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Greetings…

9 Jun
Paris postcard found at a 'vide-grenier' - 'Place de la Republique'

old Paris postcard found at a ‘vide-grenier’ – ‘Place de la Republique’

Up early this morning and dashed out to a village ‘vide-grenier’…  it’s a type of garage sale, but instead of just one household selling their wares on the street, it’s a whole village full!   If you’ve never been to one, they are just brilliant and full of potential treasure – and trash (as many would say!).

I’ve got to say I’m a little hooked and it’s one of those rare mornings where I’m ready to spring out of bed at 6am.  There’s even get a slight adrenaline rush as I jostle for a car park close to the sectioned-off streets and head towards the first stand displaying its wares.  I’m on a mission –  my purse is heavy with coins and my chest is literally bursting with excitement.  Sicko, you might say.  But really!  Vide-greniers (this translates as ’empty the attic’) offer all sorts of wonderful objects. And hey it’s in France, so for me that makes it totally exotic (mind you, being far from home, kangaroos and gums are also completely exotic for me now).  It’s not everyday you can buy the old scribbled-in picture books from the elderly monsieur’s childhood collection, or the 60s flowery frock from Madame’s hand-me -downs.  I’ve even picked up a whopping Le Creuset cast iron pot  for 8 Euros (now this find was in the half-dark it was so early and I had a torch!).   Mmmn, a post on vide grenier treasures will follow!

These ‘village garage sales’ are held on weekends (Sunday is the big day for our region)and start from around 8am, with people beginning to pack up around 4pm.  But if you want to find the ‘better’ stuff and real bargains, it’s best to head out as early as 7am (ie 8 Euro cookpot) – the time where you’ll rub shoulders with the ‘professionals’ already out for the hunt.

Here’s a few pics of some local vide greniers to whet the appetite for some…

vg 8

aaargh!!! this is a sight that sends me CRAZY

vg 2

vg 1

vg 10-11

vg 9

vide grenier 7

vg 7

I just loved this lady’s pricing for her old linen

vg 12

Lilas’ already an old hand at these things

vg 5

…that’s her with the Viewfinder

Today the weather has been pretty dire, so I headed out early and came home early (it has been raining much of this weekend – not something we’re needing when it is already difficult to access the vineyards by tractor, we’re hoping the forecast for heat for this week dries everything up).

I came home with a few postcards amongst my finds.

Goutez nos olives

This first one, above, was actually written (from the 60s?) on today’s date!?!  Woh!

Reading over the cards from this mornng over a coffee, I noticed the date marked was today's

Reading over the cards from this mornng over a coffee, I noticed the date marked was today’s

But have a look at these beauties…

'Babyface'

‘Babyface’

'Rond Point'

‘Rond Point’ (the guy on the far right side is to blame for this purchase)

...not much to be said

…not much to be said

guitar chick

You go girl, stroke those strings…

st eloi

this guy’s a fave

frenchie loveeers

check those fellas (mounds of muscle)

…and on the above theme,

...love an old recipe postcard

…love an old recipe postcard

But I do love a pretty card too.

sailboat postcard

another old Paris postcard:  'Marche aux Fleurs de la Cite'

another old Paris postcard: ‘Marche aux Fleurs de la Cite’

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orange

8 Nov
Autumn in La Liviniere

Autumn colour in La Liviniere

It’s here!?!!

I must admit I often feel flat at this time of year, well for the first few weeks anyway – no more bare legs and t-shirts, no more swimming outdoors, cold dashes out of the shower…  But finally I somehow get into the swing of it and embrace the warm fires inside, the hearty meals and walks in the brisk air.  And after so many years of braving the cold INDOORS when I rented in Australia, I am loving and embracing the central heating everywhere.

Autumn in the Minervois

orange plane trees

I must admit I took this shot a while back, but I still love it

Autumn plane trees

Plane trees along the Canal du Midi

Yes, Autumn has arrived but thankfully with all its magical colour.  It’s making me think ORANGE!

kids marvelling at the famous 'Baked Bean'  parked on a village street...the lady owner steps in, la proprietaire de la voiture,  ...Rrrowrrrr

kids marvelling at the famous ‘Baked Bean’ parked on a village street
…the lady owner steps in, la proprietaire de la voiture, …Rrrowrrrr!

