I finally finished reading Donna Tartt's stunning (and hefty) novel The Goldfinch. I had it signed out of the library for two weeks only and, at over 700 pages, reading that sucker took every spare minute I could find of those two weeks. But more on that later.
The novel, or rather Donna Tartt's exquisite description of Hobie's magical shop in the novel: "...a wilderness of gilt, gleaming in the slant from the dust-furred windows: gilded cupids, gilded commodes and torchieres..." awoke in me a longing for the days when my friend, Mary, and I made almost weekly forays to local antique fairs and flea markets.
In some places we simply admired the artistry of the shop owners, and how their skilfully arranged merchandise recreated a tableau of days gone by. And in other places, we sifted through dusty piles of blue and white china or untangled drawers of old necklaces and bracelets in hopes of finding a treasure. Something that we could rescue from the junk pile, and take home to polish up and admire.
Sometimes we visited shops like this.
Our favourite shop of all was a place called "Now and Again" in the historic, little town of Merrickville, on the Rideau. We made the forty minute drive to Merrickville regularly for years. Every time, and I do mean every time, we drove along the back road that followed the Rideau River, admiring the stone houses, we would try to remember the name of that darned store.
"I'm excited to see what they have at 'Time and Again'," Mary would say. "It's not 'Time and Again'... it's 'Time After Time'... isn't it?" I'd reply. No? Is it 'As Time Goes By'? 'Now and Then'? And then we'd start laughing and try to come up with as many names as we could....which, of course, just made it totally impossible to get it right.
This shot below, kind of reminds me of "Now and Again." They always had a clever assortment of small furniture, collectibles, vintage jewellry, and hats. This is where my vintage hat obsession was born.
Nowadays, I look for old jewellry at the Ottawa Vintage Clothing Show. I wrote a post about the show and about some of my vintage brooches and bracelets and hats back in November; you can read that here.
|Ottawa Vintage Clothing Show 2015 www.ottawacitizen.com|
This is a shot of my two favourite vintage necklaces. The long red and white flapper beads that I bought at "Now and Again," and a black, jet necklace, from the 1930's.... I think.
I still wear them both quite a bit.
The black jet necklace with my black leggings, cream sweater and white tee shirt, and my long, black, leather-trimmed jacket from Elie Tahari. Oh...and my new-ish black and cream Kate Spade purse... a real steal that I snapped up at a Florida outlet last winter.
And both necklaces together, with this outfit from a previous post, where I'm trying to rehabilitate my short, black Theory jacket by combining it with a Gap tee, my leather pants and my Stuart Weitzman loafers.
The boots and brown pants looked good with my cream Gap turtleneck...but the outfit needed something dark against the sweater, and so I thought of this necklace. I bought it at the Vintage Clothing Show, sometime in the nineties.
We're off to France for a month this spring. I'm very excited. Not just because it's France, which is wonderful. But because we're spending a week in Paris. It will be my first time in Paris. The Eiffel Tower and the Louvre, Hemingway and Shakespeare and Co, the home of Chanel and Dior and Celine.
And the Marchés Aux Puces.
Ever since I read Anne Tyler's book The Accidental Tourist (on my friend Grace's recommendation)... I've wanted to visit the flea markets of Paris. Do you know the book? There's a wonderful scene near the end where Muriel lugs bags and bags of treasures, that she bought at a flea market, back to her tiny Paris hotel room, and spills them all out on the bed. Okay.... so I don't plan to buy bags and bags of things. Hubby eyes would roll so far back into his head that they would stick there for sure. And we can't have that.
But I might just find one special, perfect for me, old thing to bring home. One small, beautiful thing that I will wrap up safely and, as Theo in The Goldfinch says, save "from the wreck of time."
If you'll pardon the rampant romanticism, again.
Are you a lover of vintage things?