I have always said that when I eventually 'pop my clogs' and head for that big brocante in the sky I want my ashes to be scattered on the mill wheel at Isle sur la Sorgue in Provence! (My textile archive, of course, would then be up for grabs too!)
When my brocante addiction started some 28 years ago, I would drive my trusted old van ( named Horace) all the way south to Provence from the UK every two weeks or so to search out and buy the most amazing treasures. Back then it was old chateau treasure heaven - and I would always be able to pack Horace to the gunnels, bursting with pair upon pair of 18th and 19th century chateau curtains, sacks full of huge tassels and beautiful passementerie trims. Other dealers would say "We knew you were in Isle Sorgue as we saw Horace"!! I would drive back to the UK, sell the lot almost immediately and set off again a few weeks later.
I enjoyed spending some wonderful times there, made fabulous friends and can still remember most of the really special items that I found there.
There is still nothing to match having a breakfast of fresh coffee, freshly baked baguette and fresh apricots sitting next to the water wheel in the warm morning sunshine.
As the years progressed Isle sur la Sorgue became more trendy as an antique hotspot - and the prices rose quite dramatically as a result. So..... my truffling went further afield but, if I was in the area, I simply had to drive through and stop for off for a cafe just because I love it so much. So that`s where you`ll eventually find me going round and round for ever in the Provence sunshine!
So, why am I taking about "popping off" and why have I been so quiet this week?
Last weekend I started to ache and my ribs and back became quite painful. Monday it became a little worse and I made a doctors appointment for Thursday. I awoke at 3am on Wednesday morning with so much pain in my chest and back that I could not take a deep breath, so off we went to the emergency department at Valogne hospital.
Two years ago I suffered a slight "wobble off" at a brocante which resulted in two weeks in hospital and the insertion of a heart stent - so any pain I experience around the chest is always a panic! ( and yes...simply-chateau is bionic!!).
So, I had a full check! The ECG was clear ( phew!), lungs x-ray clear ( another phew), blood tests clear and no reason was evident save that the cause must have been muscular. We got back home at 7am.
I don`t remember lifting anything heavy but then it suddenly came to me. Last Saturday morning I put on and danced to the " Salsa & Charleston dance work out for dummies" tape here in the cuisine. Frou frou was here from Paris and laughed so much she couldn`t speak - and said I looked like someones Grandma dancing at a wedding!!!
I am obviously built for truffling out textiles and not for tripping the light fantastic! Three days later I still cannot sleep lying down flat because of the pain and have to sit up to sleep like on old owl! That`ll teach me!!!
So if you forget the rush for the queue for the textile archive I`ll forget all about that dance tape! If you go to the bottom of this page there is a little video to accompany the music that shows you how to do the Charleston................................actually............no.....perhaps not mes belles!!
Bon weekend and I shall be truffling out treasures at eye level this weekend and anything hidden below a stand will have to stay there!!