I’m loving this colour right now and thought I’d put together a few of my favourite ‘orange’ pictures…  And f you’ve wandered around this blog already, you might have picked up on the fact that I do have a little thing for collages.  I’m pathetic, once I like something, I can’t stop! (my lovely girlfriends had diagnosed me at the age of 14 with O.C.D).

So hulahup, Barbatruc, here’s another one for you.

Orange collage

Or-ange Co-llage

Signed, sealed, delivered

7 Nov

Barack Obama - Hope (from an article by Nicolas Maillard)

Barack Obama, 1980 - Lisa Jack

wrapped in France #2

24 Sep

“1.  a bundle or parcel.  2.  that in which anything is packed, as a case, crate, etc.  5.  to put into wrappings or a container.”  – ‘Package, packaging’ from the Macquarie Dictionary, 2nd Edition, 1981

Do you remember when I let it slip that I have a thing for packaging?  Mmn, yep, still have it and lately I feel like I’m being bombarded with even more wonderful examples of it, everywhere.  At home, at the markets, at the vide-greniers (the village garage sales – something I must absolutely tell you about soon), at friends’ houses,  in the guise of gifts from friends…  everywhere.

Colours, texts, fonts, old, new, shabby or shiny…  I can’t get enough of it – and if there’s a text or a word here or there in French, even better!  It’s amazing how much you can improve your vocabulary just reading the fine print!  (and probably a lot more educational than my dippings into, shock, horror – Voici).

At the moment I’m getting a buzz out of OLD packaging and the eg’s here are from either home (my mother-in-law is a great help here) – or from stands in the markets and vide-greniers.  I understand why people start up businesses selling this stuff – there are crazy people out there, like me, who love it!  But a lot of it can be quite expensive so I’m happy to admire it and ask permission to take a photo or two.  Yes, I think I am mad!

So here’s a second instalment of boxes, tins, bottles I’ve seen here in France lately.  I should add however, that not all these products are French.  Some come from next door in Spain (thanks to Vincent who is aware of my condition) or further afar.  But they seemed too lovely to leave out.

I hope you enjoy them!

tins of pois chiches

Tins of ‘pois chiches’ (chick peas) at the supermarket yesterday. I thought you Miss Nick might like these!

Pineau de Francois Premier

I love this bottle of Pineau from the Charentes – “Pineau Francois 1er” Not only is the label just fabulous, but the sweet, fortified wine, a speciality of the Charentes region (near Cognac, not far from Bordeaux) wine inside, is DELICIOUS! It is a family-run winery, established in the 1930s by Gaston Riviere, with the wine now made by his grandson (who greets you at his cellar in leather pants).  He said it was Gaston himself who designed and drew the label and there is a great quote on it – by him?… the ranslation:
“Women often change, Mad are those who trust them. Only this Pineau remains faithful to his King.”

Olympic Thermor iron

Don’t need one, but loved this box for an iron at the vide-grenier

Ortiz El Velero tuna

Ortiz ‘El Velero’ tuna.
Merci Vinnie.

bonbons!

a few old ‘bonbons’ tins (sweets, lollies or candy to us)

deux pigeons

‘Les Deux Pigeons’ (the two pigeons) allumettes – an old matchbox found amongst other treasures at my mum-in-law’s. Merci Christine!

Chromex hair dryer

…don’t need this either. But just love the bangs and make-up.

Ippodo tea

Adore this tin.
But it went back home with V.

carving knife

I almost wanted to buy the old knife just so I could have the sleeve it slid into!

Lipikar

My body moisturiser.  Mamy  put me onto this.   The ‘pharmaceuticals’ look is big here, but I love it for its smell

apple box

Spied this at Emmaus. Tres simple, no text but I LOVE red apples

Sanchez Romate sherry vinegar

Another item from Vinnie in Spain and oh so delicious, “Sanchez Romate Vinaigre de Jerez” – sherry vinegar

old packets

old packets for bonbons, dried beans, cream cheese…

LEO dried peas

no, it’s not a French product but it made me laugh when I saw this at the supermarket… the first time I read the box I thought it said ‘with sleeping tablet’
You try it!

