Legends from our own lunchtimes

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The last leg
- Einville-au-Jard to Lagarde

A “brocante” or as my dictionary describes it, “junk dealing”, is a tradition that happens in many villages once a year.  Curiously “once a year” turns out to be three or sometimes even four times if one actually counts them, but in order to maintain the level of excitement that only an annual event can muster, when they are held at other times of the year, similar (also annual) events are called “Attic Sales” or even simply held in conjunction with a summer fete.

Collectors and bargain hunters and people who would like to own two decades old baby toys flock from everywhere to find something that they will no doubt regret purchasing long after the thrill of the hunt has subsided.

We are not collectors or bargain hunters, so would not have been up early enough under normal circumstances to wander the streets as the stalls were being set up, but we do like to watch though but we really did have to be in Lagarde in time for lunch so we really did have to depart in time to get to the first lock when it opened, and that left us with precisely ten minutes up our sleeves to browse the kilometres of stalls.

We moved for just a few hours through clearing fog, past throngs of Sunday fishermen, with the old familiar happy-sadness creeping in to the periphery of our brains as we entered each lock, drawing inevitably closer to the end of another season.

We consoled ourselves with the thought that Lagarde wasn’t supposed to be a homecoming.  We were just going to stay for lunch and return in a week or so to start the wintering process.

But as the day and the conversation rolled along we felt ourselves settling in, becoming comfortable in our old surrounds, among old friends, and wondering if we have moved for the last time this summer.


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