Monday, August 13, 2012

L'Isle sur la Sorgue and birthday dreams



 

Expectations. Oh la, that word! It just keeps back and pinching me, hard. I feel like I am on a loop of learning that particular lesson over and over again.

Last year at this time, I wrote about how birthdays have always been a very big occasion in our family, as in blow-up balloon size. But at the time I had the deeply quieting realization that I was exactly where I needed to be and nothing could améliorer such a simply perfect day. And yet, two weeks ago the wheels started turning, "Where should we go? What should we do?" and most importantly "What should we eat?" I plotted and planned and all for naught. For on Saturday, everything went utterly awry and by accident, only when I had let everything go did I see an ad announcing that it was the first day of the Foire Internationale at L'Isle Sur La Sorgue, one of the largest antique fairs in the South of France! Interestingly enough, our last visit there was also a last minute decision, on Christmas Eve.

As Remi often says, "Life is always right." We had an absolutely wonderful time.

Dreaming can be the best gift of all.



















And while we were tempted by much, certainly both the starburst mirror and the elegantly drawn sanguine, again the unexpected won the day. We came across a stand run by a charming woman selling vintage sunglasses. A true collectioneuse, she knew the origins of everything that she had, all while taking the steps to replace worn lenses and dig out lots of glasses that had never been worn such as my sparklers below. Remi bought me two pairs, a wonderful gift that will be put to good use in my daily strolls here in sunny Provence. A silly goose I may be from time to time but that doesn't prevent me from being a stylish one...


Thank you again to all of you that left wonderful Birthday wishes and emails! And so I step in to another year with hopes of learning more, appreciating all that I have and loving with an open heart...


37 comments:

French Girl in Seattle said...

Happy belated birthday, Heather! Loved seeing all these photos, but my favorite is the last one: J'aime les chi-chi cha-cha's! Good choice :-) Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

LaPouyette said...

Oh Heather, Happy, Happy Birthday, just missed it, sorry!!! Mine is next week, so we are both Lions - brrh.....

Alors - all my best wishes and many, many happy returns!
Amicalement, karin

Judith A. Ross said...

I would say that that stand is where my lost sunglasses probably ended up (see today's post that includes a thank you to you), but they weren't nearly as stylish as your pair.

Drool-worthy photographs. A twin to your excellent camera should arrive here tomorrow. But, I know the quality of these photos is largely due to your ever-expanding photographic skill.

So glad you had a good birthday. But, please tell us. What did you eat?!!!

Gustia said...

Wuh? It was your birthday? Happy Birthday!! I too think birthdays should be announced, celebrated and plans should be made. Preferably with friends, family and a big meal with a big cake. I loved your flea market photos. No doubt about it, French junk is different from other junk.

BigLittleWolf said...

An antique fair! That sounds like a perfect, spontaneous way to celebrate your birthday! Those coffee grinders are very cool, and the patina to old wood with its variations and markings is sublime.

The photos are gorgeous, love the shades, but I'm curious what might have been behind those doors marked Fabrique Chaussures. Then again, you might have guessed as much.

Liza in Ann Arbor said...

Happy birthday Heather! After I read your last post, I realized that we are the same age (quelle coincidence!) Anyways, we were stuck in traffic in Isle-sur-la-Sorgue in July. There certainly were lots of interesting things to look at while we waited it out. Couldn't bring anything back of course (darn small suitcase!)

carolyn bradford said...

Happy Birthday! I wish I had realized it earlier! I love the sunglasses! Isle-sur-la-Sorgue was our last stop when we went to France on our first buying trip for my shop…it was truly amazing! I would love to be there now! Glad you had a wonderful weekend!

Poet Whale said...

Happy Birthday!

Francesca Muir said...

Birthday wishes to you and thank you for such inspiring photos - I just love what's on offer! have a lovely day F x

helen tilston said...

Hello Heather

A very Happy Belated Birthday. Your day away was perfect and you captured it so bautifully.

I love the sunglsses and that your manicure compliments is also fitting.

Wishing you a year of goodness and joy

Helen xx

Leslie said...

I'm loving the glasses Heather! Great find! They are perfect :) What a wonderful outing! I like the furniture, paintings,.. and that mirror is gorgeous!

leslie

pokie said...

Happy Belated Heather,

I too ,often let expectations get in the way of what should "really" occur in life. But it's hard sometimes to know the exact answer, so we act on our feelings. Nothing wrong with that, provided good things happen. I love that "market". I saw and experienced it for the first time while staying at Les Trois Figuiers in Lagnes. The food that Julien prepares there is magnificent, pure French country.... Those sunglasses are fabulous. I could have bought tons of things if only I lived there.....

