Broken down but full of brocante

In a brocante a few kilometres down the road I come across some interesting large turned wood “balusters.” The brocanteur corrects me, “ce sont des moyeux,” cart wheel hubs that were sold joined as a pair in hardware shops. The purchaser would then separate them, and adapt them to take the spokes of their cart wheels. With a bit of work, I thought, they would make splendid lamp bases. Space was somehow found for three of them.

The next day was planned to be an easy drive back to the ferry, taking in a vide grenier or two and a visit to the antiques dealer at Crépon on the way. Moe had other plans – she had decided to do Big Breakdown. Three gallant men in a village came to my rescue. After pushing her and bringing a battery to her, all to no avail, they finally rigged up a rope and towed her down the road until she kicked into life. Hands were shaken, they refused a proferred note to buy themselves a drink with, and waved me on my way. But less than an hour later Moe died on a roundabout outside Bayeux. She coasted into a cul de sac and we waited two hours to be winched onto a recovery vehicle and taken back to the dockside at Ouistreham. The driver might just have come from his Sunday lunch as he seemed very haphazard, and not too bothered about attaching straps to the wheels – so as we headed to the coast I kept checking that we hadn’t lost her at each sharp turn! Looking on the bright side of things, I couldn’t really have got anything more into Moe, at least I wasn’t empty when I broke down! Moe is deposited on the quay with the “big boys.” And as I wander off along the boardwork with the crowds all around, enjoying their summer weekend, I am quietly relieved to be there. Later that evening Moe is towed onto the ferry and we are met the following morning in Portsmouth by a recovery vehicle (who does put straps on the wheels, what a nice man) and up we drive to my local garage. Graham meets me there and we transfer as many small items into his car as possible. Sometimes it’s just so nice to get home.

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