dimanche 2 avril 2017

Ted`s first brocante....

I did my first brocante today.

 I was a little shocked to be rousled from my comfy padded bed in the boudoir so early. 

 Yes.... I do have 2 beds and have already been referred to as "Teddytwobeds"  by a visitor!

But I thourougly enjoyed it and even if I do say myself I have a very suitable nose for truffling.

A la prochaine


Eduardo Earl de Houtteville

mardi 28 mars 2017

The Prince, the Duke and the candlestick maker......

This wonderful old handmade parchment document found it`s way to me this week.

Gorgeous old frothy edges parchment dated 1763.

It is a contract between a Prince who also holds endless other titles, a Duke who again is titled to the hilt and a lowly candlestick maker!!

Four pages of wonderful script with amazing signatures.

It looks as if the candlestick maker was renting a property from the Prince and the Duke.....how I would love the full story behind this treasure!

A la prochaine


dimanche 19 mars 2017

Spanish Omlette

I had a message from good some friends yesterday about a little rescue dog in Spain that needed help. 2 years old and going to the kill shelter as he had been abandoned. They wondered if he was for me.

One look at those ears and that was it!!

He is very gentle and gets on well with cats so all is looking good.

So......he starts his long journey to Normandie on Wednesday and will arrive on Friday along with another rescue dog coming to our friends.

He will live a life of luxury here at the chateau but we need a name. Any suggestions?

A la prochaine mes belles

jeudi 16 mars 2017


Truffling with Tartellette from Oregon at the Paris flea markets was just divine. Vibrant and bustling as usual.

Warm sunshine and hoards of treasures. What could be better?

Supper at Laduree....

Even the graffiti was good!!

Back home now listing my finds...

But I have had my Paris "fix" and it is always so nice to come back to the tranquillity of the chateau.

A la prochaine mes belles

lundi 6 mars 2017

Paris textile sample book....

This wonderful antique French textile sample book arrived on the shelf in my Etsy shop today. A rare find to truffle such a wonderful piece of textile history still intact...

A wonderful source of textile history that is brimming with swatches.

You will find the link to my Etsy store on the right.

A la prochaine mes belles

Footloose and fancy free...........

We arrived at the brocante yesterday at 6am in lashing rain and a gale. Whilst waiting for the gates to open we hoped it would stop even just for an hour.

But no, it continued and as the gates opened we donned our waterproofs and joined the crowd. Within 10 minutes we were soaked to the skin. It was the kind of rain that runs off your waterproofs down your trouser legs and into your boots. To make it worse it was sooooo cold and when you get to that state there is no point stopping as you simply cannot get any wetter!!

Some brave brocanteurs unpacked and we bought some treasures despite the storm.

We found a very sweet armoire shaped trinket box and packed it in our bag.

Last night as we unpacked the days truffle haul we realised that the little armoire (which should have 3 legs on each side)  had a leg missing on the right hand side but still stood firmly. We decided that we would remove the matching leg on the left hand side and list it as a dolls house confection rather than a boudoir box.

This morning on the way to La Poste Mark made a confession.

He had been up earlier than me and had decided to remove the extra leg. As soon as he had sawed it off he realised.......


But, not only did he not stop at that point, he continued to chop off the leg we had already agreed to cut off , so, now it has two legs on the right and just one on the left!!!

I laughed so much I could hardly catch my breath! He tried to fight his corner by saying he had saved the leg he had cut off in error so he could glue it back on.

He is not going to live this down and I am not sure if it is ever going to be destined for my Etsy shop as a timeworn armoire for a " Maison de poupee". I think it may have to appear at the odd dinner party at the appropriate moment.

All I can say is thank heavens Mark isn`t a surgeon..........

A la prochaine.....

samedi 4 mars 2017

The Ragondin Brothers.....

There are two old brothers that live in our village. One as thin as a willow stick with a black beret so fitted to his head that I think he must have been born wearing it. The other as stocky as a little barrel with mad grey hair sticking out of his woolly hat.

