Monday, 14 April 2014

Ticket to ride

We had the most marvelous time at the weekend in Liverpool.

Here I am on the ferry 'cross the Mersey.

And this is me in the same spot in 1987.

I was 23, and wearing my boyfriend-at-the-time's cardigan and Big Hair!


The Pier Head buildings and skyline are fabulous.
We spent the weekend in the excellent company of my sister Sabena and her partner Gary.


The Royal Liver Building, and a Liver Bird relief in the Museum of Liverpool.

The Three Graces; the Liver Building, the Cunard Building, and the Port of Liverpool Building, part of Liverpool's World Heritage Site
There are new buildings to rival the splendour of the old...

and the docks are a great place to wander.

Statue of Billy Fury at the Albert Dock.

One of the Superlambananas dotted around the city.
So apart from football, what else springs to mind when you think of Liverpool?

We braved the queue and visited The Beatles Story.

The kids know a surprising number of Beatles' songs and we really enjoyed the exhibition.

 Since we were staying in Chinatown, it seemed only appropriate to go for a Chinese meal.

And of course there was plenty of face-pulling and posing.

We were working on our cool album cover shots...

1960-70s Hong Kong-made maxi dress - flea market
Cardigan, denim jacket and bangles - charity shopped
Pendant - car boot

I loved the Walker Art Gallery.

Another stunning building...

...and some stunning art too.

Puck in the Sculpture Gallery.

Echo and Narcissus by John William Waterhouse.

A collection of 1970s Jean Varon dresses designed by John Bates.

Super Star Fucker by Peter Davies.

 After lunch in the brilliant Moose Coffee cafe...

 it was time to say goodbye and head for home, tired but very happy.

(PS. Next time, I'm going vintage shopping; hopefully Sandra will come with me!)


Friday, 11 April 2014

You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life

 It's Friday already, and I'm sneaking in a quick post before we head off for another weekend away.

We're going to Liverpool, and I need to sort, pack, make sandwiches for the train - you know the drill.

But first;

more florals.

I'm so predictable.

Vintage frock; cardigan; denim jacket; boots; vintage bag; a mish-mash of jewellery.
A uniform? 
Maybe, but self-selected, flexible, colourful, and a relection of my taste and personality. (You all read Vix's post about that, right? Check out her words of wisdom here.)

We were out last night to watch a show of musical and dance performances at Claudia's school.

It was a great evening, I enjoyed seeing so many kids demonstrating their talent, hard work and commitment to performing arts.

Tandem are a surprisingly professional-sounding band - a little Arctic Monkeys-esque, but that's not a bad thing. 

 I can't claim that Claudia has any particular technical ability, but she loves to dance, has good rhythm, and best of all, she isn't afraid to show the joy on her face. She beamed throughout, and so did I.
(On a side note; there was a clear gender split. I'm generalising a little, but it seems the girls dance and sing; the boys don't dance but they play instruments. What's that all about then?)

1970s maxi dress - Ebay
Cardigan, jacket, bangles and rings - charity shopped
1950s tapestry bag - flea market
Necklace - was my mum's 

Right - must get on. That suitcase won't pack itself.

Have a great weekend; I intend to do just that!


Tuesday, 8 April 2014

You're all individuals

I was at school today attending a fundraising event organised by Nina's year group.

 The theme, predictably, was Easter, but a very secular chocolate and bunny-based version. 

Which is fine by me, not having a religious bone in my body.

Nina wanted to enter the Easter parade, for which she needed a costume or a decorated hat. 
My suggestion of carrying a cardboard cross and saying she'd come as Jesus received an outraged response. 
"Mummy - that's so offensive!"

Simon and I thought it was hilarious.
Honestly, they're being dragged up, these kids...


 That little voice piping up with "I'm not!" and being shushed makes me laugh every time.

Anyway,  just in case any of you who are appalled, don't fret; I relented, and cobbled together an Easter bonnet appropriate for the most refined of church-going ladies.

Straw boater and dress - charity shopped
Plastic flowers, chicks and eggs (on top) - Poundland
Scruffy hair - model's own

1970s dress - Ebay
Denim jacket, bangles, necklace and sunglasses - charity shopped
Boots - retail

It just so happened that the tulips and honesty mirrored the colours in my dress perfectly.

