Monday, 8 September 2014

Sun Sea and Sand What More Could you Want?

We are back from our long weekend by the sea. Mentally refreshed and restored, physically tired, aching and a little sunburnt and in my case with a massive unidentified insect bite on my leg.

We arrived on Thursday and had to go straight to the shops because Himself managed to only managed to bring one pair of jeans. Trouserage purchased we headed to the beach with a bottle of wine and sat until it was dark watching the sea and the people.
 I do love people watching. A surfer dude who loved himself very much and spent more time posing for photos than surfing and some drug addicts in a tent with a fishing rod kept me entertained the most, though the later did rather spoil the idyll, I know it's life but it's not a part I was looking to be reminded of as I sat on a beach relaxing.

On our first full day we decided to hike to Hengistbury Head, a 15 mile round trip the thought of which I did find more than a little daunting. As it turned out the terrain was pretty gentle on the whole and it was worth it for the views.

It's a long way up and judging by the flowers and the odd wreath dotted about clearly a suicide spot which was another sobering moment of the holiday.
We sat on this bench for a while to admire the view, and because frankly, we were knackered. It was absolutely silent and still with no breeze, just gorgeous.

After a restorative dinner we decided on another quiet night chilling on the beach so called in at Tesco on the way back for more wine.

As we headed through the park the siren call of the crazy golf was too much so we did a detour.
Himself kept score but didn't tell me who won so it must have been me ;-)

We sat watching the dusk fall and the moon rise, drank wine and played with some of the settings on the new camera and no I still haven't read the manual yet!

I made a collage with what was in reaching distance around me
and in doing so found this stone which made us both laugh
A perfect day.

Saturday I was nowhere near as knackered or stiff as I expected. Himself had managed to break the toilet in our en suite so we took ourselves off for a beach walk whilst it was fixed.
I picked up about a hundred weight in pebbles and shells which I insisted on bringing home but made him carry in his bag (hehe).

In the afternoon I met my friend Alison for cake and much gossip. We chatted about various things including the fact you sometimes get dolphins around the area, a creature I have only ever seen in an aquarium and would love to see in the wild.
Next day she sent me a link to the BBC news website about a pod that had been spotted at Sandbanks right where we had been sat in a bar discussing seeing dolphins in the wild. I imagined it being just like the Kit-Kat pandas advert!!

That evening Himself was determined to go out. Saturday is probably not the best choice of night to sample the delights or Bournemouth's bars because it is the time the stag and hen parties are at their full and terrible height.
 I lost count of how many staggering shrieking groups of girls and baying groups of blokes we saw, it was like being plunged into a horrible dream.

This is the side of Bournemouth I hate, the seedy strip clubs and pissed up punters. Just to bring it all home and to remind me how very happy I am my drunken clubbing days are far behind me I will describe what happened in Yates's.

 They had cleared the floor for dancing and there were 2 girls right next to where we were standing minding their own business  and having a dance. One was tall and very slim in a black crop top and skater style skirt. Next thing this bloke from a stag party takes off his shoes and socks walks over to the girl pulls her top forward so all the lads get an eyeful then stuffs his socks down it because "you're not bad but your tits are too small and you'd look better with bigger tits"

 Himself and I couldn't decide whether the worst bit was what the bloke did or the fact that she just stood there and didn't punch his lights out for doing it, personally I wanted to kill him but it's not wise to get into anything, you don't know what might happen which I think is probably why she didn't react other than to remove the socks and leave.
Horrible, it really ruined any fun I might have been having so we also left and headed back to a quieter Wetherspoons off the main trail.
I had brought my Hawaiian Hell Bunny dress for an outing and I feel sorry for what it had to witness.

As Alison says on the one hand the whole Stag/Hen do reputation brings money to the town but on the other the amount of damage and anti-social behaviour it also brings might just outweigh the benefits.  

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Blogger in No Make-up, Midi Dress, New Boot Shocker.

I have a day off work well I have a few if I'm honest. the last bit of my annual leave to use up before the end of September and we are off to Bournemouth for our yearly pilgrimage away from it all by a bit of the coast that we love. We have one long walk planned and other than that we will see where the mood takes us.

