Place des Deux Fontaines

I wanted to visit a dealer in a nearby village full of fountains and winding streets.  The shop was yet to open as we squeezed into a narrow parking space opposite.

A small vide grenier was quietly setting up on the main tree lined promenade, although nothing clamoured to be bought.  So we sat on the terrace at The Café du Cours, with time to watch the sparrows.

We returned to the shop as the owner emerged to fill a watering can from one of the fountains in the Place des Deux Fontaines.  We wandered over as he tended his plants.  He and his partner were charming and welcoming, and there was much to be considered and negotiated in their shop and cobwebby storage space  nearby.  A chicken wire fronted book case, beautifully shaped bedside tables, carved doors, an 18th century gold mirror, paintings and wall sconces from the home of the late tenor, Georges Thill, who had had a house nearby. All lovely. (Anticipating I’d be buying at least a couple of pieces of furniture here I’d arranged for a shipper to rendezvous here later in the week.)

As we were winding our way out of the village we misjudged a turn.  With a horrible metalic screech the little car jerked to a halt, front wheel in a concrete channel flowing with water.  Before I got through to the car hire assistance, two couples and a baby strolled by.  It will be quicker if we help, said the men. Someone else driving by jumped out of his van and with the car in reverse and a lift from four strong chaps all was resolved in three minutes.

We were staying outside Barjols near a Village d’Antiquaires in an old tannery.   There was plenty to look at and I fitted a table, folding garden furniture and a large still life of bread, onions and wine into the back of the car.  Graham unfortunately succumbed to gastric troubles and lay in a darkened room for three days.

So a couple of times more I wandered down, through hot pine, thyme and rosemary, to the Village d’Antiquaires and talked with the dealers there and drank fresh herb infusions.  And at the weekend vide grenier in Barjols, held at the local athletics track, I saw a few familiar faces and was greeted with handshakes and kisses.

The shipper was already parked up and loading when I arrived later in the week to deposit my new purchases.  When all was safely heading towards England I joined the charming shop owners in a café just across the Place, from where they could sit and keep an eye on the shop.  An appealing pace of life.


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