jeudi 27 août 2015

A saboteur?

My entry for this years biggest pumpkin competition has been coming along nicely until I looked this morning.....

There has been some sabotage!!



lundi 24 août 2015

Croissants or treasures?

Yesterday was one of my favourite brocantes of the year and I always look forward to it. I always find wonderful treasures there and the patisserie has the most divine croissant amande...what`s not to like?

The alarm rang out at 5.30 a.m and so did the rain lashing against the windows. Heavy persistant rain and I knew that no one could have possibly unpacked.

I re-set the alarm for 6 a.m  and went back to sleep. Just before 6 a.m there was a huge crack of thunder, lightening lit up the sky and we lost all power. The rain lashed harder so in a huge sulk I rolled over and went back to sleep.

It looked like it was going to be a day pottering around the chateau catching up with chores. At 10 a.m the rain was a little lighter so we decided to drive to the brocante town and if nothing was happening we would have a coffee and croissant and sulk a little more!

We arrived to find it in full flow with everyone just unpacking. Those brocanteurs are made of tougher stuff than me! I went  into full truffling mode and the first thing I found was a pair of 1920s needlepoint shoes swiftly followed by chateau lace, tiny frames,frothy paged books,1920s shop display hangers with gorgeous lithographed faces,an old school globe on a cast iron base, a sweet sampler,two 1920s Chinese silk dresses and so the list went on.

 Who needs a croissant and coffee?!!!

mercredi 12 août 2015

The truffling bags are filling up nicely................

Four days into my truffling trip and the bags are filling up nicely. The weather is SO hot it`s almost unbearable and last night out of desperation we bought an electric fan en route as we knew our hotel would not have air conditioning. Despite this it was almost impossible to sleep and at about 4a.m. out of desperation, I had to lie with my head as close to the fan as possible to try and get some air. I woke up with a start at 6am with my hair looking like I had been riding on the back of a motorbike!!

The truffling bags are almost full and it has been a very succesful trip so far. On board there are 2 mannequins, a divine soft rose pink dropper chandelier with matching sconces, the wall plaques from a royal chateau residence, hoards of textiles, some toiles,lots of pretty picture frames, 2 bed canopies,a girouette weathervane, porte chapeau hat stands,ticking, silks,and a host of boudoir trinkets and treasures.

Within the last hour of the huge deballage trade fair today a van arrived to unload. This was very unusual as all the other sellers are ready for the off at 8am. I waited along with the throng of buyers to see what he had and my heart grew wings and flew as the boxes were opened. The whole contents of a  Paris haberdashery, all 19th century, all untouched and in wonderful condition. Most of it had the original labels too. Old silk pin cushions, rolls of ribbons,buttons on their cards, sewing items, trims, lace in bundles, bolts of textile ..... I could list the items for hours. He also had two trunks filled with original ladies and gents Summer Panama style hats with their labels intact. They were amazing and had not seen daylight for over 100 years.

There were some exquisite rolls of silk ribbon with rose decoration, very small rolls but very beautiful. I asked the price "150 euros per roll madame" was the reply. Had I heard right? I asked again "150 euros per roll madame dernier prix". No discussion, no discount - his prices were enormous no one could buy anything!!! My heart stopped mid flight and crashed!!!

I wondered for a moment if he was still working in old Francs so I stood and listened as he gave more prices to the other waiting dealers. Some people had gathered large bundles in anticipation. I watched as they stood in disbelief at his prices and slowly returned the items to the boxes and walked away shaking their heads. It was so frustrating to see such wonderful items that couldn`t be bought.

The dealer was becoming increasingly frustrated too as he was being asked prices and not selling. One lady had gathered a pile of 10 old panama hats and his price was so huge she almost collapsed! But all credit to her, she tried to negotiate hard and the seller kept saying " discount...that is my price". She tried again and the seller grabbed the hats from her hand threw them back in the trunk and waved her away. But this lady gets full points for perseverance as she went back, pulled the hats out of the trunk and tried again. The seller simply snatched them from her hand, threw them back in the trunk and walked away. At this point the lady`s husband approached him and tried to negotiate as she retrieved the hats again. Wow,  all hell let loose.....was it the heat, the sellers frustration at not selling or was he just a lunatic?  He flipped, snatched the hats and screamed at the top of his voice at the man and his wife to leave the stand. We all stood in amazement.

