Hunting and gathering at any opportunity is a favourite pass time of ours, and our favourite place to do it is France! Long summer days, and small village markets offer a wonderful selection of fresh produce as well as food for the soul. It is wonderful to experience the every day cultural differences and every day life from home base in ‘our’ medieval village.
We plot our daily market rounds like others plan their tourist route. Lets see how much we can fit in before the 3 hour lunch break! These annual ‘vide greniers’ are held by each village to ’empty their attics’. They are collective garage sales by the locals, for the locals. Full of colourful characters and atmosphere and in wonderful locations. Like stepping into a movie set- complete with chateau on the hill top and streets too narrow to negotiate in a vehicle let alone park!
Saint Antonin Nobel-Val in The Gorge d’ Aveyron was ‘our’ such village. Like a mouse in a maize we learnt our way to the key locations- the Place, or town square, for the social evening cold drinks, the morning bakery stop and routes through the village to the fishing and swimming spots at the river. It was exciting when our village emptied their attics and the town was one huge vide grennier! We found we also hosted a massive weekly food market too, which is wonderful and all on the door step!
We found we ‘fell over’ the most remarkable villages, towns and cities on our ‘quest’. Our hunt for the unusual and quirky as well as the everyday items offered a fabulous theme and focus for our experience. We fell in love with Albi, home to the famous cathedral and Toulouse Lautrec Museum, and the magic village down the road called Cordes sur Ciel- built “in the sky”on top of the steep hill… sigh, Too many villages to mention!
Shipping Containers, we discovered, are pretty much exactly the width of our street, and will just fit (if the shutters are closed)! Our booty stock piled in our garage, photographed, listed in French and English, wrapped and packed and numbered fineally has to be loaded into the container on the back of the huge truck. We armed the kids with water pistols to cool us off, and with invaluable help of a few friends we carry and load until the container doors are ceremonially slammed and sealed. phew!
Exhausted and relieved, and a little bit sad, we prepare to return home. We trade the French heat wave and eau d’ medieval village where two days fit into one for the shock of mid winter 5 minute freezing days in Australia and wait for our ‘friend’ the container so full of souvenirs and stories.
We love to live the history of Tidmarsh here in Braidwood, our gold rush, heritage town… and we also love to experience the ancient history of France where we also now feel at home.
This is what we are all about!