On one of our photography walks in Paris we were shown a number of secret passages
( or arcades ) that are hidden away in the various arrondissements.
Down the delightful, Passage de l'Ancre Royal, we discovered Peps, the quaint shop and workroom of Monsieur Thierry Millet who is one of only two remaining umbella repairmen in the city.
Why mend an umbrella in this day and age you may well ask?
Well, apparently it is still less expensive to have a good quality umbrella fixed than buy one of today's poorly made models; many people have a sentimental attachment to their umbrellas and thirdly, for those who care about the environment there are already 15 million umbrellas thrown away every year in France. This fact exasperates Monsieur Millet who calls it Globalisation.
He mends between 8,000-10,000 umbrellas a year and was extra busy the day we were there. He charges an average of about 12 euros per repair and it is comforting to know his business has been classified as a Living Treasure.
As I stood and watched the passers by with their umbrellas held high it all made perfect sense ...
PS The word for umbrella in French is parapluie - another lovely new word for the vocabulary !