Jewel yet to find said...

Happy Birthday, dear Heather! The most wonderful way to spend a special day. Some great finds made it even better. Improvisation and spontaneity is all it takes to really enjoy the the surprise of the moment. Expectations and plans could make a predictably nice day instead you and Remi got a wonderful day of happenings.

Elizabeth Minchilli said...

Auguri!!! I love the sunglasses. And I want to come to the Foire next year. Is it only once a year? It looks incredible.

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Heather:
We should have had an absolute field day. We can scarcely believe our eyes - so many goodly things gathered together and ready to be pounced upon. Wonderful as, indeed, are your sunglasses.

Ann X said...

Happy birthday, Heather! Pictures are truly amazing! I would love to be there now too!

LA CONTESSA said...

Looks like it was another GREAT day and outing!BRAVI!Love the sunglasses!LOVE the photo of YOU!xoxo

david terry said...

Well, a Happy Birthday to you, Heather...

I thought of you just yesterday, when I finally found a batch of small pictures that had gone missing in the move (the recovering drug-addicts from TROSA, who moved our two houses, were very nice & sweet, but not terribly adept at processing requests such as "please put that that in the second guest bedroom above the second staircase"....I found the pictures in a storage closet under the entry staircase).

In any case, I found "Happy Zen Dog", which I believe belongs to you. Would you please email your mailing address again? I have it somewhere, but that "somewhere" would be amidst the 609 (I'm not kidding) backed-up emails from the past month that I've got on this computer. I'll have this baby (the picture, not the computer) shipped off to you once I know the address.

Incidentally (and you should find this amusing), I'm considering following my pal, Geraldine Brooks's, advice/example. As you may know, she's a very well known war-journalist (married to Tony Horwitz, the equally renowned journalist/writer) turned novelist.

Everything was just fine & manageable in her life until she received (not having known that she was even nominated for her novel "March") what her 10 year old son referred to as "The Pulitzer Surprise".

As you might guess....the following year brought, with every single day and most of every night, a catastrophic FLOOD of mail and email from strangers....more than she could even read, much less respond to. When I whined, a year or so ago, about the number of backed-up emails I had, she advised me to do as she had done......simply declare "email bankruptcy" by composing a short email and posting it (this function is simple) to everyone who's emailed you.

The note politely, but tersely, informed the world that Geraldine Brooks, having incurred more email-obligations than she could ever possibly acquit herself of, was declaring email-bankruptcy. If you wanted/expected/or thought you were owed a reply.....then simply write again, very quickly, to get in que (sp?). The first 100folks who were owed would be duly compensated; everyone else was just screwed-unto-the-very-lord and would have to start all over again.

At the time, I thought that plan was terribly funny. Just now, I'm thinking it's desirably PRACTICAL.

In any case, a happy birthday to you, and re-send your mailing address to me when you have the time.

P.S. (in regard to Remi's present?)...you wouldn't know that, the first time we, venturing beyond the Loire Valley and Perigord after years visiting there, went to Provence?......

Well, I didn't even think of bringing sunglasses (I grew up in the Smoky Mountains and have never worn them back home). I ended up wearing a pair of clip-ons (I've worn regular glasses since I was six) that belonged to Herve's grandmother and were lent to me, at the last minute, by my mother-in-law. And, yes....they had little rhinestones at the corner of each temple. I never found a pair that would fit over my granny-glasses, so I just wore those everyday for the entire trip (except for when we visited Vicki Archer, who probably would have noticed, although she'd be too polite to mention the oddity of receiving a man in optical-drag). I was profoundly self-conscious for the first five or so hours, but I eventually thought "OH hell...it's FRANCE. Nobody knows me, nobody can see my eyes...and what's the point of going abroad if I don't do what's easiest for me?"

I should emphasize that NO ONE batted so much as a single eye the entire three weeks I wore those things. I mentioned this, and Herve helpfully reminded me that "La Cage Aux Folles", for all its success on Broadway, did not originate in the USA.

Happy Birthday,

David Terry
wwww.davidterryart.com

robin said...

LOVE the table with the colored glasses (and their long shadows; SO beautiful!!), the coffee grinders, and the bird cages. Also, all the colorful exteriors. And love the lesson in expectations - one that I need to practice every single day! So glad that you had a lovely, go-with-the-flow birthday!

