Category: Vintage

It’s only The Box of Delights but I like it…

We needed a stimulus for some independent writing at school this week. We wanted to show the children the beginning of a story and then let them continue it in any direction they chose. I’d done this before using The Polar Express movie, but, because most of them had seen that, I just ended up with 28 identical stories that were all the plot of the film! I racked my brains and something made me think of The Box of Delights, a story by John Masefield, that was beautifully dramatised by the BBC in the mid eighties.

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I looked up the transmission dates and I was only 4 (nearly 5) years old when it was shown and yet I remember parts of it so clearly. It captured me completely and one of my work colleagues – who is the same age as me – felt exactly the same. When we looked it up on youtube, just the opening titles gave me a strange excited butterflies-in-my-tummy feeling!

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The book was first published in 1935 and the evocation of the period is lovely, as you might imagine from the BBC. My students noticed clothes, steam trains and old fashioned luggage to name but a few things.

The story centres on Kay Harker who is just home from boarding school for the Christmas holidays and runs into a few eccentric characters on his journey. He becomes embroiled in a plot to steal a magic box. Patrick Troughton gives a memorable and perfectly pitched performance as Cole Hawlings. I love the theme tune which sounds like it’s played on a music box. The series is creepy in parts and quite odd, I remember finding certain scenes and characters quite frightening when I first saw it, but there is something beautiful and warm about it at the same time. The children loved the first 20 minutes that we watched today and I have promised them more in the next few weeks… It definitely stands the test of time and when I get my DVDs out of storage (or Tat’s Mum’s garage to give it it’s proper name!) I will definitely be rewatching it.

It’s a little vintage treat to tickle your fancy in the run up to Christmas – give it a go!

It is with a sense of deep nostalgia I say:
It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only (Faux) Fur but I like it…

I have a dream. I am dreaming of a winter outfit that I can wear to my Mum’s wedding on the 27th December. I have bought the dress – a delicious offering from Collectif that I feel a million dollars in. I am gutted I can’t show you, but I really want it to be a surprise on the day. The wedding is in Wales and the service is taking place in a tiny stone Church which is just a few doors down from my Mum’s house. Which is the house she grew up in and the house I knew as my Grandparent’s home.

I have a dream of a fur stole. Not a fur coat, just a stole or cape. A sliver of softness and warmth around my shoulders.

So I began my search. I tried the high street, and there are quite a few options but I didn’t feel the styling went with my vintage inspired dress. So I tried eBay. And I revelled in a host of beautiful options, lovely shapes, patterns and shades. But there was one big snag. Most of the vintage furs were real fur. So I searched for the faux furs and they just weren’t as nice. I had a long debate with Dr P and we decided it wasn’t ethical to wear real fur. I became despondent. Where was I going to find this item?

Now a little while ago I saw advertised in Southampton some Drive-in Movies organised by the people from Yellow Vintage Fairs. I squealed, messaged my sister, Mrs JMP(http://mrsjmp.wordpress.com ) and soon we were the proud owners of tickets to see Elf in December. These tickets came with entry to their vintage fair on November 30th too.

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As it happened, my Mum and two of her friends were visiting that weekend so we resolved to take them along.

A chilly Sunday dawned and all my plans to dress up 40s style melted into Just. Wanting. To. Be. Warm. I put on a thick pair of jeans, long sleeved top, thick cardi, coat and scarf. A decision I didn’t regret for a minute.

The event didn’t disappoint. I began my quest for fur as soon as I arrived and there were lots to choose from. Mrs JMP and I even found this little fella – head, legs and claws still attached!

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If I needed any more confirmation – which I didn’t – I could not wear real fur. Ever.

My Mum and I found these fetching numbers. I’m a fan of the turban and I think I can definitely pull it off! My Mum said she had a hat like this in white that she wore to a wedding in the 60s. Amazing!

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We took a much needed break for tea and cake and Mrs JMP and I did some skiing in front of the backdrop.

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Having chatted, discussed and reminisced (“Gran had that china!” “I had one of those when I was a little girl!”) we all headed back into the fray, to the sweet strains of the lovely ladies singing Andrews sisters classics, and made our purchases. I found and bought a lovely faux fur cape and a vintage handbag too. Both are perfect… But I can’t show you. It’s seriously killing me! I tried the whole outfit on just now and it’s everything I wanted it to be. Can’t wait to wear it.

So I have been on a journey. A journey of fashion. A journey of self discovery. A journey of ethics. A journey of finding new weasely friends. And it was a joy my friends!

It is with a love of animals I say:
It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only Mrs. Miniver but I like it…

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A little while ago I decided I should watch some 1940s films to get a feel for 40s fashions and see if it inspired me. I grew up watching lots of old films and as such, I don’t find them as slow or stilted as I have heard them described by many. Having a look at lists of most popular 40s films I saw the name Mrs Miniver cropping up lots. This brought back memories of watching this one Wintry afternoon as a child. I did watch a lot of war films as a child! My Dad, being a child of the 50s, must have been brought up on them I think, and he shared them with us. I liked  Miniver when I first saw it and I must say, I enjoyed this time around too.

It is not without its twee moments, surely, but I find these endearing. Dr P and I still quote over dramatic moments from Brief Encounter which we watched multiple times last summer preceding a visit to Carnforth Railway station where parts of it were filmed.

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It was nice to see a familiar face in the form of Henry Travers who you may recognise from his role as Clarence, the bumbling guardian angel in It’s a Wonderful Life.

