Saturday 6 July 2013

Buying HO Scale Trains at Brocante Vide Grenier

Drove to Seignosse Ocean where a much advertised brocante vide grenier (boot sale without the boots) was to be held. It was quite a busy one and for me very successful.

The usual collection of daft stalls.

This chap sold live painted snails which seemed to do tricks

You can perhaps see this one emerging from its shell to eat bread.

First stop was a haggling session with a husband and wife team over a Spanish made HO scale Simca 1000, a rear engined car that came out in 1961. By the way, SIMCA stands for Société Industrielle de Mécanique et Carrosserie Automobile.
Haggling process:
Me: (Pointing at little green Simca.) "Combien, monsieur?"
Monsieur: "Le prix?"
Me: (Aha, he's playing for time.) "Oui, le prix."
Msr: "7 euros."
Me: (Incredulously) "7!!!"
Msr: "7."
Me: (Holding up 5 fingers on one hand and two on the other.) "7!!!!!!!"
Msr: (Also holding up 5 fingers on one hand and two on the other.) "7."
Me: (Lapsing into English.) "But I've bought these things for 2 euros!!"
Msr: "7."
Me: "2 euros."
Msr: "7."
Me: "4." (I should have said 3.50 but couldn't remember what French for 50 was.)
Msr: "5."
Me: "4."
Msr: "5".
I smiled and walked away shaking my head. I can report that I felt absolutely hellish losing this battle over 1 euro.
Anyway, came across a real surprise, a table devoted to French HO scale trains. Where, without any haggling, I bought this Jouef locomotive for £20 and the chap had a little bit of track and showed me it working, head lights as well.
The stall.

The locomotive.
Anyway, back to the stall to eat humble pie and buy the Simca 1000.

Rather pathetically, I pretended that I only had 4 euros and 75 centimes in change.  By the time the chap's wife had counted out all the little coins (I had wanted to get rid of all these 1s and 2s) and announced to him that there was only 4.75 and not 5 euros, he just shrugged his shoulders and she did the deal. His parting remark was that the car would have cost 10 euros on the internet. I'm pretty sure that's not true but didn't have sufficient French to continue the debate. Anyway, we all shook hands afterwards.

Simca 1000.
Currently listening to:

Alex Smoke:

I was lying in bed last night thinking about what were my 5 most listened to artists over the last 18 months or so. I'm pretty sure this is an accurate list:

1) Hot Chip
2) Eels
3) Alex Smoke
4) Teenage Fanclub
5) Chinese Man

Have managed to see the first two live in Glasgow this past year. Almost saw Alex Smoke but my leg was too painful, it was standing only at the venue and he was on last.  I couldn't wait long enough for him to come on stage. Teenage Fanclub are pretty well disbanded; and Chinese Man are from Marseilles and don't seem to come to the UK.

Last night's dinner:

Cod in tomato sauce with rice
Cost per head with 2 euro bottle of wine: £6.50

Coffee in paper cup:

In the afternoon, cycled out to nearby village of Messanges where I visited the local church and recited the 14 Stations of the Cross in the old silent building.

The church at Messanges

Jesus falls for a third time.
Then sat down at a little café for my daily session of Sartre with café crème. The coffee came in a paper cup (disappointing) but actually tasted OK. But, weather wise, it was far too hot to read - could hardly see the page it was so bright. So just dozed in the sun for 20 minutes.

Cycle tracks in France:

All over France there are cycle tracks and I think the one I was on today was on old railway track. It's straight as a die and this building is right next to it at Vieux Boucau - it looks like an old railway station to me.


  1. well done on the haggling - with a bit of training you'll get the next car for 3e

  2. I have two brothers-in-law, both of whom, and each in their different way, are brilliant hagglers. In these situations I think, how would they have handled things.