Michele Antiques

Street Markets – Fantastic Finds

Here in France they have street markets, or brocantes, in villages, towns and cities.  Some of the larger ones have thousands of sellers and visitors, but village brocantes can be much smaller, sometimes disappointingly so.  Even professional brocantes where the sellers should be professional, you get amateurs who often sell children’s clothes and toys, but that is part of the fun, the hunting to find something that makes your breath hitch.


Most weekends finds us out searching at different places, and we often have to travel quite long distances as one brocante can sound much more interesting than another.  So, throughout the summer, we don’t get any lie-ins at the weekend, and we often leave home in the dark to make sure we arrive early enough to find the most interesting stuff.


Last weekend we went to the Loire valley to a brocante in the grounds of a chateau.  It was one of 3 events we did that morning, and was the last.  We had found some interesting pieces already, but not enough to fill up the car, so were ever hopeful.  Fortunately we found enough that we took the address of one seller to visit and collect, if the items wouldn’t fit.  Luckily everything went in, with a little re-organising, and we drove home through  the beautiful countryside full and happy.


Unfortunately, as is often the case, the heaviest items are ALWAYS at the opposite end of the brocante than our vehicle is.  I don’t know how we manage it, but when I see a piece of furniture, or large mirror, or heavy chairs, they are never near enough for it to be easy to carry.  So my other half carries furniture through crowds of people in inventive ways, often on his head, to the amazement of many.


As he technically ‘works for me’ I feel he should do this without grumbling, but he has threatened to take me to a tribunal more than once, and also to down furniture and leave me to it.  I have to offer inducements to get him to carry on, usually more tea and bigger biscuits, but as he had quite a few pieces to carry last weekend, a bottle of whisky has to be purchased, and very soon.