Vide greniers

A vide grenier is a peculiarly French thing where you think you might find a Lalique vase for 50 centimes or a piece of Murano glass. You don’t. This is a small sample of some of the things I saw on Sunday.

  • a dismembered deer’s leg on a shield
  • weird old broken dolls
  • a tapestry doll
  • a ‘head’ statue that had been hand-painted by someone who either sees the world through Picasso’s eyes or was a little drunk
  • old tyres on sale for more than a new, fitted tyre
  • a broken bike tyre for 10 euros
  • a plastic chamber pot
  • one of those seats you can use with a plastic chamber pot inserted into it
  • broken wheelbarrows
  • Nazi memorabilia – still not REALLY a good look on a person
  • a broom handle
  • a dusty old computer monitor from somebody’s loft
  • old jars of half-eaten jam
  • broken flip-flops
  • more naff pottery than you could believe
  • dirty cups on sale for more than they cost
  • mismatched cutlery
  • dirty lampshades
  • old LPs for bands you never heard of from the 60s and 70s
  • loads and loads of mass-produced tourist stuff from Spain – especially ‘souvenir’ plates a bit like this one that we found in our cabin:

I’d have taken photographs but I’d probably have fallen out of favour with many of the stall holders who probably do not think that their ‘treasures’ are humorous. One day I will bravely snap away and capture all of the bizarre sights I see, but until then, you’ll have to take my word for the fact that a French vide grenier might be the only place in the whole world where you could attempt to sell a used battery for more than you bought it for. Notice I say ‘attempts’. You probably will end up taking everything home again with you. Needless to say, when a stall is set up of people genuinely trying to clear out recent additions, it’s mobbed. Book stalls also do well, for children’s books, because books are still so unreasonably expensive in France. I saw lots of children’s books for sale that were worthwhile, as well as a few stalls of mums who were selling on baby clothes and toys in excellent condition. I think, though, if you go looking for a treasure, you are only going to come home disappointed!

I also stand by the fact that young or old, vide greniers have more people with walking problems than anywhere else. A walking stick stall would make a mint!

However, what is always good at these places are the plant sales. One or two stalls had plants for sale and were doing a happy business. I’d have bought more myself but I was on a quest for perennials and most are still annuals. I don’t know about you, but if we’re half way through June, my annuals are already bought and in, otherwise there’s no point in them.

There was also a fabulous ice-cream cart with lots of lovely hand-made ice creams including my favourite caramel beurre salé – a salted caramel ice-cream. Jake had his usual mint choc chip. That boy does love mint choc chip!


6 thoughts on “Vide greniers

  1. I would be interested to see who buys those stuff. Are there actual buyers? I may take my stuff I don’t need to that market than.

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