Monday, 8 September 2008

Another year, another Braderie and still no chairs.

Once again this year, I didn't get a chance to do the photo-documentary I was planning on doing for the Braderie. But I've actually realized that you can't catch the Braderie in photos - it's more in the smell and sounds and some fuzzy electrical excitement in the air. And man does this city stink after a weekend of beer, vomit, public urination and mussel eating!

This year was not a total flop though. I once again ran the 10k (having decided a couple weeks ago that the half-marathon was a little too much for a sleep deprived young mother who needs energy on the weekends to do home renovation). Unlike last year when I ran alone to raise money for cancer, this year I latched onto a group called Running 4 Life which is actually sponsored by Decathalon (the big sporting goods store). I'm not exactly sure what they do to support cancer besides provide t-shirts and have 100+ employees run in the Lille race, but it was good to not have to repeat the humiliating charity performances of the past. And for some odd reason, I ran 2 minutes faster than last year and 5 minutes faster than 5 years ago. I was almost as fast as 10 years ago. I'll chalk it up to having gone through difficult labor with Suzanne.

The other important part of the Braderie is of course eating mussels. Jérôme and I actually met while I was cleaning mussels in his mother's house 8 years ago just before I left France forever. So this year, I decided to start the mussel tradition with us and I of course used traditional French ingredients like lemon grass and curry to make the best mussels I've ever had. no really, I don't like to toot my own horn, but these were damn good.

And then there's the Braderie itself which is always exciting until you actually start looking at people's stands and you realize there isn't all that much there besides lots of useless junk. I spent a total of 1 euro on a single piece of clothing for Suzanne. So the elusive bistrot chairs and looza glasses (we had one that we stole from a café in Belgium about 7 years ago and have been looking for more ever since) Jérôme and I have been looking for for the past 5 years will elude us for yet another year (I hope not 'cause we only have 3 chairs at the moment...)


Papadesdeux said...

I am going to have to try that mussel recipe. (I also use the Epicurious site often for recipe ideas.) Mussels have always scared me for some reason or another which is ridiculous because basically you clean them and steam them and toss out the bad ones. I don't know what my block has been about unless it is just the fact that we can go around the corner and eat them at a restaurant for peanuts. Yep, now that I think of it, that might be the reason. Lazy.

Anonymous said...

i would have loved to do a photodoc of the braderie too but there's no way that can happen in those crowds with two little kids!

the three year old loves the braderie -- all those cheap toys! and bargaining with kids, what could be better?

and thanks again for the post on tips and hairdos. i went today (sigh) and was delighted not to give any extra money over!

Here, There, Elsewhere... and more said...

I've always found that it's when I'm not looking (at brocantes) for something specific that I make the best buys - if I go searching for something specific, I always come home empty-handed.
Good luck with your search..:)

NewWrldYankee said...

Too bad you cannot bottle the wonderful smells and sounds, and post them around. I think it would go off by the time I got it. =)

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