The Secret Society of the Vintage Shopping Sisterhood – where extra baggage is a desired trait!

by Debra Chappell


When I received the email back in January promoting a  a trip to France and a week long antiques/vintage market tour in Provence – I thought to myself “if only…..”IMG_0125

If only I had the time, if only my current renovation project house was done, if only I didn’t have a baby shower and political fundraiser to plan at same time, if only the two new design projects I’d taken on were further along, if only this, if only that, if only the moon, stars, and my personal horoscope were perfectly aligned and served up to me on a silver platter…

After reading the email, the practical voice in my head said “Fat chance sister, press delete and get on with reality”.  BUT – the other side of my head, the cheeky one that doesn’t like to be told what to do, quietly filed it in the ‘save for further reference’ folder on the sidebar of my laptop, with nary a utterance to the bossy boots  who usually runs the show.

IMG_0206And as if the moon, stars, and my inner Virgo charmed the devil himself, suddenly the project house was finished sooner than planned, I got the baby shower  under control (can you spell c-a-t-e-r-e-r?), the two new design projects are percolating along just fine thank you very much and I just said bugger it to the political fund raiser…at least to the end of summer-(maybe by then the Michael Cohen debacle will take care of it entirely anyway!)

Not exactly a silver platter….but sometimes in life, you just have to settle for Tupperware.

Booking  the tour, my plane ticket and all my hotel rooms spontaneously at the last minute, I thought what the heck, let’s add a few extra days either side of the tour and spend some extra time poking around in Provence and Paris.

Because of the last minute impromptu nature of my decision, none of the usual suspects were available to come along. Undeterred, I charged up my phone battery, IMG_0128loaded the GPS app and have been fine navigating freestyle with just my cheeky broad attitude and bossy boots alter ego for company – they’ve even managed to get along this time and don’t argue too much over where IMG_0114to eat, street directions or finding the right platform on the metro.  In fact, we’ve all had a fine time roaming the unbeaten paths and cobbled lanes of Mouffetard and the Marais, as well as the grand boulevards of St. Germain des Prix.

When it came time to take the scenic train ride down
IMG_0209to Aix en Provence, I loaded up said crew and briefed them on manners, (ok, I bribed them with cafe au lait and a macaroon or three…) and set off to meet my newly baptized brethren, that ancient French secret society known as the Sisters Of Mercy Holy (Crap Look At the Price On This) Flea Market and  Vintage Crusade of St. Jill’s traveling Pilgrimage

Induction into this exclusive and secret sorority involves  mid and post evil rituals of baptism in litres of regional Provençal rose , sacrificial shedding of significant monetary riches, and an entirely secret code of non verbal communication entailing elaborate hand signals, head nodding, and eye rolling which only said annointed members understand.  I would tell you more but don’t want to violate my airtight NDA (Non Disclosure Agreement ) unless Michael Avanatti can represent me.







Suffice to say I’m having a blast with a great group of gals (and one very patient garçon who gets stuck schlepping everybody’s crap – I mean treasures..) and am trying to figure how to hi jack  a large yacht from Monaco to get everything home!

Ciao ciao for now, x and x (one on each side of the cheek)

talk in a few days!