Wednesday, 31 July 2013

More Bric a Brac Baskets

It's bric a brac/ brocante  season again but this year has not been good for the vendors. The local paper forecast it would be the best year ever in the region because a record number were planned, but nature intervened. Earlier in the season, quite abnormally, it rained heavily without fail every Sunday. The rain and cold was followed by searing heat and who wants to slog around a field in 34C looking at dusty things? Certainly not me. So, this year I have, so far, escaped most of the pitiful cries of orphan baskets calling out to me from under tables.

This Sunday was a close call however, as I nearly came home with an enormous and truly handsome basket. But, in the end, I decided it would have been like bringing a comatose giant home  that couldn’t do much of anything except occupy a huge amount of space.

Coincidentally, I would not have even been at a brocante had it not also been for extreme weather. A terrifying thunderstorm with hurricane force winds and torrential rain on Friday night cut off the electricity and phone for the weekend. Not knowing how long we would be without electricity and having a dead mobile it seemed a prudent idea to go somewhere to charge it, preferably a nice bar. So, it was a bonus to arrive in Aigre to find a brocante in  full swing. There were a lot more local baskets for sale than usual, but now they really do have to be good looking for me to be susceptible to their simpering. It’s prejudice, I know, but I have to look at them every day!

Chatting to a friend, without my glasses on, I noticed what looked like a large ridged metal container in the distance, then I tuned into the whingeing and knew that it wasn’t metal. Putting the glasses back on revealed a tour de force of coiled straw one and half metres high and about 70cm across and oval in form. Rather sinisterly there was an ancient doll lying face down in the depths as though she had fallen fatally from the rim, I wanted to pull her out but couldn’t reach down far enough.

The vendor said the basket had come from a boulangerie in the Limoges region but she had no idea what it was for. You couldn’t put anything too small in there because you would never get it out again and if it was for flour the flour at the bottom would never be used, which could prove fatal for the customers!

The price was so low I would not have even bartered but I knew I had to resist.  If, however, our paths cross at some future date, I will probably invite the giant to come home with me as I will consider it our destiny that we have met again.

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