We did a gentle 5 mile warm up hike on sunday as the day was so gorgeous, in fact I got sunburnt dammit.
One thing I love about living near the Chilterns is you seem to get such vast skies in this area, even though it is by no means a flat landscape.
This is me getting stung to buggery by the nettles, well I did decide to wear 3/4 length jeans! but I mean really, maintain your footpaths please dear local council.
I also got round to hameriting my crows. The poor things have been falling to bits and big crow was in danger of a wing completely rusting away. I didn't really want them all shiny but as Himself pointed out crows are meant to be black.
 I'm sure they will weather a bit.

Today I had to go the Clarks to try on some boots I'd ordered. Practicality has meant I haven't been able to wallow in mourning my dead boots for very long.
I had a bit of a disaster with the first order but the second was fine and they have come home with me, here's hoping it's the start of a long and beautiful friendship.
I also got some cheap and cheerful black biker type boots in the New Look sale. If I remember correctly they were £12 and no doubt won't last the winter, but they fill a gap for the time being.
So what did I wear for my trip into town?

Well I have been stalking a vintage dress on the bay of E for a while now.
To digress for a moment, I find my vintage frock buying on Ebay tends to be a bit of a disaster if I'm brutally honest.
Probably 4 out of 6 purchases will be a mistake and I either end up reselling or charity bagging them. Those are pretty poor odds right?
You would be right to ask so why do I keep buying?
Well because when I do find a good one it's usually a total gem.

This purchase doesn't quite fit into that territory but it's a keeper. It's not in a style I normally choose and was too expensive to begin with which was why I didn't snap it up, but I kept it in my watch list for about 6 weeks. Watching as it got re-listed and re-listed again and again, each time it was reduced by the seller until I finally snaffled it for £7.99.

This ploy does work sometimes. To be fair mostly items will just keep getting re-listed at the same price or get bought by someone else but if that happens then so be it.
I wore it with my Curtise boots, which I think you will find Clarks have renamed in her honour much in the way of the Birkin or Kelly bag.
I also wore it out into town with no make-up on hence the headless shot above.
Want to see?  Oh go on then
Haha, as if! this is as close as it gets.

Oh and in case you are wondering that is the Hogitat (hedgehog house) and their feeding box at the bottom of the tree.

Right I'm off to pack.


Saturday, 30 August 2014

It's a Nice Day For a White Wedding

No no we haven't finally tied the knot, I've just been at the V&A viewing the wonderful wedding dress exhibition with Melissa and Soo.
I absolutely loved it, if I have any complaints it would be that I would have actually liked to have seen more dresses!
It was fascinating to see how the dresses have evolved but also how some styles are just timeless. You could be looking at one from 1865 and if it wasn't for the label telling you the date it could well have been lifted from the rails of any modern wedding gown shop.

Frankly some were hideous, but you know, each to their own.  The upstairs of the exhibition had lots of  'famous' dresses from Camilla to Kate Moss to Dita Von Teese, it was great to see them close up.

Star frock, for me and Melissa anyway, was a really rather gorgeous 1950's number (3rd one from the left in this picture) In fact we agreed that the case of 1940s - 50s dresses was the winner for us.
The first one on the left was made during WW2 from upholstery fabric which one very canny bride realised wasn't rationed meaning she could buy plenty of fabric and have the full skirt and train she dreamed of. The stunning deep red dress was also WW2 and very cleverly re-purposed from another outfit.
I loved this purple dress too.
Close up the stitch work and attention to detail was just breathtaking. It was lovingly created by a former ladies maid for her own wedding. Apparently she felt as she was in her 30s white wasn't appropriate, whilst personally I think that's bull, I have to say I doubt this dress would have been half as striking in plain white.

The exhibition is on until March next year and I would certainly recommend it.

What else have I been up too? Well I finished off my week of holiday with my annual trip to the huge craft fair at Stonor Park where this year I bought some very delicious mayonnaise and a cheeky blow fish.
From there I went into Oxford for cocktails with people from work, nothing like a 3 hour long 'Happy Hour' to get the night going! It was a great night out.

Saturday I nipped into town to pick up my beloved black boots which I had taken in to be re-soled prior to winter. When I handed over my ticket the man said "ah, I haven't done these yet" of course my first thought was FFS! until he explained he'd started to prepare them when he realised they were both split at the side, one boot worse than the other. Fair play to him for not just doing the job anyway and charging me but.......but.....WAAAAAAH.

