Friday, February 27, 2009

A la bonne franquette

It's 5 am and she awakes to some French guy's
voice screaming from a little black box
about Sarkosy being spotted on the beach in
his speedo's. TMFI at 5 am.
Slowly, hugging the banister, she creeps down
from the 3rd etage at 32 Bis, counting the steps
as she descends and trying to avoid the squeaks
of the 19th century maison, as not to wake the
others. Creaks, pops and moans are common
sounds to her, but it is the "hisssssing" sound
that is music to her ears. Genevieve is making
her espresso.
Four kisses (they are soul sisters), alternating
cheeks, morning pleasantries exchanged, then
Genevieve performs an about-face. Gestapo
appears and shouts, "VITE, VITE, VITE!"

Thirty minutes later, her only contribution
to French fashion is a scarf. Genevieve
assures her she looks fine. Going to a
brocante market requires sifting through dirt.

As her eyes scan the stalls, the hunt evolves into
a dance with the partners being her eyes and feet. Trying to stay one step ahead of Mr. Vendu.

She relies on her BLINK to make buying decisions.

She applies her cost formula and decides she can sell the French iron daybeds for $699. With each French buying trip she knows they are becoming more scarce.

A wonderful petite oak vasselier from the early 1900's. That gets added to her stash. $2495 will be a deal for one of her clients.

Louis XV style fauteuils with original paint will fill her shop. A good buy for $399.
Pairs are always perfect. Walnut, Louis XV style twin beds get added to her corner.

Garden pieces and architectural fragments always fill her container. She needs to exercise discipline here or change the name of her shop to the European Garden Market.

And the accessories...that is just about the money, as they take no space on the container. The morning has passed quickly, but has been productive.

Slowing down a bit, she begins to take in her surroundings and her mind wanders. She is already planning the new layout of her store. Fretting over whether she can do the pieces justice. Not only does she want others to find the beauty in the French antiques, she wants them to share in the French experience.

Friends and vendors gather as everyone's mind starts to turn to food and drink.

She looks quite giddy here and gazole has taken on a whole new meaning!

Did someone say they brought ham?

Maurice offers some wonderful olives he bought this morning at the marché.

" Pas problem," Lulu chimes in, "to whip up some pasta." It was turning in to one of those beautiful days. One of those days full of life. She learned some French songs, laughed until her jaws ached, and made new friends. Genevieve glanced her way and made a toast, "a la bonne franquette."

She scrambled digging in her sac for the small steno pad that held her scattered thoughts and French expressions. Directly under "Those that assemble, resemble," she scribbled...

A la bonne franquette...A simple, come as you are, food, wine, and song, often unplanned, gathering.

Some would say, the material surroundings would make no difference. She however, likens it to drinking a good vintage wine from a plastic cup.

Some things are just better, authentic.

French farm tables, friendships, and franquettes, just to name a few.

Sometimes, she thinks she philosophizes too much about life. Passing thoughts, those are.

How could she even begin to sit here and not
expound on the wonderful things in life.

Revel in them, she does.
So if you ever decide to visit
you just might walk into
"a la bonne franquette."
Until then, may your life's path take you in a wonderful direction.
Photo # 16, 17, 18, 19 & 23 via Le Fiargo
others, European Antique Market


Chrissy said...

You just inspired me more than you can imagine....and I thank you!!!Chrissy

mimi charmante said...

Are you sure you don't need a personal assistant on such trips? I am very handy with a notebook, a camera, a wine glass... I am studying french and would be happy to assist any way you might need!
So jealous of your travels~

Vicki said...

Thanks Shawn for such a fabulous post!!!

Edie Marie's Attic said...

Bon jour Shawn!

Oh what a wonderful exciting post! I loved every second of it, the shopping was unbelievable and the lunch of salami & mustard on the baguette was perfect!! Thank you for inviting me on such a fun excursion!!

Bisous, Sherry

Miss Kris said...

awwwh...Shawn, you live a beautiful life! I feel I was able to make a special trip with you to have a sneak peak at all your wonderful treasures.

Sooo Beautiful! Miss Kris

Allen and Cheryl Mardis said...

I liked this. Very cool.

Maison Douce said...!!! I will second the assistant offer... I speak french!!! What great finds!!! My favorite lunches on the go always involve bread and cold cuts!! And those olives... The mediterranean in me is crying!! Show us more, please!

Tea Time With Melody said...

I was doing just fine until I saw the salame. My popcorn and wine are just not cutting it. LOL I wish I would walk though the shops you post about they look marvelous!

Visual Vamp said...

I'm having so much fun with you!
Thanks so much for a great ride!
xo xo

Love Your Homes said...

