Friday, September 7, 2012

Malcolm's Brocante finds in Paris and its Snowing like Crazy here

Hi guys
I'm unable to post properly today. I'm in Thredbo, it's snowing like crazy, we are coming home today but unsure if we'll get out. Mr Beach House is gunna freak. He's snoring as I write, so has no clue about what lies ahead in terms of shovelling this morning. The kids and I on the other hand hope we get snowed in and have to stay.

Anyhow Malcolm's been at it again. Leaving funny comments on by blog about his Paris life. I can't seem to pin him down on a guest post, so at this stage we'll have to put up with his wonderfully lengthy and informative comments. I might get him to put a container of Brocante together and send it to Australia for us girls. What do you think?

His "Mrs" whom he refers to, is a lovely kids' doctor. She's French and perhaps just doesn't get our passion for this stuff.

Anyway, here's Malcolm's thoughts and vintage finds from the Parisian roadside

Les Miserable has left a new comment on your post "Have You Heard The One About the Day I went to a C...":

I was walking through our Paris 15th quartier with an Australian mate and came across a mirror thrown out on the footpath - a large old mirror. Then a Polish worker came out of an apartment building with another. "Very old" he says. I give him €5 and leave my mate guarding them while I go look for something to carry them back to my basement. You do know what a large 100 year old Parisian mirror is worth? They go for at least €150 in the "Brocante" and the market stalls. And I'd just scored two of them for €5.

So I grabbed a pram out of the cellar and went back to get the mirrors. 'cept now there are 6 mirrors - couple of them with ornate gold frames - the rest rather plain. Not only that, my resourceful mate has offered a guy €5 to deliver them. So I now have 6 large 100 year old mirrors - the type that go over the fireplaces in those old "pierre de taille" Parisian apartments. (Pity I can't enclose pics of them) I figure there must be €1000 worth - but apart from that - they look great.

I'm always finding stuff on the street. I open every large can of paint I find. I sometimes come home with 20 litres of perfectly good enamel. I bring home timber panels, lengths of "quad", antique toys, games..all sorts of stuff."Her indoors" is a bit embarrassed that I do it. But she was impressed by the mirror find. "Very old" (said with thick Polish accent) - Dude was very happy when I gave him €5 too.

Boy that old bag next to you was cheeky eh?

Oh yeah - I have an old - God knows how old - mahogany "piano" desk in the cellar too. Another "find" from the street. Solid but needs restoring. Like this one -

I just love Malcolm's adventures don't you?

I reckon the Polish guy makes me look like I charged way too much at the car boot sale. It's interesting the value people put on things isn't it?

So no shots, sorry, but I am blogging in a white out. I'll probs be posting lots of snow shots on instagram later this morning. If you care to, you can follow me for that if you search desireempire over there and want to play along.

Later peeps. Oh and for anyone thinking about robbing the beach house, I already thought of that, we have house sitters.

See you soon gorgeous people.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Today I am linked up here


  1. SNOW? Oh, my! That would have been welcomed here this summer. Enjoy!

    Have a great weekend!

    GIVEAWAY ends 9/9


  2. Your notes from Malcolm are priceless!

  3. I love Malcolm's stories - how fun to find those things on the streets of Paris!
    Have fun in the snow- it's supposed to be 31C here today!

    1. Oh 31C I've almost forgotten how that feels.

  4. You should definitely come to some kind of arrangement with Malcolm to ship over some Brocante!

    Stay warm in the snow! I hope you make it back to Sydney okay.

    Your comment about the housesitter made me think - there should be a service for bloggers where you could trade houses - for example, someone in Sydney might like to come to the USA for 2 or 3 weeks and stay in my house in Fort Worth. I could go and visit their house in Sydney in exchange :)

    1. Thanks Susan, back safely.
      Agree that bloggers swapping houses would be so much fun. Great idea.

  5. WOW snow-I'm dying here in over ninety degree heat and too much humidity.

  6. SNOW!!!!! Oh, how refreshing!
    Smiles across the many many miles.

  7. Hey Carolyn, happy to swap our Lorne beach house for yours? Happy ski-ing and YES!!! Bring on our Summer xxD

  8. Hello
    Thank you so much for the lovely comments you left on my blog. I appreciate you reading and writing to me.

  9. Love it. Thanks Malcolm......very much ;o)
    You cracked me up about the robbing the house bit.
    Tania xx

  10. 30° C in Gay Paree today. Went for a bike ride. Ended up at a classic car meet at "The Standard Athletic Club" - a sporting club for English ex-pats.

