Monday, 27 September 2010

Aux petits riens

An ambivalent weekend full of showers and flashes of sunshine. In Schaerbeek last night there was a huge explosion that demolished three houses and killed three people. My first thought was 'but for the grace of God', and my fear of leaving the gas on is back with a vengeance, even though I've lived with electric cookers for over a year now. The iron is also a serious cause for concern.

I'm more or less settled in the new flat now. It finally has a sofa (after a very long Saturday afternoon in Ikea with the new boy, culminating in a desperate stress-binge on Swedish cinnamon rolls), as well as television, wifi and a tumble dryer. My happiness is complete. I can look forward to long afternoons spent sprawled across my sofa in front of Grey's Anatomy on Vijf tv, with the blogosphere at my fingertips and the sweet scent of freshly-tumbled towels in the air.

However, I should probably get some grown-up furniture. By grown-up, I mean sensible things that you can store stuff in. Store as in 'put away in a tidy manner' as opposed to 'leave in the box it came in and pretend it doesn't exist let alone need to be filed'. Specfically a sideboard, a chest of drawers and a dining table with chairs. With this in mind, I set out towards Porte de Namur as soon as the rain held off for a few moments and was very quickly distracted by shoe shops and Fnac.

Eventually I managed to steer myself down Avenue Louise, past Place du Châtelain and onto Rue Américaine.  This is home to Les Petits Riens - essentially a five-storey jumble sale.
Now, I always thought that St Andrews was the undisputed capital of charity shops: all those rich kids casting off last season's Armani or last term's ball dress translates into some serious bargains. But Petits Riens is on another scale entirely. Once I'd wandered around two floors of furniture and got bored I found myself climbing up to the top floor: crockery, old toys and electrical equipment among other things. It's like my parents' loft on speed.
You can browse through shelves and shelves of highly useful objects, such as...

... Irish coffee glasses ...
 ... elderly (and therefore extremely romantic but highly unsuitable for blogging) typewriters...
 ... record players like my Mum and Dad used to have in the eighties...
... and things like this that I can't even identify.

It even has a book store section. All it needs now is for Costa coffee to move in and the rainy Saturday afternoon experience will be complete...

3 comments:

Michael Dembinski said...

Pic 3: tape decks (rather than things for spinning vinyl on).

Pic 4: photographic enlargers.

We'll soon have a generation unable to identify sewing machines!

Lilacspecs said...

I didn't know you moved.
How's it going by the way?

pinolona said...

Michael, ok, ok, I knew they were tape decks but one of them definitely has a record player and the one my parents had had a record player on top too... I'm just trying to find a generic term.
Sewing machine?! as far as I know there's no digital version yet...
What's a photographic enlarger?! Does it enlarge anything or just photos?

Korie, yes I moved this summer. Still in Brussels, slightly bigger flat - mostly so I can cook properly and not go completely insane. It's going great thanks, how are things in Ghent? I'm keeping tabs on your new blog, just have to update my blogroll...