Sunday, 14 February 2016

Half Term History


Half term has been restful and relaxing, which was just what we all needed. And waking up naturally without the warning shriek of an alarm was the biggest treat of all.


We went to Eyam on Thursday, a lovely little village in Derbyshire (pronounced Eem, by the way) made famous by the villagers' actions in 1665. 

The bubonic plague arrived, carried by fleas in a bolt of cloth sent from London. The villagers, led by the Reverend William Mompesson, agreed to a self-imposed quarantine to prevent the spread of the disease to other areas, and in the ensuing year, over 260 people died. 

(Tania visited the village last year and wrote this post about it.)


The church dates back to the 13th century, although the late Saxon font and Celtic cross in the graveyard suggest an earlier church existed on the same site. 


The wall paintings are from the 18th century. 


The modern stained glass window tells the story of the plague in Eyam. William's wife Catherine is the only plague victim to be buried in the churchyard; others were buried quickly and without ceremony in gardens and on nearby farmland.


The cross is 8th Century, and the sundial on the side of the church is dated 1775.




The village is pretty, with plenty of stone cottages, a village green complete with stocks, and a late 17th century hall.



They enjoyed it, honestly - take no notice of the face-pulling... 


Before we left, we took a walk out of the village to the so-called Riley graves. The land was owned by a farmer named Riley, but the people buried here are John Hancock and 6 of his children. They all died within a week of each other in August 1666, and it fell to John's wife Elizabeth to bury them. 

It's a beautiful spot, but such a sad story.


Some colour was needed to counteract the gloom;


1970s dress - Ebay
Vintage scarf, cardigan and bangles - charity shopped
Boots - retail, sale. 


I'll join Patti and co for Visible Monday, and catch up with your posts before I launch myself into a busy week at work in my new shop - wish me luck!

xxxx

Sunday, 7 February 2016

A tale of two skirts


If my blogging form of late were to be graded, it would probably score a poor D- (and that would be generous). The dog didn't eat my homework, I've just found it hard to summon up time, energy or inclination. 

Must Do Better, and I intend to try.


I'm in a skirt phase at the moment, and these two have been on high rotation, especially for work.


1950s wool jacket, Hobbs wool skirt, jumper and scarf - charity shopped
Boots - retail (sale)
1950s brooch - flea market


 1970-80s St Michael skirt, top, cardigan and scarf - charity shopped 
Boots - retail (sale)
Vintage Windsmoor faux fur coat - vintage fair


Despite the fact that tartan isn't my favourite print, I do like the colours and the different shapes of these two skirts. 

 I've worked some extra hours lately, covering at other shops and doing some sorting and pricing of stock for the vintage shop. It opens on February 15th, but I have next week off for half term, so yesterday was my final day at my old shop. 

Doors close, doors open.


We've had plenty of rain and howling winds, but the sun does occasionally shines; Owen and I took advantage of a break in the clouds to head to town. He needed a haircut as badly as I do.

 And because I like nothing better than a busman's holiday, I've managed to find time to peruse the charity shops and nab myself some vintage treasures.


1960-70s enamel pan
1970s maxi dress
1960s vinyl bag
1960s sewing pattern
1950-60s Franpear lurex sweater
1960s Petite Francaise silk duster coat

That last one was the real bargain of the bunch - an immaculate vintage slub silk coat for £2.50? Now that's why I go scouring the rails of charity shops on my days off. 

The ever-useful Vintage Fashion Guild's label resource informs me that Petite Francaise was probably a British label, started in the mid-1960s, producing beautifully tailored dresses and matching jackets.


My old tan boots have started to let the rain in, so I was pleased to find these Hush Puppies at half price as a replacement. The old boots will still be fine when the weather allows. 


I'll link to the lovely Patti and her Visible Monday gathering, and I'll be round to see what everyone has been up to as well. 

It's been a sad week. George's funeral was a highly emotional occasion for everyone, but a warm, personal and beautifully thoughtful tribute to a lovely young man. And I'm sorry to be leaving my little team of staff and volunteers at Nether Edge.

Onwards, upwards...

xxxx

Monday, 18 January 2016

Hey babe, let's go out tonight


Hello? Anybody there?

I hope so; it's odd being away from blogging. I've felt a disturbing echo of ancient adolescent angst, a fear that everyone else in the world is off having all the fun without me... 


Life's been going on as usual.
 
