Saturday, November 28, 2015

A grand day out...

Friday 27 November 2015
Cloudy 16 degrees

Eight thirty start down town to meet colleague in the hotel and show him a house.  He has what I call a nightmare client who has asked to see a massive range of houses in a very widespread area.  Renovations and bungalows, farms with massive outbuildings and all to do, village houses with small gardens, country houses with large gardens, town centre houses.  He is looking glum and drinks a lot of coffee, washing down the free croissants. The hotel is empty apart from a very slim lady who is eating cake for breakfast.  I leave him to it, together with some bunches of keys and go and pick up the lady who has come over to go to the Salon de Noel with me.

Alas, I am late but she says she has had time to delete all of her unread emails.  Perhaps that is what I should do with all of mine.  No word from the client who bought yesterday. Hope that is positive.  We zoom along the motor way to the city and my new friend tells me what she has been up to in the Maison de Retraite, where she has been helping out. Thanks to Google maps on the iPhone, we arrive without incident, find the other lady who is waiting for us and go for a quick coffee and chat.  The second lady buys one of my Dandelion necklaces - yay!!  Don't know why I bothered with Etsy.  Much better to sell to people I know, at reasonable prices.  She takes the larger one of these.  I found an immense dandelion and when I put the seeds into the resin, they turned a golden colour.  It was cold in the room so there are trillions of tiny bubbles but this just adds to the effect.

We then hit Noz.  Noz is a shop which has end of line items.  Sometimes it is rubbish and sometimes it is wonderful.  Today was a good day and I found some lovely stuff.  Silicon stencils, Christmas bags, a calendar, Christmas decorations and it was under 15 euros.  A marvellous time was had by all and then the second lady had to run off to go for the security inspection on her and her stall.

We went over the road and into Truffaud which is a garden centre with a craft section. Obtained some feathers and will incorporate them into jewellery together with flakes of gold leaf.  Have seen it done elsewhere and it is very effective.  It was then approaching 12.30 and, in a typical French way, the staff were doing their best to eject the still shopping customers.  They hung around by the tills and looked mutinous.  Someone started putting down the shutters.  How about installing a tea room with snacks, French people?  Works a treat in the UK.

The Salon de Noel was not far and all the restaurants in the vicinity were Asian so we opted for Vietnamese and had a selection of nems, samosas and other deep fried things. Followed by beef and chestnut shoots and Cantonese rice.  It was rather filling.  My friend had a beer and told me about her life history.  In care for 18 years and had spent her adult life with children, being the mum that she never had.

Then to the Salon.  There were a lot of crystal sellers and New Age touchy feely stalls where no one seemed to be selling anything.  It was interesting to see the different approaches people had to displaying their items.  Some had gone for chaos theory, inviting a jumble sale response amongst the shoppers.  Some had gone for such a minimalist approach, that you couldn't actually figure out what they were selling.  Some had gone for sensory overload and were hanging around, ready to dive into conversation the moment you hovered in the vicinity.  Some attracted with perfumes and others repelled with synthetic smelling incense.

I found a stall selling resin hearts, the size of paper weights, and 40 euros each. Interestingly, she had them placed over LED tea lights which showed off the inclusions beautifully.  They were completely unfinished, with the rough edges of the mould still apparent, drips, massive bubbles and a strange selection of inclusions, thrown in seemingly at random.  I have thrown out stuff better than this.  Started to think my jewelry is not that bad after all.

There were over 170 exposants and it was all getting a bit mind numbing, when we came across a wood worker.  The name gives no lead into the artistry of this man.  He takes wood and carves it into the most exquisite art forms, mushrooms and wings, ginkgo trees, delicate fungi, arachnids.  It was so beautiful I could feel goosebumps on my back and tears rising.  I must find his website and show you some images.  Absolutely stunning work.  People were handling the pieces, gasping with delight and surprise.

We needed a drink after that and had some Turkish tea which was so sweet that we could feel our pupils dilating and then, alas it was getting towards five pm and like Cinders, I have to watch the clock.  I am lamentably short sighted and become lethal once the light goes. Grabbed a delicate pale lemon ammonite on the way out.

This is the second lady's stall with a customer.