Tuesday, 30 May 2023

Vintage Birthday Party


 This picture is over 50 years old!! It must've been taken by my dad, late 60s or possibly 1970.

My mum has her hair up in a French pleat, her usual style and is wearing a very fetching silver party hat!

I'm fascinated that the silver tea service is out, and going by the shape, the very, very early Susie Cooper cups and saucers. Oh yes, my parents were into "vintage" before the word "vintage" was even a thing. And yes, it has rubbed off on me!


Sunday, 28 May 2023

2009 to now

I started my blog on 28 May 2009. 

I'm just checking in, 2023. That's 14 years I've been writing about my life. 

I think I need to get back into it!


Thursday, 21 May 2015

BEDM - Day 21 "Collaboration"

Today I am collaborating with Kezzie over at Kezzie AG. She suggested that we ask each other questions. My idea, from Mr B, was that we did some sort of Skype-y video thingy of her teaching me Chopsticks! Not enough time for us to figure it out for today; but the future? Hey, you never know!
I called my questions to her " KezzieQuest". Any questions, from anybody, directed to me are called "Interrogation"!
So let the interrogation begin...
1.  What was the finest or your favourite hat you ever made and why?
I rather liked one I made for a ladies' second wedding. She was a 'mature lady' and my friend was doing her suit, in scarlet silk with a sort of lime green piping. It sorta sounds garish, but it was very smart. The hat she wanted was, so I was told, like the one that Jamie Curtis wore in "A Fish Called Wanda", which I hadn't seen.

We didn't have access in those days like we all take for granted nowadays, so I sussed she meant a Jackie O-type pillbox with a big bow on the back.
All in the red silk and piped in green. Even the big, puffy bow. I think it looked fab. Sadly, no photo but I know she also wore it to Glorious Goodwood, so she must've liked it too!
2. Who was your favourite teacher or lecturer through life and what difference did they make or how did they inspire you?
This was tough. I narrowed it down to 3. In reverse order, Gordon, who I worked with at Festival Ballet. Generous to many of us with his knowledge and spirit. He went on to work lecturing costume in Hong Kong and it broke my heart to find out that he had been stabbed to death in his own flat with his cutting out scissors. Second, Mr Hathaway from Junior School. Just brilliant in all respects. Our big Summer Term project with him was building a Saxon Hut and a Charcoal Burners Hut in a corner of the school playing fields.
But in first place, the wonderful Mr Little. Also in Junior School, the year before Mr Hathaway and the designer of LOBNIC - Little's Own Binary Numbers Instant Calculator, or words to that effect. He also helped teach us French by playing Bingo in French...'Maison!'. Well, we were only about 9 years old at the time!
3. If you could design a new crisp flavour, what would yours be?
I'm wondering about cheese and pineapple?
When I was younger, before the choice there is now, someone taught me about putting Worcestershire Sauce into a bag of ready salted and giving it a good shake.
4. What was your most embarrassing work experience ever?
Calling Chantal, Princess von Ernst of Hanover 'Mrs Hanover' when filling in an order form for her at Catherine's!
"Mrs Hanover" probably wearing something not from Chelsea Design Co
I only found out when I came to do the banking and logged her cheque in for items she had bought  from the women's wear boutique. ( I had been working in the children's shop.) In my defence, the form was one of those pre-printed ones with Mr/Mrs/Miss on, so at least I didn't put Mr! For another good boobie, again at Catherine's, read this!
5.  What led you to follow the career you followed?
I went to design college not knowing what I wanted to do. I had tried really hard to get an apprenticeship as a farrier, whilst still at school, with no joy. I did the Foundation Course and didn't want to do a degree so it was a toss up to either do Theatre Design & TV Crafts or Product Design, purely on the basis of wanting to be able to use the amazing workshops that were available. I plumped for theatre because I could sew. One of my tutors was Head of Millinery at The Royal Opera house; we hit it off and I had a flair for hat making.
I pushed myself out there in what was due to be my last year at college, and was offered a job with Freddie Fox, with college agreeing to me doing one day a week with FF in my final term and then go into a full time job.
Then I got glandular fever big time. My mum thought I had luekemia I was that unwell. So everything went a bit tits up! When I finally finished my course and moved to London I was lucky enough to get work as Wardrobe Mistress for visiting companies to Sadler's Wells, for Dance Umbrella. The theatre was also home for Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet, (aka BRB now), and eventually moved permanently to the Making Wardrobe, as opposed to Touring Wardrobe, for them.
Was head-hunted by Gordie at LFB.

