Amy - otherwise known as Mademoiselle Tartelette from Oregon has been staying here with us at the chateau for a truffling trip.
She began her trip down in the South of France where she spent a week of truffling before starting the long haul drive to us here in the North, in Normandie. She had intended to stop over in Paris mid-journey before carrying on the next day, but as she was still wide awake after the expresso café stops en route she called us to say that she had decided to carry on and would reach us about midnight.
When she was about an hour away she called again to say that her fuel was getting low in her hire car and was getting a little worried as she did not know where the nearest service stations were. We re-assured her that she only had a little way to go before she found a petrol stop and that she should have sufficient fuel in her tank to make it in time.
She called us about 45 minutes later to say that she had arrived at the service station, would top her tank up and be with us very shortly. However some five minutes later she called again to report that her hire car was refusing to start.
She was only about five miles away so we jumped in our car and set off to rescue her, wondering what had happened to cause her car not to start. When we arrived at the service station she appeared in high spirits, sitting in the all night café stop and causing great hilarity among a group of truck drivers wearing yellow coats, trying to explain in her broken French that they looked like a gang of Minions!!
A few calls to her insurance company and it was not long before a truck arrived to transport her car to the nearest garage. And the reason it wouldn't start? Tartellete had put petrol into her tank instead of diesel!With her car safely locked away in the garage for the rest of the night [it was about 2.00am by then!]we packed her along with the treasures she had bought and her suitcases into our car and headed home.
The next morning we went to collect her vehicle, having been duly drained and re-filled with the correct fuel and our truffling began in earnest.
I take her to brocantes and dealers off the beaten track and I have threatened to blindfold her a couple of times as some of my truffling spots are in well-guarded 'simply chateau' secret locations!! Some old dealers with amazing hauls and collections have supplied me for well over 30 years now.
Tartelette has a very serious case of incurable 'brocantitis' but, teamed with a very good eye, that makes for a whole hoard of delicieux treasures for her to pack up and take to La Poste.
We have had half the salon brimming with boxes, bubble wrap , rolls of tape, baskets, books, zinc finials with the other half full of her purchases: old chocolat boxes, rustique farmhouse linens and cuisine items,18th century giltwood fripperies, old boxes of candles, frames,18th century engravings, salon chairs and tables, and bed canopies - and that is to name just a few!!!
And so, with parcels packed and labelled, it's off to the post office.
This is just a small peek at her haul; and there is more to be shipped back to the States, including not only the two chairs she bought on this occasion but also two others which have been decorating our lounge for the last 18 months or so!
She leaves tomorrow, returning to Paris for the last few days of extra truffling, but under strict instructions to buy "small" as anything else would have to go in her suitcases. I shall be amazed if she manages to do that as she usually finds the temptations of the Paris flea too much to resist.
Of course I came home with a haul of confections myself so after a day of recovery tomorrow I shall be back to listing my own treasures on Monday including..............
....... a beautiful timeworn chateau Lit Polonaise
Plumply upholstered with horsehair and traditional batting inside it will be an easy project to re-upholster.
A la prochaine mes belles and "Au Revoir and Bon Voyage" to Mademoiselle Tartelette; have a safe journey home.
Oooh la la...... it seems so quiet here now.