Work is busy - January is obviously Major Clear Out Month, the donations have been piling in. The vintage shop still isn't open but it's looking likely for February. We'll see.


1970s blouse and maxi skirt, 1960s Astraka faux fur coat, suede waistcoat, vintage leather gloves, beret and ankle boots - all charity shopped
 
We've had a mere dusting of snow, which has made a change from the incessant rain. The garden is a quagmire, the cats and I are not impressed.
 
 
 Jess' winter fluff, on the other hand, is very impressive. 
 


On Saturday, we all went to see An Inspector Calls at the Lyceum theatre (the building on the right).


Over dinner afterwards, we debated the nature of the mysterious Inspector, admired the staging of the production, and discussed whether polemic makes for good theatre. Well, Simon and I did - the kids may have been ignoring us and troughing their puddings at this point.
 
 
It was snowing by the time we went home.
 
 
Thank you for your kind comments on my previous post.

And in the spirit of getting back to normal around here, I'll be joining Patti's Visible Monday, and coming to visit everyone. What's been happening?

xxxx

Thursday, 7 January 2016

I can't look at the stars


Please forgive the blogging hiatus, everyone - oh, and a very happy new year to you all.

A hectic pre-Christmas schedule at both work and play, combined with a heavy cold, did some damage to my staying power over the festive period.

And then we learned of the death of a friend of Claudia's, a truly delightful young man named George. They have known each other since they were in nursery together, we know his mum and dad, and our family, like the whole community, is reeling with shock and sadness. 

It's every parent's worst nightmare, isn't it? Even as I try to imagine the unimaginable, that desolate grief and anguish at the loss of a beloved child, I find my mind recoils and refuses to face it.  

I don't mean to appropriate this tragedy as my own, I'm merely a saddened and helpless onlooker, but I must say it has knocked the wind out of me. So I haven't taken many photos, nor worn anything you've not seen before, I can't think of much to say, and honestly, my heart just isn't in this at the moment.


Vintage souvenir Hamsa pendant, talismanic symbol of protection - charity shopped

I'm sorry, I'm sure I'll soon be back to posting and commenting as usual. 

In the meantime, squeeze your loved ones tightly.

 
 This photo was taken on Claudia's 13th birthday outing last March; she has lovely friends, and none lovelier than George (front right, in the pink shirt and bow tie).

We miss him, and will remember him always.

xxx

Friday, 18 December 2015

We kissed on a corner, then danced through the night


Cards written and posted.
Presents (mostly) wrapped.
Shopping (mostly) done.
School terms ended.
Tree decorated.
Impromptu Christmas post-work piss-up enjoyed...


and the wearing of festive red is ensuring that I stay bright amid the fog and the drizzle. 

So I'll be joining up with Patti and co for pre-Christmas fun on Visible Monday. (Look at me, getting in early, that's a first.)


1970s Co-op maxi skirt, top, denim jacket, vintage scarf and bangles - charity shopped
1960s tapestry and vinyl bag - jumble sale
Boots - retail (sale)
 
I should also add that the first Baileys of the season has been drunk - this morning, at my friend Joanne's. 
 
Well, you've got to start somewhere.  


1970s Miss Mary of Sweden dress, and bangles - charity shopped
Boots - retail (sale)
 
Nina and I have also had out first Christmas sing-song, featuring a rousing rendition of Slade's Merry Christmas Everybody, followed by our favourite duet, Fairytale of New York.
 
 She loves this song; I heard her singing along to it in a very strange voice, and when I asked her why she was singing like that, she replied that she was trying to sound like the man on the record. 
 
(Tonight, Matthew, we're going to be Shane MacGowan and Kirsty MacColl.)
 
After all, nothing says Christmas like a 9 year old belting out you're a bum, you're a punk, you're an old slut on junk.   
 
 
Her singing is better than her spelling... 
Fart Her Christmas indeed. 
 
 
Look what I got from Jenifer - I will enjoy making these Fuck Yeah Culottes. I just need some time - can one of you send me some more of that please?
 
 
Unlike the kids, I have yet to break up for Christmas - I'm working until December 23rd. But it's OK, things are under control, I think.
 