Truffling for treasures can be wonderful, it can be frustrating,it can be tiring, rewarding, disappointing,exausting,amazing and absolute heaven.....but it is never ever boring!!!
I shall be back later in the week with my new treasures.
A la prochaine mes belles.

samedi 8 août 2015

Off truffling.....

Have a great weekend mes belles.
Back next week

jeudi 6 août 2015

Just a quickie............

If you would like to read my newsletters just nip along to the website and subscribe in the section at the bottom of the first page.

They will drop in to your inbox with my ramblings of the latest treasures truffled!!

Merci mes belles

mardi 4 août 2015

Can I help you Monsieur?

This morning after Mark had left for La Poste I went into our bedroom and there was a man waving at me from outside the window.

Bearing in mind that the chateau is a tall building and our bedroom is very high up this was quite a feat!!! 

I had not been on the vin rouge, had a chocolat overdose at the patisserie or even been eating mushrooms from the marsh.

This smiling Monsieur was wearing blue overalls and was on the important end of a cherry picker crane!

Paparazzi? Peeping Tom with heavy equipment? Very persistent flasher? Georgle Clooney with the ring? NO!!

At last, the EDF has arrived to up our electricity voltage. When we took the keys to the chateau it had been empty for 10 years and we immediately had it rewired for safety.

 However, our power has always been low and we could never use the cooker and kettle and microwave at the same time! If the oven is working and you switch the kettle on the lights go dim. In fact, come to think of it, the microwave has NEVER worked.   Sure enough the turntable moved but nothing ever got hot or defrosted. 

How exciting when they have finished!! I shall have a festival of electrical equipment usage all at once and shall make a cup of tea, whilst microwaving a jacket potato, whilst tumble drying some textile, machine washing more and finally operating the oven.

I shall of course wait for the mystery monsieur to leave the building as I would hate to throw him from his ladder with an electrical jolt of activity.

We are planning our truffling trip for next week. I am so looking forward to hitting the road and seeing what turns up en route.

A la prochaine mes belles......

vendredi 24 juillet 2015

Always have your snout in the truffling trough.............

I almost passed by a small brocante today as very rarely have I found anything there. With a heavy heart and ready for disappointment I pushed open the door and right in front of me.......

Old textile boudoir boxes and cherub vignettes!!!!

You know my passion for old textile boxes!!!!

That just reminds me to keep my truffling snout in every trough possible!

Bon weekend mes belles

lundi 20 juillet 2015

Merci mes belles

Thank you to everyone who came  to see me this weekend. How wonderful to put some faces to names but perhaps not such a pleasure for some of you though to see my ugly mush!!

The weather forecast for Shepton was dire but instead it started dry and then lurched into a full hot Summers day sunburn all round!!

Just got home to the chateau and divine to see my boys Charles and Diggers.

Last night was spent in the  Premier Inn near to the ferry port so we could get an early start. Heavens it was SO warm in there!!! The hotel has a policy of making their windows open just four inches in case someone should try and hurl themselves out! I was so hot at about 4 a.m that I was desperate for air. I spent a good 30 minutes with my face pressed to that tiny gap trying to catch a breath and almost have 2 permanent creases down my cheeks from the window frame!! 

Thank you to Dee and David for their wonderful hospitality and food that was second to none. I am their unofficial adopted daughter, although they do not know it yet and will have a shock when the paperwork drops on their mat and they find they are the proud owners of a 50 something half French chocoholic. I haven`t slept in my wonderful bedroom there for over 20 years but it is still MY bedroom in that divine 400 year old thatched cottage and just felt like going home. 

Normal-ness whatever that is will resume tomorrow mes belles


mercredi 15 juillet 2015

Here I come...ready or not....

Bridport Rag and Rummage and Shepton Flea here I come......ready or not.

Don`t ask....but I can confirm that I have discovered crutches can make a fabulous weapons!!

A la prochaine mes belles


dimanche 5 juillet 2015

July dates for simply-chateau

So....decision made regarding all these attic clearance boxes....

Saturday 18th July I shall be selling here.....

And then on Sunday 19th July, I shall be at The Shepton Mallet Flea Market at the Bath & West showground. I shall be on an outside pitch and I am hoping the weather will be kind. I do not know where the pitch will be so I will try and put my French flag as high as possible!!

I have endless boxes of attic clearance fripperies to reduce as my stock room is out of control! Textiles, trims, brocante..............

Looking forward to seeing old friends and new!

A la prochaine mes belles..