Thursday, February 5, 2009

What's all this about?

This is a bit of a trial run for me. I'm an English mum, a life-long charity shopper, who has moved with the family to France and discovered the joys of troc, broc, recup' and the wonderful vide greniers! It's like charity shopping (thrift shopping) gone mad!

Here's a quick French/English dictionary:

Troc (short for trocante, I think) - it means 'trading' as in 'barter', but now it's the name given to any kind of second hand/junk/thrift shop, for clothes, furniture, ornaments etc. Huge warehouse shops exist, lots of them with internet selling sites too.

Broc (short for brocante) is a step up from troc - it's vintage French furniture or bits and bobs, not quite fancy enough to be called antique, but better than newish junk.

Recup' (which matches its English counterpart, 'recuperate') is the great French art of using old stuff to make something new - it's been properly used by French artists for at least a century, so it's taken a bit more seriously than in the UK. I think Americans take it seriously too, so that's somthing we Brits could learn!

Vide Greniers (love them, love them) means 'empty attics', and they are basically the garage sales/carboot sales of France. Local charities run them all summer long. I bought my first piece of French vintage stuff at our school vide greniers last year.

Also not to be forgotten: the charity shops run by Secours Catholique in my area, which are by far my cheapest source of clothing, fabric and the occasional ornament.

March├ęs aux Puces (think I've spelt it correctly) are the famous Flea Markets. Believe it or not, I've not been to one yet. This is becoming one of my new life goals, though.

I'm planning to use this blog as a record of exciting shopping trips, finds, and recup' projects, along with anything else interestingly French. I think my mother will be interested, as she brought me up to be the keen thrift shopper I am today! We'll have to see if anyone else is interested....


Anonymous said...

All this time I've been wondering what Troc, Broc and Recup' actualy meant! :o)
Warm Congratulations on Your first year xxx


A Bun Can Dance said...

I love to read how this all started. And though I remember reading your translations of the title before, it's great to have read it again. I love the meaning of Vide Greniers - empty attic - oh if only our attic was empty - but no! ours could do with an extension!!! ha, ha, ha!
Happy days, Floss,
Denise x