Me & Gordie were working hard in Granada
Then I moved to work with a friends' mother, who made bridal wear in Chelsea which was hellish and then went to Catherine's.
Fast forward to us living in Southsea, where I set up as freelance maker and then eventually re-training in Business Administration and then working as a technical librarian for an engineering company that carried out work for British Aerospace amongst others.
I loved it.
Sadly, my clinical depression started and I was ultimately made redundant, which didn't help.
I now am termed 'a homemaker' or what I call Mr B's PA!!
6.  If you were offered some sort of blog opportunity, what would your ideal one be?
No idea.
Maybe something for large ladies or something for mental health or something for large ladies with mental health issues!
7. Where was your most exciting holiday ever?
I'm not well-travelled at all, but I did go on tour with Mr B to Switzerland. We stayed at the amazing Lausanne Palace Hotel and also spent time in the most amazing theatre in Basel.
Where we ate breakfast at the Lausanne Palace, with a view of Lake Geneva
I'm tempted to say I don't do 'exciting' but I am doing something exciting at the end of June.
If I can get out of the house, which nearly tripping myself up just going to the bakers this lunchtime, I wonder if I'll manage it! It's just the stress I think that makes me lose balance; I must look drunk if you are walking behind me!
8. What is your most favourite item in your wardrobe?
Depends what for. Generally trousers and if at home all day, then comfy.
Can't think of one extra special item though.
Will have a think on that one!
9.  Share your most shocking deed as a child (if you dare!??!!)

When I was away at school, aged 12, a whole load of us went into the field next to the tennis courts and 'fought' with the local boys.

We got sent to bed early, (I mean about 6 o'clock early), with no supper, just bread and water. I can't remember her exact words, but Mardi, the headmistress, was really, really not pleased with me!
10. What are the things you miss most about being a child.
Brent Cottage, where I grew up. It was idyllic. And a lack of fear. I was always wary, but it's the fact you don't take in the huge enormity of stuff when you're a kid, do you?
11. Tell me your favourite word and why?
Tabby. Yes, I know, my cats' name. But we would, and still do, sing what we call The Tabby Cat Song aka the SATC theme tune with Tab Tab Tab as the words. Or The Big Bang Theory with Tab, Tab Tab, it all started with a tabby cat! CAT!! Try it, it's catchy!

Phew! If you're still reading, I take my hat off to you! (ha ha).
Thank you, Kezzie, it's been a blast!
Now, about Chopsticks...........

Monday, 18 May 2015

BEDM - Day 18 "Newsflash!"

Mr B has just Skyped me from Truro.

The digs where he is staying is the third chimney along the row of houses, just visible behind the trees on the left.
The cathedral is behind where this is filmed from.
It is a beautiful place; if you ever get a chance to visit, grab it with both hands!

Friday, 15 May 2015

BEDM - Day 14 and Day 15 "Fashion/Style/Photography" Cheating Combo

I am not having a good week, but I know it will improve!
Can't get any impetus to blog, even with BEDM giving me a topic to write about. I feel really depressed, which is unusual for me. I may have been diagnosed as clinically depressed, but for the most part, I don't go around 'feeling' it! It's all the other cr*p associated with it, that messes me up!
So, I'm cheating and combining a Polaroid of me taken by Chris Roberts, who took the cover photographs of Sade for her album 'Diamond Life'.
Sade must be one of the most stylish ladies. Just search for her on the Internet and you'll see what I mean. Classy, timeless. Sings pretty well too!

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

BEDM - Day 13 "Top Tips"

My recipe post is on its' way, post written, just need to find the actual recipe! I've made it that often that I just 'throw' stuff in, but for a first timer, it might help to have measurements.
(It's that old it'll be in ounces tho').
So, a couple of tips from me...
The first one is if you have sluggish plugholes use old coffee grains. Pour the used grains down the plughole, followed with some liquid soap and then pour down some very hot water. Bingo! I've only recently tried this out in the bath and after a couple of 'doses' the water is draining away so much better.
The second one will probably make you go "Eurgh!", but it does work; I know as it was used on me.
Years ago I was having my hair dyed black in a salon in Southampton by a student. She managed to get dye all over the sides of my face(!). They used the salon dye remover but it didn't budge it. They called the boss, as she was on her day off, and she told them to collect cigarette ash.
But gently rubbing it into the dyed areas with cotton wool did remove it.
Probably not good around the eyes, nose or mouth, but jolly good on the cheekbones!

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

BEDM - Day 10 "Wishlist"

Rene's wish list is...
a room that we can't go in, but she can
rotisserie chicken at any given moment
a nice comfy bed with duvets, throws and cushions that she doesn't have to share with us
(even tho' she gets our bed to herself for most of the day!)
I couldn't really decide on a list for me; but that was then and, as I am behind with this post, and this is now, well...
Having had smoke and a vile smell coming from my washing machine this morning, I am putting that in very big letters at the top of my list!
Thinking about this Hotpoint washer/dryer.
Never owned a washer/dryer, well, never actually had a tumble dryer. Used them in work, but do think they can wear out your clothes much quicker, but, I live in the UK and we do have a lot of wet weather!
Anyone got any views, news or reviews?

BEDM Day 11 "Walk To Work"

If I don't add this now, I will never get back on track!

It isn't a grape ivy, it is a grape vine.
It isn't a fountain, tho' there is a fountain later on. It is a birdbath.
It is an anemone de Caen, but my French pronunciation is beyond dodgy!
Sorry about the close up of my thighs. And my cough. And my sigh.
But do enjoy Dawnies' ice cream van tune, the fountain burbles, birdsong and the buzzing bee at the end.
You will never get this 5 minutes back, you know!

