samedi 31 août 2013

A petite person trying to get out.............

One weekend eight weeks ago, to celebrate my birthday, we went off for an evening with some good friends of ours -  Trevor and Carol -  who run a fabulous chambre d`hote/gite here in Normandie. Not only is the accommodation superb; they have even built a 1940s style bar, aptly named "The Spitfire". Just look at their website here:

Back to the party............and as the evening progressed with Glen Miller blasting out it became a little raucous ( to say the list) .........and, being a novice, Trevor decided to try and teach me to do a very lively jive, much to everyone's amusement ( as I was doing it wearing a WW2 German tin helmet!!).

 A wonderful evening was had by all and I arrived home, I confess, a little worse for wear!

On the Monday I had  a pain in the left hand side under my ribs at the back. and then at the front - but just shrugged it off with painkillers. Over the next few days the pain increased, continued to alternate between back and front and, in the middle of the Thursday night, it was so intense that Mark insisted we went off to A & E. Numerous tests were done at the hospital - but  nothing untoward was found and I was sent home filled with stronger painkillers.

So .............. here I am; eight weeks later and still in a great deal of pain........  so  yesterday my doctor sent me off to a specialist clinic to have a "scintigraphy" bone scan - apparently a "nuclear medicine technique!! I was filled with a radioactive substance - and then scanned!

The good news is that the scan has shown no problems at all -  and the conclusion is that the pain must be coming from badly torn muscles. The downside is that I can now glow in the dark;  Mark has threatened to buy a Geiger counter and I will click like a dolphin!! is the order of the day to allow the muscle to repair - but not much chance of that happening, but I'll try. There are two brocantes this weekend and a host of 1920s treasures to work through!!

But the most amusing part of all this is the scan pictures I have been sent home with. I have quite a tiny little skeleton in here so my excuse about being "big boned" is never going to work again after a chocolate binge!!!
Around the small skeleton is the fine outline of my actual shape..............Oh derriere looks enormous and somewhat like a lightbulb on the scan!!!

I shall fight my corner by saying I do not  have a good outline but I also do not have many wrinkles....... as you don`t get wrinkles on a balloon!!

And the moral of this story is...never dance the Jive with Trevor again!

A la prochaine mes belles


jeudi 29 août 2013

1920s heaven.............

Well this was some chic mademoiselle who was "A la mode" with all the latest Paris fashions!
A few of the first things unpacked...........



These are just the first few boxes unpacked......there are some wonderful monogrammed silk stockings amongst the other treasures that I shall photograph over the next few days too.

Truffling heaven here!!

dimanche 25 août 2013

Truffling in the dark...............

I don`t think I have ever bought a whole truffle load of treasures without seeing them first.... but today was an exception!

A dealer friend, Stephan, who I have known for years telephoned to say he was driving home through the south of France and had stumbled upon a house clearer who had unloaded the attic of a Bordeaux chateau. The chateau-owner had been a judge - and the attics had not been touched since the late 1800s.

I got this telephone call. " I`ve just found a pile of that girly stuff you sell" Stephan said.

He told me there were boxes and boxes of costumes, hats, silk shoes, veils, corsage flowers, dresses, texiles ,ostrich feathers and lace, all in their original Paris boxes. They had just that minute been unloaded from the man`s van - and Stephan had been the lucky person to truffle through them first.

So, it had to be done! My poor friend (who is  more "decorative furniture")  tried his best to describe each of the " girly items" as he calls them, whilst I interrogated him.

I know he has a very good eye; his shop was totally divine and I was always truffling there. I have known him for years and I trust him to know good from bad!

The phone call went a little like this as he worked his way through the pile:-

" It`s a round flowery box with "Bon Marche" written on the side. It has a lid and three old hats covered in flowers inside. Do you want it?"

" Yes?

 Well in that case there are more of those; do you want those as well?"


" There are a pile of dresses in silk all very heavy with beady stuff. Do you want them?"

And then.....

" There is some of that black toiley stuff - is it any good?"


" It`s a shoe box with Au Printemps Paris on the lid and inside are pale silk shoes with embroidery on the sides and the insides are purple silk"

"What are the heels like?" I asked.

" Sort of splayed at the top, thinner on the way down and splayed at the bottom"

" Yes !! yes!! yes!!" I shouted!

"Oh that case there are boxes of soft kid shoes with the same shaped heels in their Paris boxes too"

And then..........

" There is also a box with  tissue paper and what looks like a beaded swimming cap like a 1920s flapper thing all covered in pearls.Do you want it?"

And so the conversation went on.

He will be coming back up country in the next few days and I cannot wait to see what I have bought " blind".

My imagination is running wild to say the least. As soon as I receive my purchases I will photograph them for you.

