Category: Vintage

It’s only George Martin but I like it…

2016 claimed another legend this week when we bade farewell to a very special pair of ears.


George Martin is perhaps best known for being the man that produced much of the Beatles output but his career was actually much more far reaching than that.

Martin joined EMI in 1950 as an assistant to the head of Parlophone records. Parlophone was seen as a small and inconsequential arm of the corporation at that time and Martin assisted in the recording of chamber groups and regional music. When the head of Parlophone retired in 1955 he took over as head of the label. As the 1960s neared he took on a few novelty acts and subsequently worked with Spike Milligan, Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, Bernard Cribbins, Bill Oddie and many more. He wanted to add some rock and roll to Parlophone’s repertoire and had some sway now that the small company had become quite profitable.


I’m not going to dwell too much on his work with the Beatles as we’ve all heard that story. I think, as do so many, that his role in the incredible output of the band was incremental. He added the string quartet to Yesterday, the harpsichord solo to In My Life and those twinkly piano parts to Lovely Rita to name but a few gems. He encouraged the band to experiment with instruments and techniques they would never have encountered. He supported, coaxed and inspired and eventually, all members of the band acknowledged how he had helped shape their work.


I was born into a very geeky muso family and we devoured every radio programme and TV documentary about musicians that we could get our hands on. We had reams of videos and cassettes that we’d recorded with such material, often listening to or watching them over and over. We had an early episode of Radio 2’s Sounds of the Sixties presented by George Martin. He had a such lovely soft voice and gentle laugh. He did sound quite posh – as if he’d just got down from his Spitfire! In it he chose some of his favourite sounds of the 60s and, as I remember, these included some Matt Monro tracks he’d produced and the aforementioned harpsichord solo from In My Life. He revealed how he’d actually written the little two-part invention and played it half speed and an octave lower, before speeding it up to the right speed and pitch. I was blown away!

Throw in the film scores he wrote, the several Bond themes he produced and the countless artists he works with and you have a truly incredible legacy. I admire his inventiveness and his ahead-of-his-time postmodern mixing of high and low art. I like the fondness with which he spoke of all the artists he worked with, his professionality and above all the fact he comes across as a true gentleman of a bygone era.


It is with real sadness I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only Spring but I like it!

Spring is the only time of year I give myself licence to purchase flowers for no particular reason!


I reasonably surmise that, having dragged myself through the long Winter, I need some splashes of colour and signs of life to get me through to the warmer days.


I think they’re more than just flowers. They’re hope. They say that ‘Spring always follows Winter’ but it can be hard to hold on to that fact some times.


I’ve tried to be a bit more imaginative with my displays this year – having a new house and lots of nooks and crannies to place them in has been an inspiration I think!


It’s funny how things can be repurposed and begin to work rather well as vases… or at least I think they work!


Being Welsh, daffodils will always have a special place in my heart. We had them growing in our garden when I was little and I loved how they reappeared each Spring, almost by magic without waiting for an invitation. Those golden trumpets and their dry, spicy smell herald the bright sun making it’s way back into our lives and a return to a more pleasant climate, at least I hope so…


It is with a hopeful look forward I say:

It’s only Vintage but I like it!

It’s only Mouse to Minx but I like it…

You may remember the awesome apron by MiL-to-be got me for Christmas.



Well I did a little digging and discovered it came from a gorgeous little company called Mouse to Minx. I got in contact, waxing lyrical about my apron, and was lucky enough to be offered some items to review!

Mouse to Minx are the first, and currently the only, designers to be given a licence by DC Thompson to print designs inspired by the comic illustrations. Currently you can purchase a lovely range including mugs, chopping boards, aprons, oven gloves and scarves. There are more products being developed right now and I know Mouse and Minx are taking orders on their Etsy site ( and are happy to be contacted for wholesale orders too.


I think they’d make the perfect Easter gift – my Mum was certainly a big fan of Bunty, Judy, Mandy and the various girls magazines of the day and these gifts really bring back the innocent fun of yesteryear.


This chopping board and mug were perfect for an afternoon snack. I love the print and colours – the kitchen themed comic chosen makes it a great choice for homeware.