 And the sunshine on the tulips was just dazzling.

  Don't mind me, I'm having a Georgia O'Keeffe moment.

Oriental Poppies, 1928.

Georgia O'Keeffe

And to prove this isn't just thrown together - I had my first mammogram this week. 
It's a sign of being (almost) 50.

It was fine, very quick and efficient, courtesy of a chatty Dutch radiographer called Stephanie.

A quick trip to the local hospice charity shop this morning, en route to the Post Office and Tesco, saw me part with the vast sum of £4 for this little collection of goodies.

1962 Simplicity sewing guide
1970s Style pattern
1960s Featherlite sheet and matching pillow cases

(Oh, don't tell me you're not thinking of Durex now, I know you are!)

I am thinking of making the dress out of the sheet. It's probably too ambitious for a novice, but I'm going to try. I want the version with short sleeves really, but that might be pushing my luck, not to mention my rudimentary skills.


  Of course I need another dress with an orange and pink floral print. Need you ask?

Sacramento's Share-in-Style feature on Saturday has a floral theme, so I'll be linking up.

Look at that face. Slapped arse.

I recognise that I frequently mock things which other people hold dear, but in my defence, I also take the piss out of myself.
A lot.
It's the only way to stay sane, I find.


Sunday, 6 April 2014

Charity shopping, the Seventies, and me

I know charity shops (thrifts stores, op shops) can be full of rubbish. Or more precisely, stuff I don't like and don't want, even though someone else might.


as I pottered around various charity shops this week, I was struck by how easy it is to construct a decent wardrobe very cheaply, including some higher-end high street labels in the mix. It might not be what I want to wear, but why shop for clothes at Primark or supermarkets when you can find Monsoon, Reiss, Karen Millen, Topshop, Kew, Phase Eight, Hobbes, ASOS, Gap and more in charity shops?

Here's my favourite find of the week, and the reason for this extraordinarily supercilious and smug expression.

A 1970s Co-op maxi skirt. 
Thank you very much, Barnado's charity shop in Dronfield; you can keep your M&S and Dorothy Perkins, but this will do nicely.

I picked up a little pointelle-style cotton t-shirt too, just because I need a short-sleeved red top and it was £1.99. I clocked the label as soon as I lifted it off the rail;

 British heritage knitwear brand John Smedley, which began manufacturing in 1794 just down the road at Lea Mills in Derbyshire. A quick look at their website reveals that their Sea Island cotton t-shirts retail for £100.

Oh I know; I don't need to tell you lot, you already realise charity/thrift/op shopping is a no-brainer.

Another label caught my eye too;

This groovy 1960-70s men's flower power cotton shirt started life on the King's Road in Chelsea; I can't find any information on the brand at all, I guess it was a little independent business which came and went, as so many did. The shirt is sadly too small for the man of this house, but I am sure I can find a new home for it.

I'm no label snob, but I like finding good quality clothing at cheap prices, and unusual vintage labels always intrigue me. 

1970s Co-op maxi skirt, velvet jacket, top, tooled leather bag, belt and bangles, - charity shopped
Boots and belt - retail (sale)
Necklace - gift from Gisela
Royal Worcester porcelain brooch - car boot

What else took my eye and came home with me this week?

1960s timer, 1960-70s engine-turned pendant, big rings, 1975 Tammy annual, and another 1960s amber genie bottle (the twisty one on the right).
Nothing cost more than £2. 

I found a 1977 Pink annual too. I remember reading Pink as a young teenager, it was an alternative to Jackie but doesn't seem to have been as successful.

The fashions and hairstyles are quintessentially Seventies, although the comic strip illustrations look very 1960s to me.

 I chuckled at Elton John's description of his ideal girl (I like a girl to be very adaptable), but shuddered at Gary Glitter's (Girls with black hair, that's what turns me on!)

Oh dear...

I really can't recall if I read articles like this at the time and believed them; I probably did, more fool me.

 1970s teen magazines were obviously a feminism-free zone. Telling girls and women how they should behave has always been the stuff of magazines, hasn't it?

As though inflicting Pilot, Mud and the Bay City Rollers on impressionable girls wasn't bad enough...

 That's better - some things about the 1970s never lose their appeal, at least not to me.

I'll be taking my skirt over to Patti's for Visible Monday - see you there!