Els Encants


The Els Encants flea market and the odd alleyways that branch off from it enchant my daughter, who simply could not contain herself. Wouldn’t you do a little dance in the air if you stumbled upon a place so full of character?  The vertical leap, she gets from her dad, who used to have a nice one back in his college ball days. The vintage obsession she gets from her mother, who loves “antiguedades” as much as anything else on earth, unless it’s good chocolate. Or a good book.


What makes your kids jump for joy? Whatever it is, let’s help them jump, shall we?

My middle daughter currently has an obsession with kitchen herbs, and, having obtained an Italian parsley plant now struggling to grow out on our terrace, she has plans to expand her “garden” to include basil, oregano, and rosemary.  We plan to help her develop her green thumb.  (Stay tuned for more on that!)

Once, years ago, when I was in high school, I won a modest prize in a poetry contest. My mother, convinced I’d done something grand, accompanied me to the college campus where the winners were being honored, and we made a day of it, soaking up the salon-like atmosphere, stopping for lunch afterwards. My poem was not special. She may have known that. But for her, the girl who wrote it was. I’m smiling right now as I think about the very big deal she made out of a very small one, like I’d won the Nobel at age fifteen.

I suppose all teenagers want to be able to chuckle to themselves, imagining that their doting parents, too blinded by affection to know any better, just can’t help but celebrate the little victories that wouldn’t seem to warrant any celebration. What a gift we give them, letting them believe we cannot help ourselves, when we know very well that the passions and triumphs they believe to be small are, in truth, the things that matter most.


Here’s to joyful dances in alleyways. And happy fussing over how to care for temperamental parsley plants.

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Love At First Type

by Becky on October 16, 2012

in Design, Travel

Saw several of these at the Els Encants Market in Barcelona. and my heart skipped a beat.  Or a keystroke.  Or a something.


When I was growing up, we had one of these!  In fact, it was all we had, if we wanted to type something.  In middle school, my mother typed up my papers on it.  I loved the rapid-fire sound, and how straight she sat as she worked, and how seriously she took the business of making what I’d written out longhand look So Professional.  Miss Lavender thinks it would be great fun to pick one of these up and make jaunty bracelets out of the keys, the way some enterprising artisans are doing these days.  But could I bear to separate the keys from the body of the typewriter?  Or is the idea of flicking my wrist so folks can glimpse my strand of movable type beginning to seduce me just a bit?  Hmm.  Have a look-see and tell me what I ought to do!

Typewriter Bracelets

Spiffy, no?  Love that Shift Lock key!

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