They live in a tumble down cottage that if you didn`t realise was theirs you would assume it was derelict. In the Winter a small plume of smoke from their chimney is the only indication that someone is there.

They ride a battered old war-time Mobylette. The kind that you have to peddle to get going and it sounds like a hairdryer. I once saw them driving across a ploughed field with them both clinging on for dear life as the mud clogged their wheels which was a sight to behold!

Sometimes after lunch on our way to La Poste we will pass them on the road. The thin one always drives and the stout one clings on at the back usually the worse for wear after a long lunch with a little vin rouge. They wear 1960s type crash hats with leather ear covers and we have always referred to them as "The Odd Couple".

We have noticed recently that any communal village jobs seem to be handed to them. Unblocking ditches, hedge cutting, repairing the church gates and more recently trying to control the Ragondin population on the marshland close to the village. So they have been re-named " The Ragondin Brothers".

Every morning at 5am we hear the moped coming down the lane , past our garden and on to the gloopy mud on the marsh. 

But today on the way to take our parcels we saw that they have had a great forward move in their business. They have added to their company fleet and were very proudly driving a very battered bright yellow van. They are so much like a French Del Boy and Rodney now!

Later in the afternoon they were chopping trees on the long driveway to the large chateau on the edge of the village. Business must be good for the Ragondin Brothers if they now have four wheels instead of two.

Who knows where they will be in a years time!!!

A la prochaine mes belles.....

samedi 25 février 2017

Pirates at the brocante....

I am out truffling for a few days to see what I can find.

This morning was advertised as a brocante starting at 5am, so we spent last night in a hotel close to the venue as it was a few hours from home.

We had phoned the organiser to check the time and we rose quietly at 4.30 and crept out of our room into the icy morning.

Arriving at the venue there was not a car to be seen and the building was in darkness.

At 5.10 a sole figure appeared, turned on the lights and then opened the doors.

Then nothing...rien...nada..zilch. We remained in the car with the heater running and only at about 6ish did a few sellers start trickling in.

We decided it may be warmer inside so walked around aimlessly in the very empty hall as a few early sellers started to carry their boxes in.

Slowly they laid out their neatly ironed table covers and unpacked even slower. More buyers came through the doors and it was clear there were going to be more buyers than sellers.

One set of Countesses buttons with crowns in my pocket and then a long long wait.

A couple more stands slowly unravelled and a 19th century dog collar, some ticking, lace and a pair of divine trousseau sheets added to the haul.

Feeling slightly better about things I wandered over to an old lady unpacking jewellery at snail pace.

 I stood along with another lady shoulder to shoulder in front of her table watching her treasures emerge from newspaper bundles. All very civilised and calm as we three ladies chatted away  and as the seller unpacked, we politely looked at the wares allowing each other to reach " gently" for what caught our eye.

Suddenly a man pushed his way between myself and the other lady so roughly that he knocked the other lady aside. I am not such an easy pushover so adjusted my stance and stood rigid as he tried in vain to push me out of the way of the boxes being unpacked. I held my arms rigid and refused to be rocked as he grabbed and held the paper bundles even before the old lady had unravelled them.

He tried to grab for a jewellery casket already in my pile but I kept my arms still rigid and he couldn`t  get his hands on it.

And then he made a fatal error. He had heard me talking to Mark in English and thought I did not speak French. As he tried again to push me aside again he muttered " Madam there is no need to push". 

That was it, I let him have it and wiped the floor with him. A real verbal bashing in my best French and the place ( as it was so empty) fell silent. I remember harping on about him having no manners and if he has to be so cut throat he should have been a pirate!

He would not look me in the eye and simply ambled away. I glanced after him but there was no wooden leg or parrot on his shoulder.

There are enough treasures in France for everyone and if you can`t enjoy what is a wonderful trade then you should go do a 9 to five job.