Kusmi teas

a favourite at home – the whole range is great together

Offenbach

Saw this Offenbach record, “Gaiete Parisienne”, in Emmaus and loved the image

Caille and Yoghurt

The ‘Caille’ desserts are delicious. Seems like this style tub has been used for much longer than I realised.

vw car collage

Once a VW owner, always a fan.
Certainly didn’t need this, but I fell in love with the radio-controlled VW at the vide-grenier.  It is the sedan version of my very first car, a Type 3 station wagon that I called ‘Fritz’. The price was extremely high. But the man was kind enough to let me take the photo.

Allez, les jolis tracteurs!

15 Sep
getting ready for harvest

getting ready for harvest

They’re off and running!

Everywhere you look in our village there are all sorts of machines and tractors bringing the grapes in.  The weather’s holding up and La Liviniere is in a flurry of activity.

While La Liviniere’s reputation as a quality wine producer is still on the ascent, the region isn’t  new to wine production by any means – the Romans planted vines here over two thousand years ago.   The original name of the village was ‘Cella Vinaria’, indicationg wine in its title, becoming ‘Livineira’ in 1069 and then ‘La Liviniere’ in 1688.

In 1999 the area was awarded as an ‘A.O.C’ title (appellation origine controlee) – A.O.C. Minervois-La Liviniere.   The main varieties of grapes cultivated here are Syrah, Mourvèdre et Grenache (representing about 60%) and you also find wines comprised of Carignan (I love this variety!), Cinsault (Benji’s rose made of this is delicious), Terret, Piquepoul et Aspiran.

Victoire a Bacchus

“Victoire a Bacchus” – I spotted this in the village for the first time only yesterday! A rather timely find…

On ya va!! let’s go…

'la vigne' image alain gree

‘la vigne’ image – alain gree

renault tractor

Renault tractor

dog and his tractor

dog and his tractor

machine harvester

coming home for lunch

tractor in the village 2

break time

not quite your usual load during harvest

not quite grapes in that one…

storming the vllage for grapes!

On my morning walk I had to make way for this harvester.  An impressive sight up close!

tractor la liviniere 3

ready to go in the morning, just opposite Lilas’ school

this one was raring to get out of its cage

This little guy was raring to get out of his cage! I saw him locked up behind some gates looking very sorry for himself while all the others were letting loose.

Massey Ferguson

Massey Ferguson

old blue tractor

now I’ve got to say that this one isn’t in our village, but I love it!

green and red tractor

la liv tracteur

la liv tracteur 2

from Alain Gree's  'La Ferme'; Editions Casterman, 1965 - 'la grande aventure de la vigne' alain gree

Inside Lilas’ book… even the kiddies have stories of the harvest and wine production in their picture books!  Thought this was a good addition to the post!

one more tile for the road…

20 Jul

Really must get myself to bed, but couldn’t help but show some more of these gorgeous floors…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks Nicole, Mathilde, Eric, Gourgazaud, Cat and Bernard, for your floors

our neighbours’ patchwork

20 Jul
neighbour patchwork

this amazing collection of colour is actually the floor of every room in our neighbours’ house

Actually, our neighbours probably DO think I’m bonkers as I’ve taken photos of their floor tiles too!

But really, it’s not just any old tiles – their house is full to the skirting boards of the most beautiful ‘carreaux ciment’.

These highly decorative cement tiles (also known as hydraulic tiles), along with terracotta tiles, are an extremely common form of floor covering here and the colours can be magnificent.

They are thought to have been first produced in Viviers, in the South of France, in the mid 19th century and you can see that it’s an incredibly hard-wearing floor when you think most of the houses around here still have the original tiles.  And they’re wonderfully cool under the feet in summer.  No wonder you see all the dogs and cats in their village residences sprawled out on them.  Just be sure you don’t have shaky fingers, the morning after a big dinner party, with a favourite breakfast bowl…

On moving in to their home, our neighbour friends found a load of tile spares and cleverly laid them in the VIP room.

wc patchwork

a work of art in the WC (in our house we call that a ‘loo’)

Even going to the loo is a treat for the eyes.

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