Spring has Sprung

Spring has sprung
The grass is riz
I wonder where the birdies is?
The bird is on the wing.
“Don’t be absurd,
The bird isn’t on the wing –
The wing is on the bird!”

Well spring has definitely sprung here in the Dordogne. From the honking of the flocks of geese flying north; to the colourful yellows, blues and whites of daffodils, jonquils and hyacinths shooting everywhere; to the newborn twin lambs in the paddock opposite, there are signs of spring everywhere.

And that other classic sign of a French spring is also shooting up everywhere – vide grenier signs. Almost every village and town in France has an annual vide grenier – literally meaning “empty the attic”. They’re a cross between a flea market, a car boot sale and an antiques fair, with stalls ranging from professional dealers to literally grandma’s old treasures.

Last year I spied a delightful old copper jam saucepan and I asked the grandmere whose stall it was on “How much?” “Oh, très cher”, she replied as my heart sank. “C’est quinze euros.” So I enjoyed the bargain of the century for 15€, and it now takes pride of place on our hearth filled with local walnuts. Come and explore these national treasures yourself, and see what amazing French souvenirs you can find.

We are busy putting the final touches on the renovation works, so that we will be ready for our first guests in mid-May. It has been an adventure and a half, coming to grips with not only the language but the paperwork which is a national pastime here. And sourcing artisans has been an eye-opener but we managed to find some great ones and are so pleased with the outcomes! We hope you’ll come and see them for yourself…