Mr M and I chîne quite a great deal; a lot of weekends are spent at far flung corners of the city, weaving trough rickety tables set up on streets, up turning plates to see where they were made and dusting glass to see if it's actually crystal. Making sure Daisy isn't trampled on or accidentally "uses the bathroom" on a hundred-year-old painting. We've collected a few treasures in our 'chîne-ing' jaunts, and with every trip I start to dread the time when we have to cart it all back home to the mother land, and resign to just deal with it then when that time comes. We have a problem, I know we're addicted, but we can't stop. I'm on the constant look out for the ideal café/ sugar/ tea jar set for the kitchen and I know Mr M wants the perfect antique enamel Michelin sign for when he finally gets a garage, aka man cave.
The Foire Nationale à la Brocante et aux Jambon (yes, antiques and ham fair), which happens twice a year in March and September, is a special trip for Mr M and me. We discovered it a year ago on a day's date to St Germain au Laye, a little village just a 30 min regional train ride north west of Paris. As the above ground train went over the Ile des Impressionists we saw the familiar tents and displays of a brocante, and after scoffing our lunch in the village jumped straight back on the train to check it out. We've been back each occurrence for a look around and big ham sandwiches since.
And then there's the ham...
I know that when we do move home, eventually, I will just hope we have enough 'souvenirs' to fill our home so as to not miss France too much.
Foire Nationale à la Brocante et aux Jambon
Ile des Impressionists, Chatou
RER station 'Rueil-Malmaison'
For 10 days, Every March and September