Don`t mess with me when I have got up at 4 for a brocantless brocante!!

Needless to say this all caused much merriment with the friends we knew as the coffee stand finally opened and we finally got a hot drink.

Looking at the small haul I am really happy and even if there had been nothing to buy that`s the way it goes sometimes no need to get upset!!

A batch of gorgeous period jewellery, a hand written poetry book, a batch of boudoir prints, thimbles, buttons, lace, textiles and some scrumptious silk threads. 

I am on the road for a few days now and have just received a text from a friend asking how the "mooching" is going!!

Mooching and truffling shall be resumed tomorrow!!

Have a great weekend mes belles

mercredi 22 février 2017

Faith Hope and love...............

I found this adorable little mademoiselle`s silver hallmarked ring today tucked into it`s original velour box.

I thought how romantic would it be if a sailor had given it to his little girl as a love token before going off to sea.

And then I found this quote.............. .

.Cross is a symbol of faith, anchor is the symbol of hope and the heart is there for love/charity. Cross and heart are considered symbols of faith and love in the secular symbol interpretation as well, while the interpretation of anchor as a symbol of hope lies in the idea of a safe haven, safe harbour for the sailors in storm, and it is referenced in Epistle to the Hebrews in the New Testament: We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain.

Coming up in my Ebay store this week.....beautiful...unique and evocative

dimanche 19 février 2017


Often the blossoming of the snowdrop is a sign, that the winter is transforming to springtime. Therefore the snowdrop symbolises hope, the hope that this winter will finish too, that new warmth will enter our lives.

This is the carpet of snowdrops on the driveway to Le Chateau L`Isle Marie this morning.....

samedi 18 février 2017

For sale our "Petit Mignon".....

Coming up for sale this Spring. Our adorable bijou 16th century cottage here the in Normandie countryside. 2 bedrooms and all renovated throughout. A large garden and superb views.

 If you remember it`s the sweet place where our daughter Miss Frou Frou lived. Sad to let it go but new adventures are calling.

We will of course still be here at Le Petit Chateau !

UK pounds £77,000
US dollars $95,500

samedi 11 février 2017

A sad day at the chateau....

I know that I am guilty of not blogging regularly, but, by the time I have prepared my treasures, photographed them and shown them on my facebook page as I go I always seem to run out of time and I apologise for that.

But for my wonderful blog followers who do not facebook some very sad news.

My beloved "Digger" know by his formal name of Sir Digbert Fanshaw Brownshaw has finally left us at a grand age of 17. What a wonderful long life he had and he was the most loyal friend. I know that many of you have followed his tales and enjoyed his photographs.

At the age of three in 2003 he was abandoned in a town in the UK and was tied up as though someone had gone shopping. No one ever came back for him and he ended up at The Margaret Green Foundation Trust in Dorset.

We clicked at first sight and although I was unable to take him immediately as he was to be neutered  I visited him daily. I was overjoyed to finally bring him home and since that day he has never left my side. 

On the first afternoon he arrived Mark took him a quick walk through the town whilst I stayed at my desk. He slipped his lead and came back to me immediately. After just a few hours with us in a strange town how on earth could he remember where his new home was? Mark rushed home frantic to find him comfy on the sofa. That night he jumped on the bed and burrowed down by my feet under the duvet and I have had warm feet every night since then with him snoring by my toes!

He moved to France with us in 2005 and has lived a very cosseted life. Like many rescue dogs he was so grateful and has followed my every step. 

Every garden party here at the chateau he did "meet and greet" and quite often sported a bow tie.

At Christmas he even performed in our party concert wearing little wings and stole the show tripping across the stage looking for somewhere to hide a bread roll he had found!

So at a grand old age of 17 years he has been laid to rest in the gardens here and this morning friends brought us a beautiful pink rose to plant there. 

Sir Digbert Fanshaw Brownshaw 2000 - 2017.