Youll find several other ranges on Mouse to Minx’s site as well as giclee prints and some lovely scarves. Remember Bunty’s famous cut-out wardrobe? Well, you can relive all those fab outfits with this scarf…


It is with a longing for as many outfits as Bunty that I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

*I was given some of these items to review, but the views, as always, are my own.*

It’s only Uptown Curls but I like it…

Uptown Curls is the brainchild of Claire Byrne who is a mobile hairdresser based in Southampton. I got to know Claire through a Southampton Vintage Facebook group.


Claire has been a hairstylist for many years and has a lot of experience in, amongst other things, vintage styles. She has styled my hair for several events and is actually going to be the stylist for my wedding day.


Not it only is Claire experienced and skilled but she is very down to earth and great at putting you at your ease. I think we’ve all experienced those 7 foot tall, perfectly turned out, rather sniffy stylists who like to tell you how your hair should look, well that’s not what you get with Claire! She’s easy to talk to and eager to give you the style you desire.


Claire not only styles hair but also makes her own fabulous hair decorations. She kindly sent me some to review and I’ve been using them for the last few weeks. I have to say the quality is fantastic. They are lovely quality flowers and well constructed. I remember buying some from a leading accessory store as a teenager and they lasted only a few wears before fraying and falling apart!


Claire is available for styling for events, weddings, and can often be found at vintage fairs in the south. She also does ‘hair parties’ where she brings along a pop up salon and will do haircuts for as many people as you can fit in your house! I had one at half term and my friends and their tinies had lots of fun drinking tea, eating cake and getting bargain cuts from Claire.

My sister and I did some modelling for Claire recently at a Yellow Vintage Fair. We had a lovely day, got a lovely hair do and hopefully got Claire some new customers to boot! Please check out Claire’s Facebook page: Uptown Curls .


It is with a desire for a ‘Claire do’ everyday I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

*I was given some of these items to review, but the views, as always, are my own.*

It’s only Lady V Bridal but I like it…

It’s just a little bit too late for my nuptials but I had to share this lovely new bridal range from Lady V.


Love the 3/4 length of this dress and the lace detail to the sleeves. It’s plus size so starts at a size 16 making it just a little bit too big for me which is a shame as I’d definitely have tried it. image

The same goes for this lovely breast hugging beauty called Marilyn. I think you could definitely have some fun with this one if you were the right shape.


Charlotte comes with a pretty sash to one side. An unusual design and quite striking.

Do check out the rest of the range – if you’re after vintage inspired dresses on a budget Lady V is a definite contender. Look here:

It is with an eye for a lacy sleeve I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only Hygge but I like i…

What is Hygge? Let me tell you… It’s a Danish word pronounced ‘hoo-ga’ and it roughly translates as ‘cosiness’.

Hygge is one of the reasons Denmark is often voted one of the happiest countries in the world. In a place that has long and gruelling Winters, people have learned the value of light, warmth, good food and good company.


Hygge is about warm, cosy interiors, filled with candles and throws. Evening spent with bowls of warm nourishing food, warming drinks and cherished friends. And I for one think it sounds flipping awesome.


In the UK we hit January with a massive hangover (either alcohol induced, food induced or both) and immediately guit trip ourselves into starting new diets and punishing fitness regimes. We analyse ourselves and make New Years Resolutions, promising to floss, drop 9lb and form a deep and meaningful relationship with kale.

Rather than punishing ourselves wouldn’t it be better to relax into this climate? To cuddle up under a blanket with some hot food and a nice glass of grog is going to make getting through Winter that much easier. Accept that outside is not a pleasant place to be, accept that your drive to excercise will diminish, and accept that time with people you find easy to be with will do you some good.

I wonder if we’ve lost the art of Hygge in the UK. I doubt my grandparents started each new year with an improved fitness regime and promises to wax more regularly. In days gone by did winter mean more time by the fire, more books read and more hot meals? I expect so. Just goes to show – this whole vintage thing isn’t such a bad idea. Sometimes we lose sight of the best way to do things!

