If I had a million dollars just in spending money, I would have bought a lot today. Matthieu and I did a lot of window licking (see next blog entry!). We went up and down a lot of streets, but perhaps most interesting was this little road of antiques stores. Antique stores with character. Rouen is an amazing town and if we could, we would love living here. There is a store for everything, museums of interest, parks, a vibrant art community, vintage clothing stores that make me swoon, book stores with fireplaces and exposed brick, and most important: incredibly pleasant people!
Things I would have bought today:
A 1950’s orange bathing cap. I have wanted a bathing cap since A) Watching little Orphan Annie swim with one in Daddy Warbucks’ pool. B) Miss Piggie’s swimming show in “The Muppets…” and of course when C) Hailey Mills has one on when “she” stands on her own shoulders and beckons the evil potential step-mother into the depths. In fact, I think she rocks a bathing cap in a lot of scenes.
A vintage hat box from Paris with gold and black filigree. Gorgeous. Perfect for keeping tea party hats secure between tea parties!
A royal blue hat with veil and a plum of matching blue flowers and feathers. To go in the hat box, of course.
A set of silver sugar cube tongs, the pincer part shaped like the talons of an Eagle or a Griffin. I got a little overly excited at the mental image of dive bombing my tea with sugar cubes dropped from the great heights of a large bird. I may have made bomb sound effects- luckily the antiques dealer laughed. I also concocted an elaborate story of how our future grandchildren would fight to own these some day- and I would happily grant them to the grandchild with the best Griffin/Eagle story. Alas. The silver sugar cube tongs were much too pricey.
An original “tiffany” blue clay Fluer De Leis made in Quimper. Quimper is known in the Brittany region for its pottery- this is a very old piece that Matthieu was very drawn to. It was a bit pricey as well, but just a gorgeous little crude piece of pottery. The blue patented by Tiffany, well I am pretty sure this is almost spot on and Quimper did it first.
A stunning wood display case with glass cases and little drawers. I have nothing to display in it. But I am sure if I had a million dollars I could come up with something. It would be an amazing showpiece for an artist’s jewelry. I am a sucker for little drawers as well. I think it had to do with my card catalogue love.
A headless mannequin. It really was quite a nice old mannequin with a cloth body and wooden limbs. It looked a little cold. If I owned it I would make sure to keep it dressed. And make it a head, so I could display tea party hats.
And perhaps the pinnacle of our day is best shown in picture:
Yes, that is a baby crocodile. It has been “stuffed” and posed to be jauntily holding a leather bag. The irony is not lost on me. This little gem of a find cost 70 Euros! We took a free picture instead. I can’t help but feel sorry for that little crocodile…
We spent an entire day shopping and ended up spending 8 Euros on old postcards. In the early 1900’s there was a whole series of cards to celebrate the different holidays. We tried to buy one for each holiday, I hope to display them in our imaginary house, in our imaginary living room. The store we bought them in was unlike any store I have ever seen. A skinny, dark and damp shop with masks from every culture glaring from the walls. The owner was a large and jolly man who wore a necklace of teeth and listened to heavy metal. He also gave us free coffee and let us paw through as many boxes as we wanted. He had over 5,000 postcards- I think we made it through a fifth. I might go back today…
I feel like I have been very bad at updating this blog with interesting facts, experiences, and prose. The Polaroid of the week keeps us on track- but there is so much MORE. The food. the holidays. the people. the fashion. the history. There is almost too much for me to write about.
So, tell me. What do YOU want me to write about? Leave a comment (it can be anonymous) and let me know what you think. Perhaps the pictureis enough, and is all people want to look at. Perhaps the only person I should be apologizing to is myself...because I know I will want to remember all of this.
I leave this interlude with a poem by Ogden Nash:
UNANSWERED BY REQUEST
There are several little things in life that keep me guessing.
And one of them is what are the French words for French
leave and French-fried potatoes and French dressing.
And I am also a trifle vague
About how you ask people to a Dutch treat or talk to them
Here is a short clip of Matthieu and I grooving in the flooded San Marco square in Venice, Italy on New Year's Eve. Not the highest quality- but still fun. The tide level was SO high that the water was up to people's knees. There were lots of wellies, some great fly-fishing waders, plastic boots that vendors were selling (that did not work) and the route we choose: garbage bags. These didn't work either, but it was cheaper than the alternative! The water was not the most pleasant temperature-or smell- but an adventure we will laugh about for a long time. Check out the pics in our travel album on the right for some more of the Biger Family Venice vacation.
P.S. Thanks Amanda for your rocking signature dance move that I pulled out in your honor.