from the 'society' who were manning the stands told me that I had missed some amazing old coats that had belonged to the former Marquis himself. But, do you know what? I can`t be in two places at once can I? It was just wonderful to wander at my own pace without the panic of other textile dealers on my tail!

I bought some amazing old "boucherie" (butchers) shirts dating from the 1930s, some stunning corsetted costume pieces and some quirky monogrammed sleeves that were made and kept in stock at the chateau to be added to the footmens' coats.  Later , after filling more bags to the brim, we sat with the volunteer ladies for a cafe and homemade cake -  and I can`t think of a better way to spend an Easter Lundi.
So after my little illness last year and my hospital stay I cannot eat chocolat anymore; and believe me, I was THAT chocoholic!! If there was 'chocolat' within a  3 mile radius I could hear it whispering to me! I could easily have been frogmarched to a 'chocoholics anonymous' meeting where I would have stood up and confessed: " My name is Shirley Wells - and I am a chocoholic". So the Easter bunny didn`t visit me this year.....................

Or did he?!!!!!! Perhaps he sent his brother - the brocanting bunny?

I shall not be blogging for the next couple of days whilst I make a quick trip back to England. 'A la prochaine.......................!!!'

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