|my first piece of Quimper|
just separated from my first husband and was working in a small public library where one of my jobs was to sort mail and to affix suitable posters to a noticeboard.
My attention was instantly caught by a scene of sunflowers and market umbrellas. Remember that this was a time when French décor items were not everywhere and as the mother of an 11 year-old, I certainly did not own such things! I had just received a cash settlement and I decided at that moment to enrol in French classes in the little village of Montaigut-le-Blanc in the Auvergne.
The centre on Montaigut was owned by an artist, Paul Deggan and his French wife, Babette, who spent summers in France and who lived in North Vancouver in the winter. You can read about the Deggans and how they restored houses in Paul's book. The experience was one that altered my life. I became a woman who could decide to travel alone and who became increasingly comfortable in la belle France. Madame Là-Bas definitely has Auvergnant origins!
|side plates from my first adventure|
I do not have a lot of pieces of Quimper but each piece tells a story of a place or an adventure. Sometimes, when I am travelling and find a brocant, I look for a hidden treasure. Quimper does not seem popular in the North-West but I have found a piece of two.
I also found The Quimper Inn, my favourite bed and breakfast in Port Townsend, Washington. Ron and Sue, who own the Inn are also francophiles and Quimper collectors. Staying at the Inn is like visiting with friends.
Two years ago, when I was in Paris, there was a vide-grenier (empty your attic) sale near my apartment. Voilà, the condiment dish. Le monsieur wrapped it for me and it arrived home safely to join the others.
With the Internet, I could order other pieces of Quimper but I will not. My collection is not just a collection of dishes but a collection of memories and experiences. When I am an older lady, I might not be able to travel as much but I will always be able to look at my first pieces of Quimper and remember the inexperienced young woman stepping out alone for the first time!
|in front of our door in Montaigut-le-Blanc|