Thursday, 30 August 2012

Vintage vehicles and vide-greniers

The day after we arrived on holiday, Miss U-t-B and I nipped into town for some groceries and happened upon a mini, vintage car rally. That's mini as in not a vast number of cars, as opposed to a rally full of small cars.  

Not just any vintage cars, but mostly my favourite, Citroen Traction Avants.

There were also some sweet 2CVs.  I wouldn't say no to one of these to buzz around in!

Actually the mini bit was true in the other way too as there was also a bunch of children's cars, somewhat spoilt for us by the scary doll passengers! Rather creepy, this pair were...

This little outing was a perfect vintage warm-up for the next day which saw us up bright and early for the first of what turned out to be four vide-greniers we managed to squeeze into the holiday.  

At the first, in Chamberet, there was plenty to look at,  but with Mr U-t-B's pleading 'nothing big', I kept myself in check!

He was tempted by these...

...but only bought a door knocker and a big cast iron pan, whilst I only bought a tin of talc!

It still has the talc in it, but I think I'll pass on that!

The very next day saw us head off to Bugeat, past this stunning viewpoint...

The Bugeat vide-grenier was fab, and I came away with a pair of vintage skis, some red gingham napkins and a gorgeous wire bottle or glass carrier - all of which I failed to photograph! When I can dig them out I will try to remember to do so.

By the following Tuesday, in Treignac, I thought I might be all vide-greniered out.  But there was plenty to look at - though it does have to be said that there are increasing amounts of plastic toy tat and discarded clothing to look past these days at most v-gs.  

It was a super-hot day, so I was glad we were there early, even if that did mean that things were just being set up.  In Treignac, the vide-grenier winds up and down the narrow medieval streets from the old market place up to  top of the town and the square outside our friend's lovely hotel.

Chambres d'hotes 'Art de Vivre'

More hours than I'd care to mention were whiled away amongst these stalls.  In the end I came away with two boxes of children's puzzle blocks, a couple of tins, an embroidered sheet and contrasting pillowcases, a pretty pillbox and four small bowls.

The haul - quite restrained, I think!

The first set of puzzle blocks are very much homemade, and I just love the muddle of fragmentary images...

The second box turned out to be a tad disappointing.

It has helpful sheets showing each of the pictures, and the correct number of blocks...

But once you try to make up the picture, seven of the blocks are duplicates, leaving seven holes in the finished picture.  Oooooh!

Never mind, with the wonders of a scanner and printer, plus a bit of cutting and pasting, I hope I can sort it out.

The last of the four treasure hunts was in Seilhac.  I had not been to this one before and it was HUGE.  But I was definitely not in the right mood that day for such a large hunting ground (it was a very close, sticky day, and my sunglasses had given me a headache!) so I came away all but empty handed, having bought only a bashed-about-but-still-sweet little tin...

...just because it would a shame to leave without having bought a thing!


  1. Ooh, Citroens! One of my favourites! I am also partial to the Citroen DS21 xx

  2. wow what a lot of lovely vintage stuff you acquired there. :)

  3. Oh my what a wonderful haul, your recipe for 'mending' the puzzle sounds inspired - what a good idea.

  4. You found some really lovely items, what acfabulous place.
    Back in the 70's we had a Citroen Diane, it was red and my late FIL painted a red stripe on it ( a bit Starsky and Hutch). Happy memories.
    Have a lovely weekend.
    Carol xx

  5. What wonderful treasures.... I am really enjoying visiting multiple vide greniers for the first time, in this, my first year in France. I think the picture blocs you found are fabulous. Great photos too ! J.

  6. Wow, you got quite a haul! Sweet talc tin, very French, and I love the kiddies puzzle blocks and vintage sheet.

  7. Wow, Alix, we passed one of those ancient Citroen 'ganster cars' (or that's what we called it) on the motorway this morning! We were heading into Toulouse centre for an optician's appointment and all got very excited by the car. Your photos of the brocante finds are most inspiring - I've been holding off over the holidays but the September Vide Grenier programme is packed around here this year, and I plan to get busy before they all pack up for the winter. Thanks for your comment. Mums do indeed get rather frazzled by the rentrée - but the dads I've seen doing the shopping look even worse! I'm not at all sure that children do look after their stationery better, I'm afraid. Not my two, anyway...

  8. What lovely things you I've complained to Floss before now, I only ever seem to find other people's tat at vide greniers...I haven't got the "discerning eye"!!