Picture it. Beautiful, sunny, Sunday morning in the medieval French village of Tourrettes-sur-Loup.
Everyone is up early. It is Vide Grenier day. This simply means, empty your loft. And people do, believe me, they do.
Mind you I can’t believe that chaise longue and that Grecian urn, were ever in anyone’s loft…
However, back to my humble offerrings.
I do not have the ‘shopping gene’. Buying clothes, shoes, jewellery etc is something I do out of necessity. Actually, forget jewellery.
I put off buying shoes until they quite litterally fall apart.
Then I go headlong into the nearest shoe shop, point, try, hobble, smile, say OK and pay.
What’s that thing about acting in haste and repenting at leisure. Been there, done that.
So I have, amongst other things, a very nice pair of shoes which were worn for approximately seventeen and a half minutes before I admitted my mistake. Too tight, heels too high. Bugger.
So here we are, months later and I am trying not think about how much they cost and more about the pittance I am about to receive from some lucky buyer.
A young lady zooms into view, her eyes locked onto my shoes. Nope, didn’t think to take a picture, sorry.
How much? she says. 5€ I say (choking back a tear) 4€ she says. Nope or non, to be precise. 5€ I say.
Then from nowhere appears a boyfriend. 4€ he says rather forcefully.
Ha! You don’t frighten me, mate. I think. And then I suddenly had a stroke of genius. There are three magic words that us Brits can impart upon our French chums to make them…putty in our hands.
I locked eyes with the boyfriend and said very seriously ( as if giving up my newborn child) 5€ Marks and Spencer!
Marks and Spencer? He mouthed.
I nodded. A 5€ note was produced with a flourish. They both nodded. I had uttered those three little words et voila!
I had to wait until they had walked away before I could laugh. The only thing I ever bought from M&S was a meal for two. I was hungry 😉