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Wednesday, 1 September 2010


A road trip to France took us over the sea from Calais, and 850 miles south west to a small cabin just inland from the coastal resort of Biarritz.
It took two days to get there, with plenty of stops along the way to break the monotony of the autoroute, and to investigate the vintage options (and the wonderful food).
One evening, weary from a long stretch at the wheel, we arrived in a small town called Etauliers, just north of Bordeaux. It was about 6.30pm, and there in front of me was a dusty little antiques/junk shop, with suitcases spilling out old fabrics and linen, floral crockery sitting in piles, and beautiful old chandeliers piled on the floor. I was not prepared! But I managed to crank into vintage mode, and had a thoroughly good poke around, emerging with a few small items: a pretty old jug with blue floral motif, a small box of sewing items, and an old letterbox for our front door.
After a restorative drink in a cafe, I thought I might nip back for a last look, but the shop was gone. The shutters were down and it had disappeared behind a blank grey facade, almost as if it had all been a mirage.