jeudi 28 juillet 2011


Just to let you all know that I am still alive and kicking - but the kicking bit is likely to be a bit painful at the moment if I attempted it!!
Am currently hospitalised recovering from an OP  (I've never been away from my desk for so long!)  but normal service should resume middle of next week.
Why am I in hospital? Clue is in the heading!

samedi 23 juillet 2011

L`AMOUR FRIVOLE..................

L`AMOUR FRIVOLE...............

You know what its like. You`ve shopped till you drop in all the couture and perfumerie magasins in Paris and I knew that it was a bad idea to wear those little, pale blue silk Madame Pompadour slippers with the ribbon bows - but they looked so divine with my new rose-trimmed gown.

  I couldn`t get a carriage home and had to walk all the way home through les jardins des Tuileries carrying that huge hat box with the latest ribbon bedecked coiff - and now my feet are really killing me! I was very careful not to drop my silk handkerchief as this would have been a sure sign to those promenading dandies that I was available!

I shall just loosen up these tight corset laces and have a little sit down in my boudoir to rest - and relax as I close my eyes.

And what happens as soon as you drift off into a gentle slumber ? Well........some dandy has followed you home and climbs through your window.... he carefully lifts your shawl with his walking cane - all to catch a glimpse of what lies below your corsets!

I say "wake up madamoiselle"!!!! Take that cane and thrash him to within an inch of his life!!!!!

mercredi 20 juillet 2011

Fine dining with a petite French pug!! is still raining!!! How long can it go on for? I have curtains to photograph and cannot risk putting them above the doorway as the minute I get them in place it will just hound it down again! NO more......please!!!!

Being trapped indoors has given me time to look all through the boxes of treasures I have been hiding ready for listing and I forgot I had brought this old menu card home some time ago. Dated June 1922 it is marked with age but I love it now as much as the day I found it!!! It reminds me of Jo at  "Hestanesta"..........................

Is that you Jo? If so can I borrow your hat?!!!

A demain mes belles....hopefully with no rain and those delicious faded florals I have will get photographed at last!!

mardi 19 juillet 2011


I came down into the cuisine early this morning. Mainly because it seemed to be the first day for weeks that it has not been lashing rain! The cuisine has been opened up ready for the new extension and "mais oui" there is a huge hole in the wall now which is currently being covered over by a piece of plasterboard to stop the swallows flitting in and out of the main house!!

When I saw the orange light coming over the top of the doorway I assumed that the lights had been left on and moved the boards away to go and switch them off....................

But was the early morning light and the whole room was golden........

I shall be so glad when its`s going to be wonderful!
Whilst the light was so good I took the chance to carry my old mannequin outside to photograph the amazing 1920s satin bejewelled gown I found last weekend.

It is a gorgeous hand made confection with amazing jewelled detailing.................................
and a delicious full train....................
I wonder which lucky madamoiselle it was made for? It came with some other amazing antique clothing and the most exquisite hand worked marriage shawl I have ever seen. I was just about to photograph it and guess what? The heavens opened again and the rain has lashed all day!
Oh was nice while it lasted!

dimanche 17 juillet 2011

Hello Sailor!!!!

It`s amazing what you find when you are out and about truffling for treasures.............

Hold on a minute....who`s this strolling down the boulevard?
Well........Bonjour sailor!!!!

A la prochaine mes belles!

vendredi 15 juillet 2011

Totally shabby chic and totally delicious!!!

I was over the moon to find this child mannequin yesterday. Dating from the 1850s it had been laid on its back in a grenier attic until the house was cleared a few weeks ago.

It was those little buttoned wooden boots that did it and I couldn`t leave without him!

The dilemma was to try and tidy him, strip off all the distressed fabric or to leave him as I found him. I know I would display him just as he is so I waxed his boots and I`ll let someone else decide.

Absolutely adorable!

Bon weekend mes belles!

jeudi 14 juillet 2011

Bastille Day...............

It`s Bastille day today the French independence holiday. It commemorates the storming of the Bastille prison which began the French Revolution on July 14, 1789.

So it is a national holiday and it was brocante heaven! I had a wonderful day truffling and found a shabby chic early child mannequin dated around 1850 and I am over the moon with it! I will photograph it for you tomorrow. the other end of the age scale these floral oilcloth bags were very cheap and selling like hot cakes this morning....
When I looked closer I could see why!!!!

It will be fireworks everywhere tonight and great celebrations. Paris will host a huge event where traditionally the Eiffel Tower will be illuminated..............
But we are going to stay closer to home as one of the beaches has a concert and display and.....................
I don`t want to lose my head!!!!

A demain mes belles!

mercredi 13 juillet 2011

Merci mes belles...........

Thank you all so much for the birthday wishes, cards and pressies!
Love you all!

Go to the bottom of the page and click on the video of the singing frog....isn`t he cute?!!

lundi 11 juillet 2011

Wait for it................................

Will you all settle down please!!! You are not too big to go over my knee you know!!!
 Yesterday it was brocanting until late and today Mark has gone to the UK for three days for a family birthday. absolutely cannot make me go down there alone in the pitch black with a mouse, a candle and a teaspoon to dig in the clay! ......what?.....oh.......yes you can!!!
I have asked Dominic who is the grandson of the old lady that lived here before, but he was too young to remember what it was like when Grandmere bought the place but he says his eldest brother may know so he will ask him for me.

