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11 November, 2008

How I Came to Love Plates...or...Help! I Need Plate Intervention!

(I wish the plates in the photos below were mine, but they were either taken in shops or in the Departmental Museum of Brittany located in Quimper.)

Hi all! My name is Debbie and I am a plate addict. I used to be a relatively normal person...I used my plates for eating just like everyone else. It never occurred to me to hang them on the wall. I had no particular fascination for faience or transferware or Quimperware...I don't know if I knew what they were. Then I made a life-changing decision...I moved to France. It seemed the natural thing to do for an aging French teacher...LOL! That is where I discovered PLATES!


In France when there's company, the meals are gloriously l-o-n-g and require the changing of plates with the courses. It is necessary to have several sets of china for at least twelve or be prepared to wash dishes. Now please note that I lived in the country and NONE of my friends had dishwashers. It became part of the ritual for the women to gather in the kitchen at several points during the meal to carry out the process of changing plates.


Some of them were wonderful old dessert plates with different designs of fading flowers...those were my favorites. Some were very modern and reflected the puzzling attraction that the French had at the time for avocado green and bright orange...waaay too 70's for me...been there, done that. They reminded me too much of my harvest gold refrigerator in my first home...yikes!

Mine were white Limoges with wonderful grapevines complete with tiny grapes encircling the plates. I loved them so much that I actually enjoyed washing them by hand...the same pleasure I used to feel when folding my newborn daughter's tiny clothes fresh from the dryer. My apartment was over the auto-├ęcole (driving school) in town and I had to walk by the most fascinating little shop to go almost anywhere. Its display windows were overflowing with stacks and stacks of the most beautiful plates I had ever seen.


I could not pass by without stopping. I actually made a few purchases there, mostly gifts for friends. That was the most magnificent gift I could imagine. I bought what I wished I could have and was chided for spending too much. But I never bought anything for myself. The lady in the shop always waved and smiled. We practically became friends. Then I left when my grandson was born to be with my family. I wished I could pack up my plates and take them with me, but that was impractical. Besides, they have plates in the US, right?


But somehow it was not the same...those American plates. I have bought lots of plates trying to fill the empty spot left by my French plates but to no avail. It's kind of like that Krispy Kreme donut I had to skip when I was pregnant. We stopped by late one night when the "HOT DONUTS" sign was on and everyone got one except me. I couldn't have sugar. I don't care how many Krispy Kreme donuts I eat, I just can't make up for that time I had to do without...sigh. And so it began. I just can't make up for those plates I had to leave behind.

18 comments:

  1. Hi Debbie, You are so pretty! I remember you from RMS. You always left me such kind comments. I found you on Kristens tonight. Your blog looks great and the plates are amazing. Look at all of them. Wow! I have a new blog and would love you to visit. You're always welcome. ~Warmly, Melissa

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  2. Hi Deb, The music started my journey to France. I can't believe you did this. I am totally impressed. I think you will be bringing something new to blog land with your stories of France and the quest for perfect plates and new ways to display them. The only thing missing is the colors blue and yellow,I am partial to your dining room. I will be back often and will look forward to a new journey with my new friend.Merci, Kathysue

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  3. Hi Debbie...well, girl...we sure do have a lot in common! I am a serious plate addict, too. I think I would have cried having to leave all those amazing plate back in France! Wonder if you could find some on eBay...ummmmm. Other things we have in common...I love kitty cats...have had as many as 3 at one time. I just have Max right now...who I adopted from a no kill shelter (Good Mews). I think he may be a Norweigian Forest Cat based on his coloring and size. And finally, I also live in Metro Atlanta...in Marietta actually. It would be too funny if you had taught at Pope...my son took 5 years of french while there. :-) Great to meet you! Loved reading your plate post and about your kitties. Susan

    P.S Don't know if you are into gardening but we have a wonderful gardening club here in Marietta. Rose (A Santamakers Journey) attends the monthly meeting sometimes...fun meeting other bloggers. :-)

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  4. Susan told me about your blog and gave me the link. So glad she did. I have never collected plates, but can certainly understand after reading your blog, why you do. I hope to learn a great deal from you.
    I read once that the things that leave the deepest impression on our psyche are our regrets or missed opportunites (a longing for what might have been). For you it may have been the missed doughnut or the loss of you plate collection. For each of us it is something different.

