Bonkers about Brocantes

The reason I like to drive to France is because I hate to fly. The reason my husband likes to drive to France is so he can pile the car high with wine from the local vineyard (the most delicious blush rose you’ve ever tasted) and all kinds of “tat” from the flea markets and brocantes which litter the Gard. The first thing we do when we arrive is make a calendar of all the local markets and stick it to the fridge – this maps out our holiday and if he misses a single one, then on my head be it. There’s a website called Vide Greniers which lists them all by type and region and at this time of year, thank goodness, they are quite literally everywhere.

He’s gone to Nimes this morning. Yesterday it was Uzes and Anduze. We went en famille to the one in Uzes as I’m quite partial to a market bargain too and in past years, we’ve found some pretty good stuff from this one in particular. We generally like the same kinds of things which helps the hunt and are quite good at spotting objects that the other will like too. I tend to go for lovely old crockery, interesting things for the kitchen and linen and fabrics. He goes for an eclectic mix of kitsch needlepoints (don’t ask), vintage enamel and tin pots and interesting old tools, swords and tractor grills. So you can see, we come away with quite a bundle of stuff we don’t really need but with which it was love at first sight.

I bagged the best bargain yesterday, in fact it could just be the find of the holiday. A fabulous wooden board or “planche” about 5 cm thick and used to perfection. After trying to haggle my way down from 12 to 10 euros, I realised the seller was in fact saying “deux” – “are you mad???” I wanted to shriek, but didn’t. I quietly handed him the 2 little coins and tucked it under my arm and walked away, rather quickly and, no doubt, looking a little smug. Here’s a picture of it in full use earlier today. Isn’t it lovely.

So, as I write this, who knows what treasures he’ll come back with but lets just hope it isn’t another bloody needlepoint of Johnny Halliday on a Harley.


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