I inherited a love for second hand, antique and vintage bric a brac from my parents. I have absolutely no knowledge when something is ‘the real deal’, I just love old things. So whenever there’s a flea market or ‘antique’ market, I love to stroll along the stands, and see if there’s anything I would like to buy.
I have a huge love for old cutlery, crockery, and glasses. I honestly could buy everything pretty that catches my eye. But I’ve made a promise to Ramon (and myself), to not go crazy, and only buy crockery if it has a brown or black toile de jouy , which matches so wonderfully with my grandmothers tableware. Sometimes I hate myself for ever making such a promise, because more often you see blue, red and green toile de jouy, rather than brown or black. But, it makes the findings ever so special, and eager to purchase when I do find something. And then there is another rule I made for myself; it has to be worth the pretty.
Ramon once took me to a famous market in Belgium for my birthday. It was the most beautiful weather, and I loved strolling together with Ramon while eating fresh roasted nuts out of a paper bag. I saw the most beautiful things, which Ramon scratched off the pretty with ease. He always calls those markets ‘junkyard markets’, and if it was up to him, he wouldn’t even be there, let alone spend one dime on all that ‘truly old-’ or ‘made in china-’ junk. But because I love it so much, he also sees when I really love something, and will even haggle for me for a better price. That’s how I bought my ‘wedding ring’.
I had lost the original one, and didn’t wear any for years, until I saw the ring from the movie Miss Potter. I wanted it, and I wanted it badly. Ramon tried to talk me out of it, but after a second time we walked by, he started to haggle for me, in terribly spoken French. And for a good 35 euros, and only if Ramon would put the ring on my finger at the stand, because the stand owner thought Ramon was going to ask me to be his wife, I walked away wearing that ring with the biggest smile. I have the most fondest memories of that day, even though I might have coloured it even brighter after all these years.
And last Sunday, I went to a flea market with my mother.
Here in my hometown, at the most beautiful setting a flea- or ‘antique-’ market could be at. One of the historical estates, which is often used for wedding pictures.
My mother is someone who just as easily get carried away when seeing something pretty. But we stayed strong. We strolled down the market twice, just to make sure we didn’t miss anything. And then it happened…
I told my mom I always keep my eyes out for the wooden toy horse my little wooden soldier had lost. It is a toy from my childhood, which got broken and only the soldier remained. But I never could find it on any of those markets I have visited. ‘But there it is Joyce!’, my mother said with a surprise in her voice.
There was no room anymore to haggle, because we were like two chickens clucking loudly and clapping our wings of joy. But it was a reasonable price thank God, cause we would have bought it anyway. I was too tired to start skipping, but in my mind I was. Besides the fact it was a wonderful, sunny, lovely day spend with my mother, we left with, what felt like a pot of gold.