I find it is always either feast on famine at flea markets and car boots, and today was no exception.
I love wandering around & searching out long forgotten or discarded treasures but, easily distracted by people watching & evesdropping, I inevitably miss a bargain in the process. This flea market is so colourful, it is very difficult to concentrate on the task in hand. The faces and voices combine with the wafting aromas of frying merguez sausages, fresh oily coffee and cigarette smoke to create a hypnotic headiness which draws you away from here towards North Africa and far away from the task at hand.
Today I tried to keep my head down & focussed, so I did my best to ignore the Moroccan tagines, the drum-playing father & son duo and the guys strumming guitars to advertise their sales in the far corner. Now that I have my lovely canary yellow rectangular Le Creuset 1970's cocotte (bought here earlier in the year), I'm trying to find smaller items that are more useful for everyday cooking. The focus was again cast iron. The trick, I have learnt, is to check the insides carefully - by touch rather than by eye. Often rust and dirt is just superficial, but chips that look quite superficial can be deep into the enamel which will flake further in use. Today was a good day ...
I won't mention the set of simple fluted ice cream glasses that disappeared from before my eyes into the bag of a lady in front me ...
... nor the fruitless search for an orange 1970s trim-phone (never return to market with the hope of finding a treasure you forgot to buy on your last visit!).
By 12 we were back home & ready for lunch: pumpkin soup, salad, wine & cheese, shared with family and singing birds in the gentle autumnal sunshine.
I know there is a flaw in my plan. Budget airlines mean budget baggage allowances, so it will no doubt take me a few visits to get all this home, but patience is a virtue and maybe on our next visit we'll take the train instead.
Puces de la Mosson, Montpellier, France.Bus: 15 from the city centre to Pierre du Coubertin, get off at stop "Europe" (follow the crowds!)
Every Sunday from 6am to 1pm, check here for any known cancellations.