The tiny village "mairie" town hall is open tomorrow afternoon so I will ask if they have any records of the chateau kept there . But, I suspect they will be held at the area records office in Coutances or Carentan so I will ask our lady mayor how to go about that too.

Now if you can all arrive here tonight some of you can hold the candle and we will take it in turns to fend off the mouse and dig.

Talking of Dig.....Digger is not talking to me as I managed to catch him to Frontline him this morning! He is allergic to any kind of insect bites - his stomach turns bright red and he itches so much he has to have a cortisone injection at the vets. I told him it was for his own good as a little Front line as a precaution woulod be better than an injection but he wasn`t interested. I am sure he can read the words on that Frontline box - the minute I have it in my hand he becomes Harry Houdini and today I finally managed to corner him by the armoire!

So you will have to keep your camiknickers on wait a little longer mes belles!!
A demain!!

samedi 9 juillet 2011

Have we found the chateau tunnel at last?

I told you sometime ago that local legend says that somewhere here in the grounds of Le Petit Chateau is a hidden tunnel. When we bought this place it had stood empty for over 10 years.The grandson of the last owner told us that his grandmere was a fabulous gardener - but she hadn`t unearthed anything. We too have had a good scout about in the grounds but never came up with any ideas.

 But today I went down into the cellar to see if the swallows had nested in there again this year. The cellar is not accessible from inside the house but does have a small access door in the garden. When grandmere purchased the house in the 1950s it had already long been derelict and the wooden ground floor floors had  fallen through into the cellar. She renovated and put new floors throughout but it is clear to see with all the mud and debris in there that it was never cleaned out. The floor remains deep in mud and old rotted 19th century wooden beams  - and, to be honest it is the last thing to deal with on our list of renovation work.

I went down into the half light and immediately  saw a tiny field mouse scuttle along the mud floor. Rather than leave him to run the gauntlet with Charles le Baron I decided to catch him and put him outside in the bushes. He ran into the second half of the cellar and into the darkness - and I had to wait until my eyes became accustomed to the darkness to try and see him. And then I saw it......a huge flat triangular stone in the corner. After living here for over two years it is the first time we have ever seen it!!
So after a some investigation, digging into the heavy clay and soil moving this is what we have found................
The first stone was cleared to reveal another stone step below. Did those steps lead down to a hidden 19th century privy? But then it became apparent that there is a hole below the second step. The left hand side of what we have uncovered is a solid wall and continues down but the front opens up below the second step. It feels as if there are some stones in there and we have pulled out some old bottles and mother of pearl buttons.

So......we have lost the light now and have to stop - but cannot wait to do a bit more digging tomorrow.

Double click on the photograph if you want to look closer.
So............... what do you think?

mercredi 6 juillet 2011

I only went to look for a door......................

I only went out to look around the local brocantes to find a door..............................but........................ know what its like.............
you see something tucked away covered in dust......................
and you have to truffle it out because you have the perfect spot for it................
and so then you can`t leave without it..........................
and then on the way home you pass the garden centre so have to stop and buy a pond pump and a tall passion flower that will eventually wind its way behind it......
................because what good is a fountain if it doesn`t work!!

And.....if the Chateau de Versailles can have huge fountains......I can have just a petite one!! I must stop these delusions of grandeur!

Love it!!

vendredi 1 juillet 2011

Treasures from Tartelette..............

This is what Tartelette bought for me for a present in whilst she was truffling in Paris...................

....the most divine 19th century boudoir box covered in a toile the pattern of which, even after 28 years or so of truffling around France, I have never seen before.
The inside is so pristine and she had tucked away inside two little bon bon boxes too.

And to think...........10 years ago when she emailed me; no, harassed me; no, stalked me to help her furnish her home with French treasures I had tried to escape her clutches!!

I am so glad I gave in because she has become such a wonderful friend who has a heart of pure gold. But don`t tell her that; I have to keep her thinking she has not won me over yet!!!! To be honest she has such a sharp eye for timeworn shabby French treasures she doesn`t really need me at all...................but don`t tell her that either!!

On her next visit she may re-possess the box and it will then live with her for a while too....but I don`t mind sharing with her at all!

But she is now safely home after a hideous flight travelling through two huge storms on the way - and I nearly got to call in that pair of gilded 19th century wings bequeathed to me after 2 glasses of red.

I do know that she has taken back some delicious finds for her next private sale which she arranges at her home in Portland, Oregon. I have seen her latest haul and it`s no wonder the queue starts early! I am very tempted to simply join the end of the queue one day as a suprise!
Here is her blogsite  - and I am sure she will get blogging again nearer her sale time......

So, peace reigns again and back to normality whatever that is!
I have had a few days truffling locally with Miss Frou frou and we have unearthed some little mignons like these.....

....exquisite faceted crystal candle shades for me,

....and adorable cherub prints and 19th century silk brocade for Froufrou.
You will find Miss Froufrous listings here:

Have a wonderful weekend, mes belles!