Tag Archives: puces

Hibernating fleas

Sunday morning early starts are over for the year. Last Sunday was the final pre-dawn break for the border two hours before the Shipping Forecast.

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Collecting stereotypes

Like the grizzly Manxman on the Pequod I was born ‘in the little rocky Isle of Man’. I confess that neither have I his ‘preternatural powers of discernment’ nor was I ‘taught….by the old witch in Copenhagen’. But I can spot a salmon or a stereotype on a good day at 20 paces. Continue reading

Flohs and Puces – flea markets of Germany and France

The flea markets on the French and German sides of the Rhine in Alsace and Baden-Württemberg have evolved separately and have developed their own distinct characteristics and culinary delights. Continue reading

Fumbling French Flea

A big plus of living in the heart of Europe is the option, without any lists or planning to just throw tent and stuff on the bike or into the car and without any online-booking bollocks simply escape across a border or two. Continue reading

The cake scale

Let them eat cake every 160.9344 km” (attrib. Queenie Marie Antoinette)

I brought my trusty push-bike and my scented running shoes to Southern Germany and though I have succeeded in re-calibrating the bike’s odometer to kilometers I am still stuck in thinking in the Queen’s finest olde Imperial.  Continue reading

Fishing for Fat Lava

“Fat lava” is a term used to describe ugly German ceramics, usually vases, from the 60s & 70s. There is a European Directive that all antique shops must have a large brown Fat Lava vase in the corner for gathering dust and walking sticks. The term is now used as a interweb search key for pretty much any German ceramics from 50’s to 80’s whether or not the glaze is lava-like, thick, fat or thin, bubbly, cratered or drippy. As a result of the success of a new invasive species in Germany, Cheapus Vases Ikeas, Fat lava vases are now all migrating across the channel to make a last stick-stand in a corner of what will be forever, Retroland. Continue reading