June 2015 archive

Amazing vintage adornment YSL Gripoix four-leaf clover heart pin

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Every Sunday we’re out searching treasures on the available boot fairs in our region, as now is the time for local markets to thrive. Once in while you stumble on an item you’d never expect to find on a “vide grenier”, a boot fair… Ironically the four-leaf clover is the symbol of good luck, imagine finding one and discovering its value. We stumbled onto a 1980 vintage Yves Saint Laurent Gripoix four-leaf clover heart pin.

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Solitary bees the fine grain of our local biodiversity

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A weird, flying insect has taken up residence in a hole of our terrace stone wall. We’re always very alert, as we don’t want wasp nests, let alone “frolons”/hornets on our terrace (they’re massive, big wasps). We were wondering whether we had to fill up the hole and prevent the insect from coming back (which it did the whole time), till we had friends coming over who had more “nature” knowledge than us. “Don’t touch them, leave them, they are solitary bees!” was the answer we got. We said: “It looks nothing like a bee, more like a weirdo insect”!

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Hatpins from the capital of the French hatmaking industry

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blog-pins-main

Where better to find an authentic hatpin, than on the local vide grenier/boot fair in Espéraza, the town known for its history of hat making industry here in the South of France. After all, fakes are a major thing in collecting hatpins. So I was lucky this Sunday, as amidst other interesting finds, I discovered some lovely hatpins on that local market. When my eyes, wondering on every stand, caught the sight of these beautiful and authentic hatpins, I had to buy them for my shop.

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Wildlife in the South of France finding a nuthatch Sitta Europaea

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In the early mornings letting our dogs out, we are always greeted by hundreds of different species of birds singing their hearts out. At night we have the nightingales’ concerts, blending in with hundreds of toads singing, announcing us tomorrow it might rain. This week we were in for a shock: a young nuthatch struck the kitchen window (a reminder for me to hang even more wind chimes, so the birds realize in time they can’t fly through that barrier!).

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Sure survival with a yucca and its Lamparas de Dios

yuccaflower

yuccaflower

Yuccas were always my favourite indoor plants, long before they became the trendy plants they are now. It wasn’t until I arrived in the South of France that I saw them in nearly every garden. No wonder yuccas thrive here, they can be in full sun, but are also able to withstand temperatures as cold as -12 C (10F). You have no idea how useful for humans, this truly magical plant, also known as the Spineless Yucca, Spanish Dagger, Adam’s Needle, Spanish Bayonet and Soapweed or Xompeetro, Perkiiy, Te’ch’ik’u, or Palki in Maya dialects, can be.

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