The show must go on: the autumn vide at La Charrue

Twice a year, September and May, for almost as long as we can remember, there has been a massive vide grenier (car boot sale) at the La Charrue campsite owned by our dear supporters Pauline and Clive. It is a regular feature on the social calendar of north Dordogne and the surrounding departments. There’s the chance to bag some bargains, meet up with friends in the animal rescue world, and enjoy Pauline’s fantastic food. This year, for the first time, we missed the May vide due to covid lockdown, and the autumn event was looking doubtful, too. As one of the fundraising mainstays for Twilight, it would have been sorely missed.

BUT … luck was on our side, the autumn vide at La Charrue was in just that spot on the calendar where we could hold it this year. Covid rules, and rain, but “let’s do it”, the team said. They donned their masks, kept the sanitiser handy, and a maintained social distance, to pull off a wonderful event against all the odds.

Before the event there’s a huge amount of preparation work going on in the background. To reach the day, you have to have goodies donated, and amazing we have had donations all year, thank you if you were one of the many. But, the stuff needs sorting, cleaning, and much to the tip sadly as chipped china and dirty clothes just do not draw the crowds. It is a lot of work. Then, it needs taking from storage (bless you La Charrue) and putting out the day before (thank you super team). Then the morning of the event, the books need to go out (muscle team – thank you, girls and just one man!), and all the final putting out.

The team of Twilight is quite remarkable, and this year joined by newbies, too. We needed you all. You know who you all are. Thank you. The clothes came out … CDs, DVDs, all the posh bric à brac, and even a tombola. Meanwhile, the biggest number of stall holders ever in the history of 11 years turned up – wow.

The field looked fabulous. Hosts Pauline and Clive were amazing in welcoming, and had food in abundance waiting for all the hoped for punters. You all came. We have watched you grow up, grow older, have families, and lose your partners; it really is like a family. Eleven years! Yes, this would be Twilight’s last as you know it. We no longer have somewhere to store our ‘stuff’, or folks to sort and clear. We have had our vide time and we will have to think out of the box to raise pennies for the Puddings. But that is a worry for another day.

Last Sunday, September 27th, the rain stayed away until 13.30, phew, and the friends of Twilight and vide fanatics came. €2,100 euros raised: amazing. Really, quite astonishing. We thank you too for your brown stuff (coppers) which will buy us cleaning stuff in supermarkets. And many brought bedding and food, it filled our van (thank you Terry for loaning to us). But that wasn’t all – online, our FB Linda ran a raffle and sale. This too raised pennies that are still coming in. Bless you all for joining in.

How blessed are the Puddings. Thank you … volunteers, friends, supporters, just all of you, thank you.