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  • Writer's pictureAhmed

Wet Weekend

Recent posts here may give the impression that we spend our weekends in idyllic sunshine, wandering through leafy village squares while ruminating over aged knick-knacks. This is, of course, a fantasy. Not a complete fantasy, as it is actually like that from time to time but not all the time.

This Sunday we visited markets at St Pair, Nicorps and Denneville. Rain was forecast but we hoped antiques vendors, properly equipped with tarps, tents and gazebos, would still come out. It's over an hour to St Pair, next to the apparently beautiful town of Granville. Apparently, because each attempt I have made to visit has been thwarted by foul weather from hurricanes to blizzards. I should have seen this as an omen. We set off early. A stiff breeze was blowing on the coast and fat grey clouds rolled over the horizon. As we drove on the rain hardened, soon coming in gusting showers. Sheets of water blew horizontally across the road.

The St Pair vide-grenier was vide. Annoyed professional buyers and collectors stalked a near empty park which should have attracted hundreds of sellers. Less than five had turned up.

We shuffled around in our waterproofs visiting each stall, just to show willing. We did some buying but it felt as if we were forcing ourselves to justify the drive. We were a little surprised. Normally, and especially in spring and summer rain doesn't repel so may sellers and we still have a good selection to choose from. We were back in the car in 30 minutes and on to Nicorps. The market here was attached to large horse fair, which we felt might still attract some people. We were wrong.

A few diehard people desperate to dump second-hand clothes and ancient garden tools sat alone in a near empty field. By this stage we were cold and our feet were wet. A gloom overcame us as we realised our day may had been a waste. There wasn't even a sausage vendor to sell us a hot snack. Just the grey sky and wet field and the smell of brocante life.

Denneville, we reasoned, was near home so we decided to drive by. A small market has been organised for a Fete de l'huitre which, surely, people would turn out for. We shouldn’t have bothered. A single stall selling bread and patisserie was doing a brisk trade, but the sea wind howled across the marquee roof. Nobody else has turned up.

Buying at markets is always a gamble. Firstly you don't know what you might find and then there's a risk you may never be able to sell it. You accept that now and again the gamble may not pay off. Occasionally you don't even get to buy anything, which means you don't even get to the second gamble. Tant pis. On this occasion the buyers were there but the sellers weren't. Normally, returning to the house after a buying trip is wonderful moment of exhaustion and elation, laden with bags and goodies, Five hours after leaving home we returned, carrying little more than the water in our clothes and a grumpier attitude than when we left. #VideGrenier #Brocante #LifeinFrance #Weekendreport

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