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bon marché

September 22, 2009

desk%202.jpgSo the vide grenier in Lizant was a huge success. I sold two hand-dyed sequined cotton shawls (bought on a trip to India), a vase, a framed print and a string of navy beads. In total I made €15.

'You're crazy. You're selling everything far too cheaply,' said Rob, Anita and Kevin's neighbour and a member of my little posse of friends from Verrieres.

But the object of the exercise was to send the stuff from my attic onto a good home. And since I arrived with two large carrier bags of unwanted stuff and left with just one, I consider that a result.

Anita and Kevin - who have recently sold their house and are heading off to run a B&B in New England - were operating on a similar principle. Anita sold a box of books at a knockdown price only to find the purchaser was cheekily re-selling them on her own stand.

Rob - in his own words, 'never one to miss an opportunity to acquire more old tat' - bought a wind-up rotisserie, a large copper pot and a wooden bucket. The wind-up rotisserie turned out to be quite a hot find: several people tried to buy it when he left it with us for safe keeping.

At lunchtime we ate takeaway fish and chips from La Sirene (I know, I know but you can't eat goat's cheese salad all the time) while Biff amused himself by digging a big hole. I then squandered the day's takings on an ancient French flag in faded cotton (so much nicer than the synthetic nylon flags that fly outside most town halls.)

All in all, a very enjoyable day. And on the subject of bargains, the little chestnut desk that I recently picked up at a depot vente for €15, arrived today. David, Biff's former owner, has restored it brilliantly, sanding it back, fixing the buckled wood and wonky drawer, and giving it a coat of beeswax.

I was planning to write Tout Allure on it. There's just one small problem: David had to saw an inch and a half off the legs as they were uneven; which means that my legs won't fit underneath. But still, it looks good.

comments (9)

1. Posted by Metropolitan Mum on September 23, 2009 8:35 AM

Finally, I am holding my copy of your book - and I love it! Thanks for providing me with such an entertaining read.


2. Posted by markyj on September 23, 2009 12:42 PM

Hilarious! From the pic it looks as though Biff's legs (in fact all of Biff) will fit perfectly under the desk - perhaps he can ghost-write for you. x


3. Posted by Jentana on September 23, 2009 1:09 PM

Find a set of antique or repro casters for the desk legs and hey presto ! it will be a couple of inches taller and you will be able to sit at it. A very pretty bargain at 15 euros in any case.


4. Posted by Ann de Bretange on September 25, 2009 12:01 AM

Sounds like a lot of fun at the vide grenier, you got a real bargin with your desk for 15 euro, jentana's suggestion of castors is a good idea but it looks very pretty anyway. I'm a car boot addict myself and however much I resolve not to I always bring home as much junk as what I've sold, as they say ' one man's junk is another man's treasure !!'
Finaly managed to buy your book the other day, sadly did'nt get signed copy as could'nt wait untill I got to London! but over the moon anyway and can't wait to get started on it.


5. Posted by mimi pompom on September 25, 2009 10:56 AM

Dear jentana,

the castors are an excellent idea - antique ones even more so. David had already suggested it, so from now on I will be keeping my eye out for a set

thank you for the thought!

Mimi x


6. Posted by Trish, Devon on September 28, 2009 1:02 AM

The idea of castors for your desk is good but until you can find the right ones, perhaps Biff's former owner can find some harmonious wood for a discreet plinth?


Extra comment:
(I don't mind if the above isn't printed - I just wanted to give a tip (and in case castors may damage the desk). In last few years, I have disposed of things which didn't fit this present house after I downsized. After I got rid of cherished items, I realised too late how I could have given them a new lease of life).


7. Posted by Alex (in Bretagne) on October 2, 2009 9:02 PM

I bought four brass castors from the quincaillerie the other day which would be perfect for your desk. Admittedly they're not antique but they've been made in the same factory for the past hundred or so years on the same machines. Six months of not polishing them and they'd be perfect.

See how quickly this comments section morphed into a buyers guide to furniture wheels.


8. Posted by mimi pompom on October 4, 2009 4:23 PM

thanks so much for the castor tips. Your castors sound excellent. lacking a quincaillerie (don't you love that word!) in my village, I fear it's Castorama for me, but not polishing them for six months shouldn't be too difficult!

mimi


9. Posted by Alex (in Bretagne) on October 4, 2009 4:42 PM

Of course there is a far more simple option, just saw one and a half inches off your chair legs.


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