Saturday, 9 May 2015

BEDM - Day 9 "Secret Talent"

 A little 'Art Therapy' project that I took upon myself to carry out.
Made with bits and pieces found around the home, years ago, I thought I'd make a fly screen curtain for the back door. The nylon cord came from a kite that my dad made me when I was about 9. The kite got trashed almost on its' first outing, but its' line was on a wooden kite reel that dad had made as well and that got kept...because one day, 'it would come in handy'. The brown plastic spacers I cut from the outer casing from copper wire that I had stripped out, (and probably had used for something else!). The leaves were stripped off fake rose stems used to make the bouquets that were handed out to Roxy and Velma in the original London production of Chicago.
Nothing goes to waste in this household!!!

I was just going to blog about my sewing and millinery, but Mr B said to use these two different items.
So, my second piece is a watercolour, again, done many years ago. I nearly always pack my tiny watercolour paints tin, boards and a pencil when I go away. But this has been the only time I have ever really done anything with them.
I used my make-up brushes to actually paint with! 
And the real view...

Friday, 8 May 2015

BEDM - Day 8 "A Day In The Life"

Woke up!
Always a good start!
Bed with a view - wardrobes, window, make-up drawers and a Rene cat.

Not the news I had hoped for, for my town. This is the man that OK'd the brand new Bus Station that cannot cope with all the buses which means people have to stand out on the road in all weathers to catch their bus. Also the new Rail Station with lots of nasty, steep, concrete steps at its' entrance and a single lift. Not exactly good disabled access for the 21st century.
Loathsome dollop. 

BBC iPlayer link
Watched a little bit of this BBC4 programme and can't wait to see it all. Two hours of real-time footage on a canal boat travelling on the Kennet and Avon Canal; so no doubt some stunning scenery and views of Bath to come. Lovely.
Jigzone link
This could also be under the guilty pleasure banner. My daily fix of Jigzone. A different picture every day and a choice of how may pieces, so good for all ages. I tend to go for 184 which takes me a little less than 15 minutes. A nice little break with a cup of coffee.
The whole afternoon was spent pricking out and potting on seedlings. I did it in the kitchen, nipping in and out between showers. This wet weather has brought out loads of slugs, nasty little bu**ers! I thought birds ate the yucky things, but for all our menagerie of birdies, they don't seem to be doing a very good job.
The robins fledged a couple of days ago. Sadly we found one that didn't make it under the bench. We think it was the 'interloper' cat that we had just chased out of the garden. But 2 out of 3 is good. We also found an adult blue tit the other day, which was sad, but there seems to be much to-ing and fro-ing to the hole in the wall above loo window, so hopefully that family will fly off safely when the time comes. Don't know quite what happened to the blackbirds' nest in the honeysuckle. There was a couple of babies and the next time I looked the nest just seemed to have fallen apart! But, again, they seem to be keeping close to 'home'.
They didn't half work hard to bring up their little ones
It's about 7:30, Corrie is about to come on and I'm waiting for Mr B to come home from work. He's bringing in dinner from M&S...fish, chips and peas, so that won't take long to cook. Or eat. We'll plonk ourselves down for the ballet portion of BBC Young Dancer of the Year at 8. We know 2 of the 3 judges, Kenny and Dominic, so that'll be a bit of a giggle. The dancers have been fabulous to watch. Last week was the Asian section and they were fantastic.
A bit of TV news at 10. We still don't know how our local elections went. Northampton had a power cut just as they had started doing the counting, so they were going to start again at 6:30. Let's hope they do a better job than the last lot, even if it's the same party, as he is now our MP. And they wonder why our town never gets 'City Status'.
Roll on Saturday and the weekend!
Have a good one!

Thursday, 7 May 2015

BEDM - Day 7 "Home Sweet Home"

Books, stuff and more stuff makes my home sweet.
Probably too much 'stuff'!
Mr B stayed in digs in Edinburgh earlier this year. It was a family home with some amazing artefacts.
Whilst having a chat with the owner, he mentioned that we have more things than we really have the room for and the overflow is kept in storage.
"We rotate things" to which the owner said "Like the British Museum, you have seasons."
Those who've followed for a while may remember a couple of years back when our flat was "refurbished".
Belongings were packed up and stored for several weeks.
The family house down the road had two crates worth.
Yep! We needed FIVE of these wooden crates
We had five!

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

BEDM - Day 6 "Share The Blog Love"

I have a reading list with my favourites in, in the sidebar on the right.
I'd say take your pick. They're all good!
Or, for something a bit different, check out the same post a year ago, here, for the original bloggers that got me started. Narrowboating bloggers have a lot to answer for!

But if you only ever read one more post, make it this one, "Legs Akimbo LIL - the PAP test Queen...."   from MOB (menopausal old bag). She hasn't blogged for years but all her posts are brilliantly written, funny, (apart from the one about the passing of her kitty), and in the case of this one, a little bit 'vulgar'.
Be warned!

But do read!