Monday, 2 December 2013

week-end tresor and a bit of family history...


Bonjour from a very frosty SW France,

I have just returned from a quick walk to the Post Office, note the word quick  as it is very frosty and there is ice on the cars this morning.

Yesterday it was the same story, very cold start fgollowed by a lovely clear blue sky with lots of lovely sunshine. For some reason or another (slept through the alarm) we did not get off to early start treasure hunting and arrived later than normal.

Reason being that there was a fab jazz concert in the local chateau Saturday night and we were late to bed hence the "not wanting to get up early" state of mind.

Managed to find a few tresors and catch up with a lot of dealers, one of which is a favourite of mine as he always has some stunning and unusual items. 

The first find of the day, brings to mind the expression, never judge a book by it's cover.......

The exterior was a bit tatty and not particularly clean but I was drawn to look inside......




and this is what I saw.......there is something about old books and this one is a delight to the eye. It contains a year's worth of "Mode Illustree Journal de la famille" from the year 1872.

As we sat looking at the fabulously detailed pages last night, I wondered how many women before me had done the same thing......141 years old, 141 years worth of history.....a lot has happened since then. For some reason I thought about my ancestors, they were brave enough to take a voyage from England to New Zealand. they sailed on the BOLTON from Gravesend on 29 Oct 1841, and arrived in Nelson, 25 Mar 1842. 

 England was suffering from a depression, there was acute unemployment from the closure of many cotton mills and the resulting poverty that spread throughout the country fueled thought for adventure and the opportunities that these new and unknown lands presented to the public. The Bolton encountered a gale, about two months after leaving England, that broke the mast in two, the top deck had disappeared and the sails had gone. 

By good fortune the boat happened upon a French ship which supplied the necessary timber and repairs. 

It is ironic really, my ancestors were saved by the French and over a century and a half later, after spending 15 years travelling and working around the world, I am living in France....

Apologies for the deviation, here are some examples of the lovely pages hidden within the dusty and battered cover....





I was lucky enough to purchase 2, the other one is dated 1871 and contains similar illustrations.

They really are fascinating and as I flick through the pages, I get caught up in a different era......
 
My other find is not nearly as old but I love it as it is something that I have looking for and this one has a lovely patine to it. Ironically it was made in Scotland...



The seller joked with me that the price did not include a bottle of champagne....I had to smile as it was one of those "French" moments that I have come to love about living in France. Friendly banter with the locals, and to think when I first moved to France how I longed to join their conversations and to be greeted as if I belonged. Hence I get as much pleasure for saying "hello" as much as I do from finding a fabulous item.

After all some of the best things in life are free......and on that note I must leave you, as french Boyfriend has arrived with an armload of pears, which means he wanted another pear and almond tart.

très bonne semaine à tous, Leeann x   





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