They were un-fixable. So all I got to do was take the laces out and throw them in the bin. I now think maybe I should have brought them home and given them a decent send off. Oh well.
                                      R.I.P boots, we had some damn good times.

I now have the task of trying to find another pair of ankle length boots. Of course the minute you NEED some you can never find any you like *sigh*

I've been having a bit of a clothes shopping splurge lately. I have nowhere to put any more clothes but this does not stop me. I can't really afford it but this does not stop me. I've put weight on again but even that doesn't stop me. Oh dear.

Photo overload alert.
Today's outfit of top £4 and gingham pedal pushers £13

Another navy top £3
Tea dress from Peacocks £16.
Sorry for the crappy picture it had just been washed and needs ironing. I had to do a presentation on Friday and wanted to wear something I felt good in so I bought this to fit the bill. Amazingly it is actually long enough to reach just below my knee, a veritable miracle in a modern frock.

Swing pants and check frock from Collectif. I found a 30% off voucher that was valid on sale goods too = result! I got these for £30 including postage.

Jeans £9. I love that these and the gingham ones I'm currently wearing actually have to be Super High Waisted  to fit me perfectly!
Houndstooth check leggings can't remember the price but they are from New Look's Tall collection.
As is this checked frock
Another checked frock this time from from River Island £8 in the sale.
Finally another Pearl Lowe for the collection £6 Ebay
When oh when is she going to design some new dresses?


Thursday, 21 August 2014

Art Deco and Fields of Gold.

This week we have been off work.

Getting Himself to book any kind of time of is nothing short of a miracle, so I was delighted to get him to commit to a whole week off even if we had no plans to do anything with it.

As it turns out we decided to finally visit Eltham Palace. It may have been the boyhood home of Henry the VIII but it is also a shining beacon of Art Deco gorgeousness thanks to it's owners Stephen and Virginia Courtauld who moved in in 1933 and with money no object set about creating their perfect home.
Ever since I realised it was Linnet Ridgeway's home in 'Death on the Nile' I was determined to visit it. Finding out that the house was also home to a Lemur called Mahjong who had run of the house with his own ladders and doorways made me want to visit even more!

It has taken me a while but I eventually wore Himself down and the trip was planned. Now usually I would have just gone on my own but I knew Himself would love it too so was determined we would go together. 
The journey comprised of train, underground, train, by foot but we finally got there and it lived up to every expectation, I was in Art Deco heaven. No photos inside so I bought a guide book as a reminder of what we saw.
If we had any complaints they are that the rooms were, on the whole, very empty, I guess to be fair when the Courtauld's moved out in 1946 they took their belongings with them! Also only a limited amount of the house is available to view.
I have read that English Heritage are still restoring the Palace so maybe a trip back in a few years might be an idea.

The palace was taken over by the Army from 1946 to 1992 and it was interesting to see some of the rooms set up as they would have looked as an officer's bedroom. I squealed when I noticed the bed was the exact same solid G Plan single bed I spent my childhood sleeping in. Clearly they were issued across all the armed forces and not just the R.A.F!

We also spent some time ambling around the gorgeous gardens, the sun even managed to come out for a short while.
This is me doing a 1930's/2010's mash-up.
Being a strapping lass the Deco style embroidered dress I had decided to wear turned out to be far too short on me to go without leggings, also a day out requires a bigger handbag than any of my tiny, age appropriate vintage beauties so I went for quirky and spacious. I also needed comfortable footwear so glittery sneakers it was.

All in all well worthy of a visit if you are a fan of all things 1930's.

From Eltham we headed back into London and across to Hammersmith. Himself had got tickets for a special Marvel screening and I was the 'plus guest'
Himself goes to the cinema at least twice a week, every week, and writes a film blog. It seems my years as a Cineworld widow are finally paying off.

It was quite exciting being signed in, getting a pass, being ticked off lists and generally herded about.

I'm not meant to discuss the screening other than it was mainly to do with Captain America and the DVD release of The Winter Soldier.
They gave is all a raffle ticket as we queued and gave out a few different prizes at the end. Himself only went and won a copy of the DVD so he was very happy.

