The difference with entering a regular shop is that you never, ever know what, if anything, you will come across. It's the thrill of the unexpected which is so appealing. So, in spite of anything you might have in your head, it's good keep your mind wide open and your eyes peeled.
First time visitors can be quite daunted by the jumble of goods on offer, on neatly arranged trestle tables if one is lucky, but more often than not in ill-assorted boxes, spilling the unedited contents of garages, attics and basements.
But practice makes perfect and and soon it becomes second nature to find treasure winking at you from a table full of mundane stuff, peeking out from under a pile of tat or lurking at the bottom of a carton full of broken bits and pieces.
I was happy to see the brooch lady at last Saturday's flea market. Eagerly, I started browsing through her folders of brooches. She always brings different folders from her lifetime collection of over 3000 brooches, yielding must-haves every time.
It didn't take long for me to find this Lourdes brooch, top right, which needs a bit of cleaning, then the wreath of orange metal flowers (top left). The posy of red hearted flowers (bottom right) instantly appealed to me. Then, out of the corner of my eye, I spotted the miniature tapestry handbag, which obviously had to be mine!
It really looks like a mini version of the handbag I found at another flea market last spring. Truly a match made in heaven!
After lunch, we continued our treasure hunt, which is when we found the navy handbags (right and above) languishing in a carton. They were € 3 each.
The carved ivory coloured plastic beads were a steal at just € 3 too.
At the stall of a lady selling hats and haberdashery, this green depression glass carafe set was hidden among her display of hats.
It's now living on my 1930s marble topped bedside table, where it's feeling quite at home!
Our final purchase was this marble art deco set of bookends, which was only € 4. We were in need of some decent bookends to tame the never-ending stream of books we are bringing back from my dad's. The Shakespeare used to belong to him too!
Speaking of which, we spent Sunday afternoon clearing some more of my dad's stuff. And still we haven't finished sorting through his books! I guess I'm really my father's daughter when it comes to books and I'm sure I inherited my collecting (and hoarding!) gene from him as well ...
These are some of my dad's jazz records, all 10-inch 33 rpm's dating from the 1950s, which have found a loving new home at Dove Cottage.
I can't wait to sort through this box full of assorted family photographs and documents, which will provide hours of entertainment on rainy Sunday afternoons.
I am actually in four of the photographs you can see. Can you spot me?