I drove off happily to a local brocante fair sunday morning, blissfully unaware of what was about to happen. The valley was beautiful, wheat fields and poppies swaying in a gentle breeze.
It was the sort of country fair I like best, vendors seeting up their stands in a field in the centre of an old stone village, the sun was shining, I didn’t intend to stay long – just wander around, buy a few things then shoot off to the boulangerie and home in time for breakfast en famille. My sort of Sunday morning.
The first part of the plan went swimmingly. I bought these chocolate moulds, some grain sacks , a couple of vases because I am convinced that I can never have enough of those, and a chair that will be great once re-upholstered. An old sign, some plates, and a wicker basket.
I bought a crate full of plants that are already in the garden so I can’t show you those and I bought a rather lovely mannequin with a slim waist, which means she is at least 130 years old, poor girl.
So far so good. The trouble started when I made my first trip back to the car to unload my smaller purchases.
My car key, that I had carefully stowed away into the pocket of my jeans was no longer there, and as I frantically ran my hands through every pocket I was wearing the truth dawned upon me – My key could be anywhere in the long grass in either of the two large fields used for the fair, which several hundred people would visit and trample that day.
Needle in a haystack to the power of ten.
I will spare you all the gritty details, but suffice it to say, that two hours later, having alerted half the fair, offered a reward and generally made a nuisance of myself, I was brought home by a friend, clutching my purchases which by then had lost their appeal.
My foolishness hung over me like a dark cloud all day long, but in the evening I wearily jumped on a bike and rode the mile or so back to the location of the fair…. just in case. There was my car, standing all alone in the field, like a child forgotten at the school gate.
Determined to have one last look around the car, I half-heartedly pedalled across the field and as I drew closer, I could see a bit of paper stuck under the windscreen wiper.
“I have your car key, call me at this number, Louis”
The next morning, a bottle of champagne in my hand, I met up with Louis, aka The Saint, who had left the note. I had to insist upon him accepting my thank you gift, although frankly I would gladly have given him a whole crate of bubbles, let alone a bottle!
As I drove home in my car, I couldn’t help but reflect on the little and big things we can do each day, and which can make such a difference to someone elses life.
Merci Louis, you have brightened the start to my week.