On Tuesday we had a few things to do in town so we walked down together but split up as I wanted to do the Chazzas. There wasn't a whole lot to be had.
I bought a brooch and a pair of earrings

and a dress, £6 for the lot.

I had dropped a bag off in one shop on my way into town but didn't go back there to browse until much later.
I had had a good sort out of my jewellery last weekend and was amused to see what I had taken in was already out on display. I was very much less amused when the lady took the brand new pair of baseball boots I had donated and just lobbed them straight into the bin!?! 

Let's just say I won't be taking my donations to that particular shop again!

Yesterday we decided whatever the weather we would go for a lovely long walk and a pub lunch.
Thankfully the weather was chilly but sunny, perfect walking weather.
The hedgerows were full of berries and fruit which whilst pretty are all much too early, it's only August for heaven's sake!
They were cutting the wheat.
which was fine until the combine came near by and we nearly choked to death on that cloud of dust.

We found a pub called The Bear at Home so it seemed appropriate to have a pint of 'bear's paw' and very nice it was too.
We decided against food and headed off out again. We met a pig or two
and I fart-arsed around with the zoom on the new camera
It took longer than I thought it would to get home, I was busting. The downside of drinking a pint in the middle of your walk. Unfortunately this part of the walk was through a village and a nature reserve full of open spaces and people so I couldn't nip behind a bush.
We found some seats so Himself said we should take a picture, by this time my back teeth were floating.
I like this picture because you would never guess that behind this beaming smile was a very, very desperate woman.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

The Picture Says it All.

Hello Lovelies, well it's been a while and all because my camera finally gave up the ghost.
Poor thing it had done good service.
It's amazing how difficult it is to blog when you can't add a picture or 10. Not that I have been up to too much but still it's not been fun going cold turkey from the blog. After much hunting we now have a shiny new camera, same make newer model. It has all the same buttons the old one did and about 50 more. I haven't figured it all out yet, I really should get round to reading the manual *cough*

So what have I been up too apart from eating and drinking more than is good for me? I've caught up with friends for dinner a couple of times and done a little shopping. Well would you expect anything else from me?

I also went to the war memorial in town for the commemoration of the beginning of WW1. There is a barracks in my home town so there is a strong link to the army.
Things started well, the schedule of events was explained followed by a reading and prayers from the vicar and another reading by a member of the British Legion.
 Candles were lit by members of the public and then sadly what should have been an extremely thought provoking and moving time was completely ruined by 3 women in their 60s who decided the time of silent contemplation was actually the perfect opportunity to have a lively gossip.
When someone went across and pointed out (a damn sight more gently and kindly that I would have!) that this was meant to be a time of silence, instead of shutting up the three were outraged and decided to kick off big style instead. 
It was so unbelievably disrespectful and so damn typical of some of the people who live in this town, I was just so angry I left before I throttled one or all of them!

Instead I came home lit a candle and watched the rest of the service from Westminster Abbey.

On Saturday I had to collect a parcel from the sorting office. This meant passing half a dozen charity shops so of course I couldn't help but nip in each one en route.
I came home with a weighty parcel that actually turned out to be for someone else when I opened it *sigh*  


Even Himself was taken with the Britvic glasses, just the right size for quaffing a Bucks Fizz or a Kir Royale and £3 for the set.

I'm not sure exactly how old the bag is, it has an old style metal zip inside so it's got to be at least 1970's. Anyway it was £3.49 and I love it so who cares?

Talking of bags I snaffled this Art Deco beauty after stalking it for ages on the Bay of E.
Other than one broken link on the chain it's in gorgeous condition, and talking of that era my Mum brought me a magnificent hat that one of her ladies brought in to Age Concern.
 It's not old and Himself hates it so it's definitely staying!

Bertha did her worst with gale and storm so I had no excuse but to finally sit down and frame my matchbox labels.
Now I just need to attach the cord and hang the picture, hopefully that won't take me another 2 years....

There was a sale in Wilkinsons, I bought some seeds for making my garden look gorgeous next year and a couple of solar lanterns for £2.50 seen here hanging on the washing spinner.

  Finally after a ridiculous palaver I actually got sent what should have been in the parcel I collected on Saturday.
I was never going to not buy these when I saw them now was I?