A couple of years ago I bought a basket on a brocant. I said to the man there was something inside the basket and he smiled and said "Whatever is in there is a gift Madam". It turned out to be the whole life of a lady in lettters and postcards. Together with a friend we have now managed to date all letters and and put them in chronological order ( first letter i from 1893) and we all ready know a lot about our lady. We will put it all down in writing and then see if we can trace her family to return it all. It was obvious that the seller at the brocant had the basket as part of a house clearence so maybe the family will be pleased to have it all back and if not we have relived what seems to be a lovely and interesting life of a women who seemed much loved.Here is one of the hand tinted cards from the basket. Just love it.
Next week is the start of carnaval season in Belgium. One of the most famous happens in the small town of Binche, just a few kilometers from my old home in Mons. The parade, a UNESCO recognized event, is made up entirely of men and boys born in the town of Binche, throwing blood oranges. The costumes they wear are rather unique and are, traditionally, never allowed to leave the city limits. But if you happen upon a stack of Gilles de Binche pants while shopping the brocante in Waterloo, it's ok to buy them, right? I mean, it wasn't me who took them out of the city. (If you're interested in a little more info about the parade, there's a link👆🏻to my blog posts about the ones we attended.)
I had one in my hands. And it was cheap. So cheap. 'I'll circle back,' I said, 'after we've seen more of this market.' The glorious market at Porte de Vanves was sunny and busy that Saturday morning and the jam pot was (of course) missing when I returned an hour later. 'Never mind,' I said aloud, smiling. 'It's just a pot.'
Also: to the person who maliciously purchased that pot on that suddenly gloomy Saturday: I forgive you. I've got two now so I win and I'm not still mad at you.