Clare of Summerfete asked, the other day, about the meaning of my blog name. It's a good question! Here are some definitions, both from the dictionary, and in terms of what the name means to me.
troc: nom masculin - barter, exchange, swappingSo that's the dictionary definition: 'troc' means swapping or bartering. As you can see above, in modern France it's becoming the word to describe second hand shops - 'deposit... we sell' proclaims one of our favourite winter shopping grounds. I bought Raja's kennel there - you can see it in my first picture.
In the summer, however, most of the second hand shopping goes on out of doors, in the Vide Greniers ('Empty Attics') which are held in each town in turn.
All year round we visit the Charity Shops, which are fewer in number but larger than those in Britian; the Braderies, (below) like over-organised jumble sales, tend to run in spring and autumn to help people offload/stock up on seasonal clothes.
So, in my mind, if not quite in the dictionary, all of these second hand outlets come under the definition of 'troc'. I bought my cake stand in the troc shop near work.
Broc' is a step up from troc!brocante: nom feminin - dealing in antiques, antiques
Vide Greniers often have great brocante stalls - the line between Vide Greniers and Flea Markets is unclear at times, although I think prices might be better at VGs.Some brocante is really over-priced, in my opinion. However, ephemera seems to be undervalued so I buy it up whenever I can!
Who could resist these little mementoes of past lives?
I sent two of these to Sarah in New Zealand!
Sometime I can afford other broc too.
And now to our last definition...
récupérer: verbe - to recover, to make up, to salvage
Récup' has a great history in France - the painting above by Juan Gris (1913) uses 'printed bar room ephemera including labels, packaging and advertising leaflets', which 'were the trademark ingredients of of the Parisian Cubist's collages', or so the book below tells me.
This is the 'Make Do and Mend' side of troc and broc!
Most of my recuperations tend to be fabric-based, like the mended basket above, or this battered trunk recovered in denim from an old skirt.
I like to up-cycle clothes too, as the phrase goes! You can see that récup' is what we variously call recycling, upcycling, repurposing etc... It's fun, cheap and environmentally friendly - what's not to like?
I was brave enough to récup' something non-fabric-based this week, thanks to the inspiration of Sarah from A Beach Cottage. Feeling a lot like her, but less Aussie, I found these battered old shelves by the side of the road a few months ago and brought them home. They were hideously stained, but after a wash of white (very Sarah) and two washes of blue (very Floss) I think they look fun for holding some house plants that desperately needed some summer fresh air on our covered terrace.
So that is it: troc, second hand trading; broc, low-grade antiques and récup', repurposing. Thrifty, vintage, fun and environmentally friendly!
The OTHER Bob Almond
15 hours ago