Friday, July 10, 2009

In which I Vided my Grenier....

Well, with the impending return to the UK, a local vide grenier (literally translated it means empty your attic) seemed like an ideal opportunity to get rid of some of our piles of unwanted stuff.

So, the CH and I have dutifully rooted through the barns and the cellar (and, God forbid the last two boxes which we hadn't opened since we moved here the best part of 5 years ago!) and, apart from one dead mouse, turned up a motley but rather glorious selection of 'objets' to sell.

I'll be honest and admit that among the objets were a fair amount of tat but you live in hope don't you.

The CH and I arrived and set out our wares. The resulting display was very pleasing and included a Georgian tea strainer, a set of Royal Doulton china, an antique Copeland coffee set, a few Clarice Cliff plates and an old shower head.

Now, those of you who've been reading for a while will know that where we live in La France Profonde, where the biggest choice you'll have to make is whether to marry your cousin or take up linedancing,is not exactly the most cultured area. So, guess which one sold?

Did you guess right? Well, did you?

It was, of course, the old shower head! I asked a Euro for it and the old boy knocked me down to 50 cents! Honestly, how can you haggle over a Euro?

The strange thing about the French is they want you to pay way over the odds for their stuff but try and prise so much as 20 cents out of their hot little hand and, well to be honest, undoing a Gordian knot might be simpler.

I had a pile of hardly worn boy's Quiksilver t-shirts for a Euro...

C'est trop cher, Madame (too expensive)

A set of crystal wineglasses, unused, still with their labels. 5 Euros.

C'est trop cher, Madame

A Clarice Cliff plate for 4 euros.

C'est trop cher, Madame

A lovely 1920 tub chair for 50 euros which we bought in Blackrock Market in Dublin for over £100.

Je vous faire une offre, Madame, 10 euros (I'll make you an offer, Madame, 10 euros)

But the best was DS's old Gamecube and games on which, much to his chagrin, I got knocked down by the son to Mr Showerhead to 10 euros. As I wandered around looking for that undiscovered Monet, I found it on his own stall for 25 Euros!

The CH's collection of 1920s Bakelite cream makers caused a huge stir and if I'd got a Euro for each time I said 'c'est pour faire la crème, Monsieur/Madame' I'd have made a damn site more than I did for our treasures!

As I sat in the sun watching people, and it should be said, bemoaning that fact that the CH was despatched home specifically to get a parasol and a TV and returned with neither, and seeing what they had bought from other people's stalls I realised that our stuff was just too nice. The top sellers seemed to be rattan lampshades of the type that was popular in the 1980s, nasty bits of carved horn circa 1970 and other ethnic-alia and half sets of cheap crockery, in other words, all the stuff we took to the tip last week!

So, the day ended with us 50 euros richer, still with piles of unsold stuff which will now make it's way on to E-Bay and a back that you could fry an egg on - and on which I am off to smother a liberal coating of ointment.


Anonymous said...

I guessed right! I have two old shower heads lying around. I must remember to take them with me next time I go to France.

You are obviously too good for La France Profonde - come home!

Anonymous said...

I know, I know!

I've often thought of doing one too to get rid of all our attic clutter, but I've seen the calibre of what's laid out for sale when I've been to one.

It usually is total junk so as you so rightly say, your stuff was just too nice.

Have you got a moving date now? Have you sold?


the fly in the web said...

On a vide grenier last year I was buying linen know, the ones they inherited from grandma and are too lazy to wash and iron... and after I had bought two really nice ones, the lady selling them said that she was going to ask more for the rest as I obviously liked them.
'And because I'm a foreigner?' I suggested.
'Yes' she said.
Any guesses as to how many more sheets I bought?