Ma chère Shawn,
thanks for taking me on a wonderful little trip and treasure your enchanting corners.

The sky is blue here in Stockholm today and the ground is white with snow, pretty cold.

I could use some delicious olives, demi-pain with camembert......

I would also love to visit your store some day...I may probably need that container.

Love, Ingela

Kenza said...

Très joli reportage, tout en poésie, merci à toi Shawn!
Je n'ai encore jamais vu de mannequin comme celui que tu nous présentes, il est très original...
Très belle journée et gros bisous

Shelly Beson said...

My daughters graduation gift is a trip to Paris. I'm slowly learning french and have just added you to my destinations of desire.

Thanks for beautiful words.


mrsben said...

Such treasures!!!! Particularly the (mahogony?) twin beds.
Bon journée! Merci!

Di Overton said...

Let me thank you. We have decided not to rush down to Paris in March but to go in May and take it easy and stop places on the way. Your post confirmed this is the only way to do it. Stunning images as ever :)

Corinne. said...

Superbe !
Merci pour ce très beau reportage photos !!

dancing doc design said...

Ah, your words and images carve a appreciative path through your day, taking us with you, allowing us to savor the delights, to capture to moment in scents, in sounds, in phrases! Ah merci bien!
Salut du Midi!
an expat enjoying your gifts while living my own!
ps if you have a second please stop by my site, I have left something there for you!

VINTAGE HOME lifestyle said...

What a fabulous post...thank you for the trip. You are on lucky lady.

red ticking said...

this is amazing... where would i be without my new found world of blogging???? thank you for all of these amazing images.....aaaaahhhhh

FrenchGardenHouse said...

sigh. After my Sugarplums dream{see blog} this is the next best thing. to die. for.

Jen r. said...

Oh my goodness! Hold on while I wipe up some drool!!!!! AMAZING THINGS! Jen
p.s. my word confirmation was WHOOT... I think that says it all...

Dorothy said...

Simply beautiful and inspirational. The words...the pictures. I love it all!


Anonymous said...

Lovely, lovely, lovely!!!

Ann said...

Those are such awesome finds. And what lovely images of Country French alluring and a true feast to my senses.

Blue Muse said...

You are living my dream, sister-friend! Wow, what a wonderful life.

I love the giddy photo of you!
...and this -- "Some things are just better, authentic.
xo Isa

Linda/ "RMS "Mom..." said...

WOW!!! What a wonnnnnderful vacation I just had visiting you here~~~ THANK YOU for the enchantment!!! Best, Linda/ RMS's "Mom of a German Shorthair"

Olga Granda-Scott said...

You are particularly killing me with wanderlust this time, especially since with the slow economy we don't know when our next trip will me. How's the morale in France, I've had lots of dealers calling trying to sell things. Where are your borrowed images from? Le Figaro, the newspaper?

Mélanie said...

Wonderful photos of our lovely antiques shops ...I haven't stoped by your blog for a while and what I see ? You were in France and this time again we couldn't meet ..I hope next time ...I recognized LOULOU

Anonymous said...

I have never wanted to trade lives with someone so badly!

But your words made me feel like I was there.

Thank you!

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

Visions of loveliness and perfection!

Jade Creative said...

Absolutely inspiring! later...Darlene

French Cupboard said...

Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! Can I be Mimi's assistant while she assists you? ;) Blessings... Polly

Tracie~MyPetiteMaison said...

Hi Shawn,
Thanks for the mini vacation. It's always a pleasure to visit you... Now please pass the vin et olives - yum!

vosges paris said...

Those pictures are wonderful once again. I have stolen three of them LOL ;) Anddddd I am wondering where those market is with wonderful garden stuff an olives!


What a lovely post!!!!!


Country French Antiques said...

Merci all!
Glad you enjoyed the journey.
MrsBen..the beds are walnut.
Olga.. the magazine
Melanie..that is an old photo.. next time I go south, I will stop by to see you!!!
Thanks again for the lovely comments!


Aaaahhhh your pictures are sooo incrediable!!!! ah I just got my fix for the month!!!! Thank You!!!!
xoxoxo Laura

perchance to dream said...

I can almost smell the lavender. Love the kitchen pics. Hope this economy is not causing you harm. We need your view...and your photos too!

Breathing Beside Us said...

Such a great Blog!
XO Deb

Antique Trails said...

Vibrant, passionate and inspiring!

I could almost taste the herbs with which the olives were marinated and savor the rich wines as you browsed in your nonpareil search.

Truly an adventure on the trail of antique treasures.

fialka012 said...

Krásné věci...