    Place was fully loaded with English Public School types and French snobs from the 16th Arrondissement. But they had some lovely motors parked on the cricket pitch...and a barbeque about to start so I pedalled back to Chez Malkie to see if "Her Indoors" and les deux enfants fancied a posh nosh and a gander at old Jags, Austin Healys, Royces, a Bugatti and the odd Ferrari and Maserati.

    Could only interest 4 (nearly 5) year old Eleanor so we got my classic Benz out and toddled off to play "Upper Class Twit of the Year" with the nobs. 'Cept I refused to wear "de rigeur" Twit uniform of White straw hat, striped shirt, cargo shorts, boat shoes and a plummy Pommy accent.

    Eleanor looked her gorgeous self in a summer frock but I settled for Gap denim shorts and a khaki T. I'm sporting a tan from 6 weeks in Provence and I must admit the formerly "Skinniest Legs in Captivity" are now looking very buff - been doing a lot of riding. was a bit of a fizzer.

    The barbeque turned out to be a choice of hamburgers supplied by a caterer or sad-looking weiners or herbed drumsticks...bit of what the French call "salad" - meaning Batavia lettuce...and it looked like you got a slice of baguette as well. For...wait for it...€10 a pop - even for the kid. About $15 - each. $30 for a poor-excuse for a barbie?

    Fair dinkum. We were hungry too. But I don't have a tattoo on my head reading "STUPID" (I have one on my neck reading "dickhead" but that's another story).

    And to top it on there was a queue of English Upper Class Twits a mile long. All braying and chattering amongst themselves about the tennis match they'd just played or the millions they'd just scored in bonuses from the bank ...and was Nigel bringing his new Bentley and wasn't Cressida's new Nanny a hoot. Reminded me of the Oxford/Cambridge boat-race...or Cricket Day at Eton. Meanwhile their "fags" were getting in the Peroni beers and the Benson & Hedges Special Persons cigarettes - or whatever pretentious English twits smoke when they're at a Classic Car meet in Gay Paree.

    Now don't get me wrong...I like the English...some of them. In fact I'm taking luncheon with a Brit in Cannes on Wednesday (pronounced "can" don't you know). I'm taking the TGV down to look at a restored 46 year old Land Rover this chap has for sale.

    Now I don't really need a restored 1966 LandRover. But I can see myself tooling around the Provence fields in this little beauty - sans top - like the second photo down -

    Or I could take it to next years Classic Car Meet and do doughnuts on their precious cricket pitch. Or put it in Four-Wheel Drive and run over the marquee. The Twits would probably think it part of the show - "Oh lovely piece of driving old chap!" - as I give them the finger and roar out the gate...running over Cressida's 500 quid Fortnum & Mason wicker picnic hamper and sideswiping Nige's new £220k Bentley Mulsanne.

    "Quelle horreur! That awful Colonial chappie has just creamed Cressida's lovely hamper!"

    Anyway...if the Landy turns out to be less than what it looks like here I'll still have had a nice trip on the choo-choo. 5 hours 20 minutes each way. €125 return. Second Class down/First Class return. You'll be thinking of me I'm sure.

    Perhaps when I get back I'll saunter into the bar of The Standard Athletic Club...with my tennis racquet and Lacoste shirt and mention that I've just got back from "Can". And when the Twits say "Oh - how was it?" I'll reply "Not too bad really...I had a cell to myself and got time off for good behaviour".

    Pip pip...Tallyho!


    1. Is this your idea of a guest post? I am rolling about with laughter. Your take on the English establishment is hilarious. Can only imagine how they feel about you. Keep it coming Malcolm. I can't believe you don't have a regular column with the SMH or something. I almost feel like submitting this piece.

  11. Check the photo -

    "Knocking back a few pints before taking the Healey for a spin - what a hoot!".

    I used to write for the Herald. Google "lambe, paris" Radar blog.

  12. Did you follow the link to the club. I missed their motto - "Setting the standard since 1890".

    Surely we could have some fun with that couldn't we campers?

    "Setting the standard for ex-pat upper-class English assholes since 1890"

    "Setting the standard of quintessential English snobbery abroad since 1890"

    "Setting the standard for crap barbeques since 1890"

  13. What was that you said about keeping my "guest-post" clean and not offending anybody?

    Oh yeah...the funniest bit - they have an "Abuse of alcohol" warning up the side of the Austin Healey poster. Something else we could have some fun with.

    It says "The abuse of alcohol is dangerous for health. Consume with moderation"

    So..."Cressida says: The abuse of alcohol is dangerous for the health of your sports car...and your Fortnum & Mason wicker basket. Please conshider others and schtop after three or four pints.

    Now where has that bloody Nanny gone?"


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