mardi 30 juillet 2013

A mystery.........

I found this divine piece at the brocante at the weekend. A heavyweight bronze confection that is so beautifully detailed.

But.....what was it? I can`t see anywhere where it has been attached in a previous life. I thought it may have been attached to a decorative clock or something similar but there are no breaks or marks. It has no holes for fixing except for the centre lattice pattern and they have never been used.

I have even tried to screw the top off in case I was missing something.

It is just 9.5 cms high.

Soooooooooo...........................what was it?

lundi 29 juillet 2013

Just a little blue...........

I adore the large hydrangea bushes here at the chateau. They were planted many years ago by Madame Guerin who lived here. They have always been the most amazing rich pink.......

Until this year when some have a blue tinge.

Why is that?

dimanche 28 juillet 2013

That`s the last thing I need!!!!

Conversation at 7am this morning at the brocante having just passed by a celluloid lampshade...............

MARK......Have you seen that lampshade down there?

ME..............No where?

MARK........Back there the floral one I think it`s 1930s.

ME........What`s it made of?


ME.....yeah well I am already overstocked on that.....I certainly don`t need any more!!!!

A la prochaine mes belles

samedi 27 juillet 2013

Defrocked.....time to come out of the armoire................

I never really put any pictures of myself anywhere as I don`t want to scare anyone!  I think it stems from the time I delivered a piece of furniture and the buyer said " don`t look anything like I expected!". I never asked what she had expected and I have wondered about it ever since!!

But a visitor ousted me on her blog which was picked up by the eagle eyed Len.....and I thought I had got away with it!

She had asked me to pull the funniest face I could so of course I obliged and that was of course the one she used.

So....I give in with a slightly less manic picture.
Finally out of the armoire!

mercredi 24 juillet 2013

Just flown in...............

There is nothing like a "petite angelot" at the chateau to brighten my day!

He is of course only " visiting" until his auction ends but I get to enjoy him for a while!

A la prochaine mes belles

mardi 23 juillet 2013

Just visiting..........

This is my favourite dresser here at the chateau. It is an ever changing display as it gets filled with listed treasures that are only visiting until they are parcelled off to their new homes!

I love the fact that the dresser paint is so flaky that more falls off every day!!! I love the times when visitors who cannot understand my passion for "timeworn treasure" ask if I will be painting it!! NO!!!!

When I lived in the UK I always had a shop and my passion was dressing the windows! I was always devastated when just after completing a window display someone would want to buy the items in there!! Yes I know that was the whole idea of displaying my treasures but when they looked good all together I hated to let them go!

This might be the nearest I get now to a window display!

A la prochaine mes belles

dimanche 21 juillet 2013


Thank you for all your wonderful messages for Sir Digbert Fanshaw Brownshaw. Today he is perky and wagging his tail although still walking very slowly. He is most definitely on the mend so a huge smile there.

Our village has been having some roadworks with various road blocks and signs. Today as we drove back to the chateau we could see another sign had sprung up. As we drew closer we could read the wording and both burst out laughing.

Excuse me? What`s going on there then!!

samedi 20 juillet 2013

The latest news at the chateau.............

It`s been such a strange week and I am exhausted by it all!! Last Saturday it was my birthday - which ended with me dancing until 2am with a wonderful batch of friends, one of whom was intent on teaching me to dance a 1940s jive!

This was followed by Miss Frou Frou`s birthday (on the same day as Bastille day!) with a long leisurely lunch in the garden in the glorious sunshine in the heatwave we are currently enjoying. I didn`t purposely give birth to this wonderful mademoiselle 25 years ago on a French national holiday  - but it is quite good that there are a host of firework displays taking place here each year on her birthday!

She has recently had a friend staying with her from the UK on a short break. Miss Emily (known as "La la" )is a real charming girl who has just no idea how beautiful and talented she is! She ran around the chateau like a whirlwind with her camera and the two girls set off to visit Paris with Mr Frou Frou as their chauffeur.  She has an eye for detail and is so hungry for life - much like me 40 years ago...but wow - I never has those long legs! We had such a giggle when we realised her thighs were actually higher than my waist.
La La has her blog here  and her photographs are simply divine.

Mademoiselle Lala crashed out after lunch!!

Monday morning started with me experiencing a strange pain in my side which got progressively worse. Tuesday I telephoned for a doctors appointment which was booked for Thursday. Each day the pain increased until finally - in the middle of the night on Wednesday - I could bear it no longer and Mark took me off to A and E at 5am. Several tests later revealed nothing serious, just muscle damage in my back possibly with trapped nerves in my ribs. I was given strong painkillers and sent home with orders to rest. How can muscle pain be strong? !!  I took the doctor's advice to rest because, on Saturday, I had planned to be at one of my favourite brocantes of the year - and our hotel room had been booked.

Then....... the worst possible thing happened.  Sir Digbert fell ill and became lethargic. You all know from reading my blog that this divine boy has been with me constantly, either at my feet or by my side, for the last ten years. I do not know his true age because he was a rescue dog - but I do know he must be at least twelve years old. When Burleigh our old lurcher died he took himself away and hid in the hedge and could not be coaxed out. It was almost as if he knew it was "his time" and he went away quietly.