I don't hate this time of year, but I don't believe the hype. I know happiness doesn't lie in a big gift box with a fancy bow, or the perfectly decorated house/cake/tree. I am neither a Christian nor a pagan, so celebrations of the birth of Jesus or the winter solstice mean little to me. I have family and friends who enjoy the ritual of card- and present-giving, so I'm willing to participate; I like the food and drink, the parties, and the atmosphere of goodwill and bonhomie. I'll even sing a carol or two - they're only songs, and they are embedded in my consciousness just like Merry Christmas Everybody or Fairytale of New York. I like time off work, and time spent with loved ones. As for the rest - the commercial hard sell, the greed, the message that the measure of your love and care is found in the cost of your gift - well, I can do without all that. 

I'm unlikely to squeeze in another post before next Friday, given my schedule of work and social events, so whatever your take on ancient Palestinian myths or pagan fertility rites, I'm sending all of you a big Christmas kiss under the mistleoe - you lucky sods!

I've got a feeling this year's for me and you
So happy Christmas - I love you, baby
I can see a better time, when all our dreams come true.

xxxxx

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Winter Blues


No no, I'm not at all miserable; just wearing blue and trying to keep warm and dry!
 
 
Life is very, very busy at the moment and any illusions I ever had about being in control and organised have all but disappeared. 

At least I've found the Christmas cards; I distinctly remembered buying a load dirt cheap in January and putting them away in a safe place. It's taken hours of ransacking cupboards, drawers and turning the bedroom upside down to find them. (They were on the attic landing. Obviously.) 

Better write in the buggers now, I suppose.


I found this 1960s Prova wool pinafore dress in a charity shop recently and have been wearing to death. Prova was British Home Stores in-house brand in the 1960s and 70s. 


The sheepskin jerkin isn't vintage, but I love its 1970s vibe, and it is proving a useful extra layer on chilly days. 
 
Apart from hunting for Christmas cards and going to work, I've been out for a Christmas meal with our shop's volunteers, enjoyed a much-needed chazzing-and-coffee jaunt to Doncaster with my mate Joanne, and celebrated my friend Sue's birthday.

And yesterday, we braved the rain and went to an event in the cathedral commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Sheffield Blitz
 
 
We had a version of that Tell Me quiz game in the 1970s, and it is still being produced now.
 
 
The parachute silk wedding dresses were lovely, and look at Sue's daughter rocking her Victory rolls.
 
 
There were even free mince pies from God. 
 
 
From the cathedral, we headed on to the Nichols Building for a browse.
 
 
We puzzled over that errant apostrophe in the Glamorene Carpet Shampoo'er, until Sue suggested it replaced a missing p
Of course.


While I have several friends who might appreciate a male torso complete with whip, it would be a challenge to wrap.
 
 
1960s Prova pinafore dress, 1970s shirt, sheepskin jerkin, top and velvet leggings- charity shopped
Boots - retail (sale)
 
Despite the fact that my blogging presence is barely visible at the moment, I'm linking to Patti's Visible Monday.  
And I'm hoping to come and visit everyone soon! 
xxxxx

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Scarlet for me, scarlet for you


I do love wearing red.


It's an instant pick-me-up, and you certainly don't fade into the background wearing a bright pillar-box red vintage coat.  


So I had better get myself over (belatedly) to Patti's for Visible Monday, and the reappearance of my sequin beret means I can join Judith for this month's Hat Attack. These are the only link-ups I do, so I hate to miss them! 
 

I can't tell you how much I love this 1960s Jaeger coat; the shape, the fit, the buttons, the colour, the quality of the wool fabric, everything about it says quality. 

(The little micro-mosaic brooch is another charity shop find, the simple hook fastening would suggest it's quite old.)


I had a look on the Jaeger website; their cheapest wool coats cost £299...


and although this one is smart, I prefer mine. Since it came from a charity shop, it was considerably less expensive - just a tenner.


1970-80s St Michael skirt, cardigan, top, beret and bangles - charity shopped
Ankle boots - Ebay

It seemed fitting to wear my red coat to last night's performance of Little Red Riding Hood, the school pantomime. Claudia and Owen were in the cast, as were various of their friends. The audience booed and hissed the baddie, shouted behind you! when required, and clapped and cheered with gusto at the end. We know the drill.

 I'm working both days this weekend as there is another local farmers' market on Sunday. I don't mind, the atmosphere is friendly and relaxed, and it's a good opportunity to make a bit more money for the hospice.

As for when my new shop will open... Well, your guess is as good as mine, but the manager should be recruited before Christmas, so hopefully we will be looking at an opening date in January. I'll keep you posted.


I'll be getting round to commenting on your blogs soon, I promise; hope you're all OK!

xxxxx