Jackie and Joel Smith said...

Your post brought back wonderful memories of a market day in that very city on our trip through Provence. . .it was a regular market filled with lavender, soaps, and harvested treasurers. I may need to go dig out the photo album and relive its temptations. Glad you had a great birthday.

vicki archer said...

I love those glasses... they are the best! We all need a little sparkle in our lives... xv

Loree said...

Happy birthday. Those sun glasses are so charming. You live in a wonderful corner of the world. Those coffee grinders brought back wonderful childhood memories of my sweet nanna (grandma). I miss her so much.

Lost in Provence said...

Heeheehee. We actually ate really simply but two things that I love/crave--smoked salmon for lunch and cold shrimp with lemon mayo for dinner (plus a bit of sushi to start)--and champagne! It was such a long, hot day that I was too tired to go out and was all too happy just to stay in with my love and pupper.

Have fun with your new camera--you'll see how great it is!!

Lost in Provence said...

That building was FOR SALE, BLW. Just think you could have been the woman who lived in a shoe factory!

Lost in Provence said...

Perfectly said, as always, Nat.

Lost in Provence said...

It is twice a year, Elizabeth. One at Easter and then again around August 15th. It is amazing and would be worth the trip. We didn't even see everything! We gave up! And trust me, that is saying something...

Acquired Objects said...

Heather your new/old glasses look wonderful on you! So many treasures I see above and there's a pair of garden lions I would love to get for my best friend, her birthday was Monday. I hope you enjoyed your day!

XX
Debra~

Lost in Provence said...

Thank you so much for you Birthday wishes, David, not to mention for your stories, which are gifts in themselves. As for the tangible one, I will email you pronto happily. :)

How easy it is to imagine your charming face ornamented with that extra sparkle. Why not, I say? Having spent a fair amount of time in California where grown men walk around in Zorro costumes "just because" or rollerblade in thong swimsuits decorated with a bunny tail at Easter, things could be seriously more eccentric than that. And definitely stranger in a strange land too.

Gros bisous from a blistery hot Arles,
She Who Longs For Autumn

Lost in Provence said...

I should have known that you would have liked that photo, Sister!! It is my favorite of the bunch.

Concrete Jungle said...

Belated Birthday Wishes...another Leo should have guessed...hehehe...Still reading just having problems with time and computers but promise I will get back on the blogwagon soon! hugs H

kabayoz said...

From one Leo to another, Happy Birthday Heather! You look really cool like a Bond girl in those pair of hipster glasses.

The red bound books caught my eyes. Make me wish I'm fluent in French. I wonder if it's sacrilege to want them for decorative purposes? And who knows, having them may help to improve my French...:)

Lost in Provence said...

Yay so good to hear from you my fellow Heather and fellow Leo! :) Hope all is well...

Lost in Provence said...

A Bond girl?! Kabayoz, you are really too kind!

And of course it isn't a sacrilege to want them for "faire le deco"--trust me, that is what they were there for! And so lovely, all different colors of leather bindings. I hate to always sound like an old biddy but "they don't make things like they used to"...

Looking Glass said...

A belated happy birthday to you, Heather! Hope it was magical.
Love your sparklers ;-)
Oh, how I'd adore one of those giant wall clocks!!

~ Clare x

Chris said...

Bonjour, mon amie, Heather! I have been struggling with new computer things and couldn't figure out how to comment with a new 'reeder' program. Now..."I think i've got it!" Suffice to say that such an antique happening would be my BEST birthday treat! And your post just roped me in...i love it all but especially the red-French-books that I collect! Tres Grand! And your sunglasses? Ooh, La, La, tres retro et chic! Joyeux anniversaire (belatedly)!
xoxo, Chris

Judi of Little House said...

Heather - Joyeux Anniversaire!
We're planning (long range!) a trip to France next May and L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue is on the list of many wonderful destinations in Provence (along with Arles)! After seeing your photos, L'Isle will definitely stay on the itinerary. We visited there about 10 years ago and they had a great market in town - even though it wasn't the semi-annual Foire.

Your writing and photos always pull me into your wonderful world! Merci beaucoup! Judi

Judi of Little House said...

Joyeux anniversaire!!! What a wonderful way to spend your special day!

Ok, L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue is definitely staying on our itinerary for our long-range plans to visit France next May. Thank you for the wonderful writing and photos - they always pull me into your lovely world! Merci beaucoup et j'aime les lunnettes de soleil!