On Friday morning (the day we were to leave for the brocante) I awoke to find Diggers missing only to finally find him under the hedge refusing to come out. When I did finally coax him out he could hardly walk and was clearly not his usual self. I know he is not indestructable and will not be here forever  - and I would never see him suffer just to save my own feelings. By the way he looked I thought it was "his time" having had the most wonderful, cossetted life with us I knew what was to come.

 I had arranged to go out to lunch with an old friend who is returning to the UK after the sudden death of her husband at the beginning of the year, so I went off to the lunch, leaving Mark to take Diggers to the vets. I said my goodbyes to him before I left and I sat at that lunch trying not to think about what was happening knowing that I would otherwise have cried all the way through it!

 I rushed home only to see his lead on the kitchen top - with no sign of Mark or Diggers. Needless to say the tears started. I then found them both in the lounge; Mark had seen that Diggers had perked up and had not taken him to the vet after all.

I phoned our friends who always looked after Digger whilst we travel and they said that they would care for him for the one night we were away and we arranged to drop him off as usual before we set off for the brocante. Then Diggers appeared to take a turn for the worst and we rushed off to the vets. I couldn`t even bear to go in, afraid of what the result might be, so I sat outside in the car and cried so much that the front of my shirt was soaked. Then Mark came outside to tell me all was ok; Diggers had  simply spent too much time in the hot sun and was suffering from the canine equivalent of sunstroke - and the vet had given him several jabs and some medicine to take.

So we decided to stick to our original plan, returning home to pack an overnight bag and then drove off to our friends house to drop Diggers off.  As we arrived I was still crying and our friends rushed out putting their arms around me saying " It`s okay, he had such a good life with you"  but I managed to blub out " is okay, he is in the car"!!! DUH! [note to myself ........get a grip woman!]

We have now just returned from the brocante. As I write this the car is full of some gorgeous treasures which I shall unload tomorrow, Digs is asleep  at my feet back to his old self  - and normal service at the 'chateau' ( whatever that means!) shall resume on Monday.

A la prochaine mes belles

vendredi 12 juillet 2013

Church treasures.....

I am finally back home. I am shattered and in a crumpled heap!! But ooooh la la!  What treasures I found!!

I have just washed off these marble church plaques that were so dusty I could hardly see the words.

These amazing carved marble plaques all date from the late 1800s. They were removed from a bomb damaged church in the 1940s as a restoration took place. They were never put back in situ and stayed stored in a cellar.


Wonderful interiors pieces or even garden pieces. My latest treasures will be sorted and I will start to list them very soon!

Have a wonderful weekend mes belles


mercredi 10 juillet 2013

Hot truffling heaven!

I am off on my travels truffling for treasures for a few days. I have headed South and the weather is scorching!!!

Today was a 2000 strong brocante and both sellers and buyers were flagging in the sun.

It has been a long hard Winter in Normandie, so, this sunshine is more than welcome and I have no objection to others buyers flagging in the heat.....all the more treasures for the chateau!

I am over the moon to have bought 6 matching pairs of 19th century rose pink damask silk chateau curtains...all huge and well over 12 feet that`s what I call truffling heaven. It has been a long time since I found so many matched period pairs.

I shall be home with new treasures to list on Friday so here are a few photographs of today`s brocante to fuel your addiction! 

The adorable petite monsieur in the top photograph was staying cool in  the shade .....If only he had been for sale too!!

A distinct lack of other buyers as the heat kicks in....suits me just fine!
The Aubusson tapestry on this salon sofa was divine! ( With a not so divine price I might add!!)
More pictures tomorrow. The van is already full to bursting so tomorrow I am sure I can only truffle for smaller treasures or perhaps fill my seat and go home by train!!
A demain mes belles

lundi 8 juillet 2013

Let them eat chocolat!!!!

Thank you all for your wonderful suggestions and ideas! Because I shall use them all please can you all let me have your addresses and I will post you a copy!!  It may be a "back edition" but they are all scrumptious! (Send your address to

Sometimes I think I get caught in my own little "bubble" of truffling and need a bit of a kick in the derriere!!

I am off to a huge brocante this week and we had a large barbeque to get ready here at the chateau yesterday so I decided I would not go to the brocante as usual in the morning. ( Yes...I can hear you shouting from here!!)

But 5am I was awake and couldn`t get back to sleep so it was out into the early morning sun and into the car!

I am SO glad we decided to go as we met a man who had taken a stand at a village brocante. He was not a dealer and was selling some of the advertising treasures he had collected and some delicieux treasures from his mother`s house.

These two oils on ivory are simply divine and still in their original frames too.

DO you think one is The Madonna in prayer ( she has a halo) and the other is The Madonna and child?

I also bought some of his wonderful advertising pieces. This gorgeous old chocolat box from LOMBART PARIS. The bonbons were a favourite at Versailles and were adored by Louis and Marie Antoinette who gave him the Royal seal of approval in 1768.

I also found the wonderful old vineyard stencil at the top of the page. I wonder how many barrels and crates it has stamped in its lifetime?

I promise to take my camera to the large 2000 stand brocante this week too!!

A la prochaine mes belles


mardi 2 juillet 2013

L`Espirit Brocante..............

Just a petite giveaway.....simply tell me what you would like to see in my blog ( not that I have bloggers block or anything.....well okay.....I might have!!). I will send the latest edition of Maisons A Vivre brocante edition to the person best suggestion.

A demain mes belles