The film centre around The Miniver family. Pre-war, Mrs Miniver has little to think of except flamboyant hats and trips to town, which she recovers from afterwards, lying on her bed with stockinged feet and chatting on the telephone. When the war hits the family is effected in many ways and this is what we focus on. Mrs Miniver’s son sees active service, her husband helps the Home Guard and she herself has a close encounter with a German.

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There’s a lot of jolly-hockey-sticks nonsense but on the whole the films shows the hardship and loss that must have been all so common a tale during the war. I even had a few teary moments, especially the final scene, when the community gather in a bombed out Church to worship together.

I didn’t pick up many fashion tips, but I came away with a bit of a crush on Mrs M. She always knows what to do. And she has a cracking line in hats…

it is with a massive case of hat envy I say:

its only vintage but I like it!

It’s only Lou Lou’s Vintage Fair but I like it!

I have been so jealous these last few years as I have diligently followed all the various Vintage Fair purveyors on Facebook. Watching them make visits to places I used to reside, seaside towns I love and knowing I could not be there because I was stuck out in the desert. Imagine my delight to find that Lou Lou’s were holding a fair right here in Southampton and my glee at being given free entry by lovely Jess ( http://www.ladyofvintage.com/ ) if I reviewed it on my blog.

I decided to use it as an opportunity to dress up – well why not? There’s not often an occasion for victory rolls in day to day life, more’s the pity. Saturday morning found me swearing into my curby grips as my hair refused to do what I wanted despite being 2 days without a wash, doused in hairspray and recently dyed. I managed to avoid getting cross with Dr P (He was in any case, innocent) as I sweated and made myself late to meet Mrs JMP ( http://www.mrsjmp@wordpress.com ) and her lovely friend Jess (different one!).

The fair was held in the Guildhall, which is a large venue and felt spacious, giving room for the stalls and visitors even when it got busy. The first stall I spied was Rescue and Revive (https://www.facebook.com/RescueandRevive?ref=ts&fref=ts ). Mrs JMP had already purchased from them when I arrived. I have made several orders from their Folksy shop recently and love their hand stamped vintage spoons  – such a lovely gift, I chose a spoon for everyones stocking last year and there were oohs and aahs of delight all round on Christmas morning!

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There were of course, lots of clothing retailers and if you were in the market for a new item for your vintage wardrobe you wouldn’t have been disappointed.

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Fake furs seem to be in this season – I’ve noticed lots of high street shops stocking them too. I do like the look I think and I’m working up to purchasing something small – maybe a little shrug? – to wear to a wedding this winter.

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A new discovery we made was Curlie’s Vintage. I think all three of us made a purchase from here – some gorgeous little earrings, hair slides and other pretties, most of them very reasonably priced at a pound – at that price it seemed rude not to!

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It was soon time to stop for tea and cake, all provided by a lovely lady called Lauren. I didn’t catch the name of her cake providing company but I did fall in love with her Vegan ginger and cola cake. Jess and Mrs JMP gave the lemon polenta and carrot cake rave reviews too. There are few things in life I enjoy more than really good cake, so I was particularly pleased with this part of the experience!

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As we dug into our cake we were entertained by Jules and Cassie  – better known as The Diamonds ( www.vintageduo.com ). These polka-dotted lovelies entertained us with songs from the 40s and 50s and really added to the ambience. Mrs JMP and I did have a little sing along to ‘Sisters’ by the Andrews Sisters – the old ones are the best!

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I have to include the photo of this cutie who was getting into the spirit of the event and trying on all the vintage millinery she could lay her hands on – good girl!

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On the way out we paused to take a few photos in the square and found this lovely Buick waiting for us. It is moments like this I realise I am serially terrible at posing for photos!

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All in all, we had a lovely couple of hours here – it was Jess and Mrs JMP’s first vintage fair and they both made purchases and were excited by the possibility of vintage clothes. Job well done Lou Lou’s – we’ll be back…

It is with a hand on my hip I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it…

It’s only a Boot Sale but I like it…

This is going to be a regular feature. At least as regular as I can persuade Dr P – or anyone else for that matter – to take me to a Boot Sale!
I am a Booting fan and this is my first one in aaaaages. They’re not big in the Middle East funnily enough…

So today I didn’t go with anything particular in mind, which is possibly the best mindset to have. I also need to be careful, I live in a one bedroom flat and I simply cannot be buying furniture. Even though the vintage drinks cabinet with built in lemon juicer and olive picks was about the cutest thing I have ever seen. No. No no no.

So, you may have seen posters advertising the fact that it’s the 200th birthday of Coleman’s Mustard. They’ve brought out retro packaging. I love it when companies do that. And retro merchandising. Absolutely love it.

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Anyway, today at the boot sale I spied a Colman’s Mustard utensil pot which is one of the items on my list to get so, well, it just had to be done! Especially at the price of 50p…

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Another little obsession I have is these bubbly based bud vases. My Gran had a couple on her kitchen windowsill and I was always fascinated by them as a child. I have a big thing for coloured glass anyway, but the bubbles seem to add something and make these a really classic 50s/60s design for me.

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Total spend: £2.25

It is with a smug smile I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it…

It’s only Vintage but I like it…

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Dress from Phase 8. Apologies for the selfie!

So here I am.

A curvy Welsh girl who has developed a penchant for all things old. Well, I think I always liked old stuff actually. I grew up in a house full of old things that seemed to be knocking about for no other reason than they were valued for their eccentricity.

It’s only recently I’ve become what I would term a ‘girly girl’. I started wearing dresses about 2 years ago. I started wearing lipstick 6 months ago. I wear low heels only. This blog is very much documenting my journey.

I’m Polly. I’m in my 30s. I’m currently a teacher in the Middle East but I come back to the UK in July. It is with a fluttering heart I say:

Its only vintage but I like it…