Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Treasures in my Attic

The entire house is being gently coated with a delicate film of dust with renovations well under way. Up in the attic where the space is neatly divided by an archway the fight is subtly being fought for the 'his and hers' domaine.  But I can see there is some way to go before there is any space whatsoever.  I freely admit to being a horder whilst fervently wishing I was a minimalist and guility reading articles on how to de-clutter and de-stress your life.  But then there's a longing to explore such treasures and rootle through the past whilst DollyDayDreaming as the shafts of sunlight dance on the once loved bric-a-brac laden with rich memories of an exciting past life.

Beautiful exquisite handmade riding breeches with pearly buttons lie alongside heavy leather boots.  Sparkly 60's style evening shoes lay wrapped in tissue in a box with a wonderful illustration for Carcassonne Chaussures.   A trenchcoat from the war lined with bearskin, babies cots for the beloved children of the household, wicker baskets heavy with ancient books, one complete album of old photographs of the Languedoc and hundreds of black and white photographs of soldiers all staring  fixedly ahead.   A fencing mask lies askew, its owner having been a champion swordsman in the French Army, a cavalryman who survived the First World War including Verdin before converting to tanks and following General de Gaulle in the second. Debonnair, dashingingly good looking and the owner of three grand Palazzos in Carcassonne including Number 11.

To the left of the photograph the wooden device that looks like a sledge is in fact a  moine the name for a large wooden frame and it would have had a brazier, of which I have found two, of  glowing embers perched inside it. The frame would make a lovely large warm cave between the top and bottom sheets. It would heat up gradually without any risk of scorching the sheets, placed in your bed by the chambermaid to take away the chill and damp. 

I'm wondering as I write whether you are filled with horror as the story of my attic unfolds or whether, like me, you are loathe to part with one single solitary item until you have found out its history and if by chance someone, somewhere, has a use for all these forgotten treasures.
I think I can be forgiven for a certain amount of lack of progress some days.

Someone posed the question as to when I thought I might be open for business.  'May' I answered confidently.  'May or may not more like it at the rate you're going' came a bossy voice from the background.

No prizes for guessing who uttered THAT. 


60GoingOn16 said...

Now that's what I call an attic, with proper treasures. All I discovered in mine was an ancient, rusty poker. It was hand-beaten and was, possibly, as old as the house (ie 300 years old, approx . . . ) but I did rescue it and it is in daily use again. Nothing as romantic your haul though.

Frances said...

Sally, I definitely on your side of the attic exploration. I know that I would linger over each discovery, and wonder how long it had been in that attic, why no one had discovered/rescued it earlier, how the something was designed, what was its use. Well, that would carry me for the first hour or three.

This post has made me wonder a bit about my own limited hoarding of treasures in this tiny apartment. Perhaps I really should become more ruthless about what I hold on to and what I try to re-home.

You are so provocative, and so much fun to read. xo

bradan said...

I would want to hang on to every little piece and find out all I could about it. It all sounds so exciting, lucky you, have fun!

Ange said...

Just have fun and enjoy...Not everyone gets to go snooping around an attic! Have a lovely time but don't forget your kercheif with all that dust ;-)

ChrisH said...

How enchanting! I'm not much of a horder but I would love to know the stories behind the items in your attic. Oh well, on a practical note, good luck with progress towards your May date.

muddyboots said...

this attic is wonderful, trouble is there is so much stuff you could be lost in there for years!

Debs said...

I'm so envious of your attic. Mine only holds boxes of items that we've put up there. So no surprises, or anything very exciting.

Kitty said...

Looks like heaven to me, I love old treasure troves like that.