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  5. HELLO DEB,SUSAN TOLD ME ABOUT YOU ALSO.I LOVE YOUR BLOG AND LOVE,LOVE,LOVE THE PLATES.I AM BRAND SPANKING NEW TO THIS ALSO,COME BY AND SEE ME..http://Ann-jamesaskeltonyahoocom.blogspot.com/..ANN

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  6. Hi Debbie, It is so nice to meet you..I remember you from RMS and how kind you were with your comments.. I too have a "serious addiction" to plates and dishes in general. I would have cried like a baby having to leave all these beautiful plates behind. Thank goodness you didn't have to leave those wonderful memories behind..abit sad that the donuts just don't taste the same..lol.. Thanks so much for swinging by the blog.. I'm going to love visiting yours...hugs ~lynne~

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  7. Hi Debnbie,
    Yep, that was Max on the ottoman...he's huge, isn't it...built for lovin, not speed. LOL Hey, I was going to let you know...I told one of my friends about your blog and she wanted to leave a comment, but couldn't. I think under the "comment" section you may have it set where only registered Blogger folks can leave comments. You may have it that way on purpose...but if not, you can check the box that says "anyone" can leave a comment and that way more folks can tell you how much they love your blog! :-) Oh, and yes, we should get together sometime...that would be great! :-) Susan

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  8. Debbie, I love your blog. Very interesting journey into your plate world, and so much fun. I love the tour of France, and you know I love your home. Can't wait to read more. Marty

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  9. Welcome to 'blog land'. I found you by way of Melissa, so glad I did! LOVE your plates! Hope you stop by soon & visit me.
    Carol

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  10. Hi Deb! How neat that you lived in France! I love France, been there for at least 3 times and I want to go back, especially in Paris. Interesting about plates.I love your plates and I love the plates you posted here (even if they are not yours:-() Thanks for sharing them.....Christine

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  11. Hi Deb, I want to be on your followers list but I don't know how to log onto that part. You might have to hold my hand and teach me. I was thinking it would be fun for all of out here to know more about how the French entertain, special foods, special serving pieces. the way they set a table.what time do they dine, typical centerpieces. I am soooo looking forward to more info. This will be my way of going to France vicariously thru YOU. Thanks for sharing .Just look at all you comments. this is wonderful, Congratulations Hugs, Kathysue

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  12. Hi Debbie!

    I recognized your plates right off and just knew that it was you...hehe!!! I've visited your lovely home many times at RMS...you know me as Happytodesign (Chari) from RMS! So excited to see that you have a blog...I'm adding you to my list of blogs that I follow!

    I wish you the best and lots of fun with your blog!!! Have a great day, my friend!!!

    Warmest wishes...Chari (Happytodesign)

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  13. Hi Debbie, Thanks for your visit yesterday and your nice compliments. I remember your beautiful rooms from RMS, the blues and yellows, so pretty. I love plates on the wall too. I have them all over! I read you were a french teacher, I've been to France, but it was when I was a teen. I would love to go back some day. I will be doing more decorating, so I hope you will check back in with me! Kristen

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  14. Quelles jolies assiettes! C'est impossible de choisir la plus belle. Merci de partager toutes ces photos avec nous, specialement les photos de votre sejour en France. :)

    Et, bienvenue au monde des bloggers... Je suis nouvelle par ici aussi. A bientot!

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  15. Glenda...Thanks so much for your visit and your kind remarks! I see you are in Georgia, too. Susan was so sweet to send you my way. Please come back any time. You are always welcome! Debbie

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  16. It looks like you are a brand new blogger. Welcome! I'm pretty new myself, and am having a blast "meeting" new people and reading about their interests. I love all your plates; what a terrific hobby. I got to go to Paris last fall and spend a week there. C'etait marveilleux! La Tour Eiffel -- magnifique! Congratulations on your retirement, too, and enjoy that grandbaby :)

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  17. Thanks so much for swinging by.. I'm like you ..can't go wrong with toile. I would love to add some more "plates" in there a few other touches..Like you the obsessions have a tendacy to take over.lol..hugs ~lynne~

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Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment! I appreciate my wonderful readers!... Debbie