It is with the knowledge that ‘You can’t translate – you have to feel it…’ I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only Collectif Mermaids but I like it…

The Dolores dress from Collectif is a very popular style and it’s just become available in a new pattern. Must admit to being a big fan of the Maids of Mer so am quite delighted with this print.

imageIt’s a great cut and I like the pink coral, jellyfish and the bubbles in the print. Some great detail.
image Love those big chunky pearl buttons and I think teaming it with wedges is inspired. image

If you’re not so much about the dresses, perhaps you can see yourself getting some wear out of this pale pink, pearly-buttoned cardi? It is pretty cool. I have yet to own a cardi with little details on it. So 1950s. Must remedy that this year…imageIf a whole dress would be a bit much this top might tick your mermaid box without overdoing it? I’m very tempted, but have promised I won’t buy anything other than wedding purchases for the next few months…

It is with a wish for a scaly tail I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only Saladware but I like it…

image image

Once again I think this one links back to my Gran. She had one of these salad dishes on the side although I don’t remember anything ever being served in it. I don’t know what manufacturer made it  – my research suggests Beswick, Carltonware and Arthur Woods, to name a few, all made dishes like this.imageimage

I was fascinated but it’s shape, the detail to the veined leaves and the contrast of the smooth, shiny red tomatoes! image

The colours were vibrant and I liked the fact the bowl looked like the meal it was meant to serve. Cheesy but true.imageI picked my bowl up in a charity shop this week for £3.99. I’d seen quite a few before but they’d been the wrong size or shape, or, more often, they’d been in quite battered condition. Although this one has a lot of crazing, it is chip free. One website I visited led me to believe it was made between 1934 and 1944, so it’s looking good considering its age!

I think I might serve something old fashioned and unwieldy in it. The kind of thing your nan would put out for high tea on a Sunday – a dish of beetroot and egg drizzled with salad cream? On a bed of lettuce. That’ll do it!

It is with a knowing wink I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only SS16 but I like it…

It’s that time of year when all the clothing companies announce their new ranges. We actually had a quite a nice sunny Sunday this weekend and the Dr and I had a quick walk around the Common. The softly thawing ground smelled of Spring and gave me a little bit of hope for warmer weather and skimpier clothes!

The following is a quick round up of my favourite items from my favourite companies!image

This Caterina Vintage Swing Dress from Collectif ( would be a fab wardrobe staple, perfect for work, or lovely dressed up with heels and a nice bag in the evening. I’d get lots of wear out of it!image

Absolutely adore this range from Lady V, modelled here by gorgeous George ( This bright spring pattern is perfect and I like the nice broad shoulder straps. Looks very comfy – and stylish!image

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I’m a sucker for a fun print and this ticks that box! Fun, fruity and fabulous, I think you could have lots of fun in this! (


This Kitty Anemone dress from Vivien of Holloway is lovely in teal. The pattern is soft and works well with its different shades of bluey-green. (

i don’t think you have to know who Milly Molly Mandy is to love this dress – but it helps! Lindy Bop have done us proud again, for just £35 this Bletchley Swing Dress ( can be yours… imageI’m a big fan of mustard clothes and I don’t own enough of them. I have this dress in a  another colour way and can confirm its lovely soft cotton and a great fit… Lindy Bop’s Ionia Tea Dress at £30 (


I don’t get on very well with this style of skirt but I might be tempted to try again having spotted this amazingly cute Tippi candy striped skirt from Lindy Bop ( It would be so adorable with a just a plain white top and some pastel flats. Really must lose half a stone and try and make this work!

Some very exciting stuff out there, these are just a few of my favourites, and I’d definitely recommend you have a look at the websites of these companies as there are many more delights waiting for you… Happy Spring!

It is with a longing for Spring I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only a Wedding but I like it…

My wedding for the record. My wedding which is in less than 8 weeks. This weekend my Mum, my little cousin Molly, my sister and my oldest friend came to me for the day. We ate cake and cookies (baked by Molly and I that morning) we had our hair done and our make up done and we tried on dresses, petticoats and jewellery together for the first time.


It’s a scary moment when all the things you have sat and ordered on wet and windy evenings on your own, suddenly materialise and are put together in the right order. You hope you chose the right colour, the right length, the right material and that it fits and works as a whole.


And do you know? It did. Almost all of it.

The hardest job I am having is not showing you the photos of all of us, dressed up, made up and grinning together. My bridesmaids are the loveliest, and most perfect ladies ever. They look so good together and even though none of them is that into vintage they have all committed to full circle skirts, petticoats and retro hairstyles.

It is with excitement I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!