Yours 'trying to wait patiently at Le Petit Chateau'  !

samedi 24 août 2013


All quiet at the chateau as we have family visiting!


A huge brocante tomorrow visit or not I shall be gone at first light!!

A demain mes belles

mardi 20 août 2013

An angel at the chateau...............

I had to do it!! I HAD to!! I simply couldn`t leave him behind!!

This delicieux 19th century ( huge!) angel came from the private chapel of a small chateau.

He came home to our chateau wrapped to within an inch of his life in quilts on the back seat of the car whilst wearing a seat belt!

He will live on the fireplace for a while so I can gaze at him and decide where he will sit eventually!

Sometimes a girl is allowed a treat!!

So......what shall I call him?

A la prochaine mes belles

jeudi 15 août 2013

Pulling out the stops!!

I love these quirky porcelain boutons. They came from the stock of a 19th century Piano tuner and I think they would originally have been attached to the ends of organ stoppers.

I found them in a large batch and they were even with a medal awarded to the piano tuner dated 1861 for his services to industry.

Perfect for any period projects, to add to kitchen drawers or any decorative jewellery!

A demain mes belles

mercredi 14 août 2013

Two days of truffling....

A peep as some of my latest finds truffled at dawn with a torch just unpacked. It was a wonderful trip!


A personal diary of a Countess....I am going to try and research her name.
Oooh la la!! An ivory carnet de bal from the early 1800s...I wonder which mademoiselle noted down her booked dance partners with this confection?

And there is more still to be unpacked!!
A demain mes belles

samedi 10 août 2013

Cup cake heaven!!!

During our recent stay in London we had the time to stroll through Belgravia looking at how the other half live and then I could see it in the distance: a Paris pink delight calling me!

Well.... what can I say? Heaven may be an understatement once you have visited Peggy Porchen`s cup cake shop!

First dilemma....sit inside or out? It was a breathtakingly sunny day but then the inside of that paradise is soooo beautiful!! The interior won!

Second  dilemma. Which cupcakes to order? We went for a red velvet and a chocolate heaven.

Third dilemma. Would it seem too greedy to order again? I decided it would not be -  and bought a box to take home for Miss Frou Frou, hoping that they would survive the journey home!

You have heard the saying " Like a kid in a toy shop"? Well....this was definitely a case of  "simply- chateau in a sugar brocante"!

And then........... I saw their wonderful range of bespoke wedding cakes...

A range of the most beautiful confections I have ever seen.

So, mademoiselles, here is the plan. I don`t care who you choose, even if you hate him, but we need a Simply-Chateau wedding! If you are single I would ask  that you look to your right  and propose to the first man you see.....and then........we can order the fabulous cake!!!

I did ask Mark if we could buy the bijou apartment above the shop but his reply was a firm "non"! "This is Belgravia will be a couple of million at least!".

So I shall simply console myself with the brochure......

....whilst I await one of you to find a husband. He may be unsuitable, ugly, rude ,obnoxious, half your age, three times your age, barely alive - who cares-  but, as long as he has a pulse, it will do. Just put it out of your mind and think of the cake!

I shall fuel my addiction with the Peggy Porshen book!

A la prochaine, mes belles!

vendredi 9 août 2013

Vivaldi in London...

We have just got back from two nights spent in London, including a wonderful evening at The Royal Albert Hall to see Nigel Kennedy perform at the BBC Proms.

London was so busy!!! Who are all those people....  and where are they all going?! We sat for a while at a street café directly opposite Harrods simply people watching. Fascinating!  I could have sat there all day as there were some amazing characters who passed us by on the pavement.

It was fabulous to hit the shops too - but sooooooooooo wonderful to be back at Le Petit Chateau!!

Ready for the brocantes this weekend of course!

Bon Weekend mes belles

mercredi 7 août 2013

Buon Riposo.................yes please!!

At the brocante last weekend I was railroaded away from the stands by a very forceful old lady in a wrap around apron  who wanted to try and sell me her Grandmother`s linen.

She told me her Grandmother was Italian and  I was literally pressganged  through her front door! Once you are actually inside someone`s home it all becomes a little difficult to say " Non Merci".

 I was thinking to myself " me....I don`t want old Italian....I love old French linens".

She sat me down, well actually pressed me down into a chair and off she went to find her treasures. "I don`t do Italian" I kept thinking...."I don`t do Italian".

She returned with the most exquisite hand embroidered dowry pillowcases.


I do "DO" Italian......I do "DO" Italian!!!

I do I do I do!

Bella!!   Bellissima!!   Meravigliosa!!

Arrivederci.....ti amo!


mardi 6 août 2013

Faded delicieux....

How often do we find genuine period faded florals now? Not very often at all! I was over the moon to truffle this.

I have two large panels to list next week but first I have to live with it for a little while!!

A la prochaine