Oh my, I am having technical difficulties on my end, so all of the posts that I have planned to share with you all are on hold for the moment. Yes, les difficultés techniques are very much a part of living in France and most especially in the South of France, a twighlighty zone where, when things go wrong, they do so terribly that your only option is to laugh. Can anyone please explain to me why the internet in general, WIFI in specific, no longer works when the Mistral winds are blowing (as they are today)? I imagine many a French person would be wise enough to just do a little Gallic shrug over the matter and be done with it but I am nonplussed. If any of my local friends happen to see this, I would love to know what they think of my theory--I swear it is true.
So I will instead keep shopping because isn't that something that all of us do virtually in perpetuity anyhow? I originally took these photos for my lovely friend Brooke Giannetti. Yes, she of the Velvet & Linen blog fame, she the co-author of the "sold out on Amazon for three months" super-seller book "Patina Style" that is alas, still unavailable to many of us in Yee Olde Europe (and no Brooke, that isn't any sort of sneaky plea for a special delivery!). But I don't think that she will mind if I share them with you. They were taken on just a whim actually.
But how can one look at such worn cabinets and armoires and not appreciate their patina? All of the hands passing over their handles, pastries pushed out on their surfaces, the best china carefully handed up to the top shelf. Pieces that have lived and are still living for us if we only give them the attention that they deserve.
All of these objets were found at one antiques shop that I adore, the Galerie de la Gare, located in Molleges, beyond St. Remy but before Eygalieres. Now, I truly don't necessarily love this shop for the antiques (even though they are fantastic and we did buy our one "good" piece here in better times) but and oh, how hopelessly American this sounds, for the experience. Trust me, I am wincing as well. But Remi and I have the best conversations here. Either with the owner, who has been in business for around twenty-five years or his Zen Buddhist nephew, from whom we recently bought a light fixture for our bedroom. There is none of the posturing "Monsieuuur, may I help you?" here but smart talk about the economy and certainly, politics. Taboo at the dinner table but apparently not in certain antique shops. We are usually there for at least an hour chatting or, at least, until a more important customer strolls in.
The shop was emptier than usual when we went to pick up our little alabaster light. A sign of the times. Business has dropped drastically for all of the antique dealers in the region--even on the lower end of the scale according to a friend in Arles. But what lovely things remained--especially those from a dealer on the Côte d'Azur who rents out a corner of the gallery. Photos are not usually permitted so I am being a bit...sneaky. I had asked to take them specifically to take to share with Brooke so please, no Pinteresting, no pinning. One thing very worth mentioning is that the doors inside of the white cabinet are plastered with letters and photographs from long, long ago. I did not have light or time enough to read those forgotten words but hope they were old love letters. Well, they are for me, no matter what they were.
Remi is what he is, that is, a photographer and a brilliant one at that. I was so touched that when we stepped out of the shop, he took the image below, just so I could share with a far-away friend, one that I haven't even met yet, how glorious our light is here. So, just a little side trip but hopefully one that kept your interest--I would hate to lose you! And so, in the buoyancy of imaginary shopping, I will ask--did anything catch your eye? And if any of you actually did have a true coup-de-coeur, I jotted down most of the prices, just in case!