Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Haircut & Munich River Surfing

Had my hair cut really short!

Think it looks really great but not in these photos!

Had a phone call from Mr B at lunchtime. He is in Munich at the mo. They opened last night and today he had some time off. He had been told about the 'river surfers' so he pottered off to have a look. This is what he found...without the Minus 7 frostbite!


Edit: Many thanks to Julie from KC'sCourt and her extremely helpful and sanity-inducing post here!

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Record Store Day

Guest Post by Mr B

A few weeks ago I had a free afternoon in London. I popped into the Gift Shop at The National Portrait Gallery, to try to get Mrs B a postcard of a BP Award entry that she liked from last year. I found a booklet of all the entries and the painting with the artists' name, to the cashier, asking if it was possible that they had a postcard. The lady was absolutely brilliant, informing me that I could get a digital print starting at A4 upwards. The BP Award pictures are only held on archive for a year, but, having phoned through, got the catalogue number and keyed it into the printer, I left with a beautiful print. Good to know.

Louis Smith's 'Holly'

I wandered up to Leicester Square tube. Stopping outside of a shop called 'Formal Wear', noting that they had a sale on. Patch had told me just the day before that he was thinking of getting a bowler hat befitting with his position as Senior Lighting Technician. A Japanese couple came out of the shop. The man was wearing, you guessed it, a bowler hat! They stopped outside of an antiquarian bookshop, looking through a box of Edwardian caricature prints; people of notoriety, politicians and the like.

I was trying to get a photograph of the bowler-hatted man by loitering behind a Faberge Egg Hunt plinth, when I gave up and spotted "101 Nights at The Roxy" in a bookshop window. I went in admiring a collection of British and American punk fanzines displayed on the wall. "They're not for sale" said the man behind the computer. I enquired as to the price of "101 Nights at The Roxy" - "£300", he said. Three hundred pounds! I can remember reading a review in a music paper when it came out. This prompted me to journey up to Tottenham Court Road, where, back in the 80s and 90s, small independent record stores lurked in a little backstreet opposite the Dominion Theatre, where back then, punk gems like flyers and posters could be found.

I was pleased to see a Davy Jones LP in the window of 'On The Beat'. I am sure that there used to be another record store almost next to this one. It was like entering a cave, with the counter at the back. There was a Cramps T-shirt on a hanger above the till and a poster of Sid Vicious eating a burger wearing a badge that said "I'm a mess". I remember taking Damian and Ian there one afternoon when Screamin' Jay Hawkins was playing in town. I bought a paperback copy of the Beatles film, 'A Hard Days Night'. When I was 2 years old, my parents took me to Dunster Station, to see the steam train that 'The Fab Four' were filming on as it passed through.
My mum told me that they held me up so as I could see over the crowd on the platform. The walls of 'On The Beat' still display old music papers. One thing that caught my eye, was 'Aladdin & His Wonderful Lamp' by Cliff Richard & The Shadows. "Do you know what this sounds like?", I asked the proprietor. "It sounds like Cliff Richard & The Shadows", he replied! "Is it possible to hear a bit?" He asked me which track I wanted, turning off the English folk music that he'd been playing. 'The Entrance of The Emperor' was first and sounded like the overture to a pantomime. The owner told me that it had been recorded as a pantomime. (1964 at The London Palladium, the same year as The Beatles filmed 'A Hard Days Night).

I don't know what prompted the conversation at work, but Chloe had asked me if I liked Glam Rock. She told me that, with her boyfriend, they had bought 2 German record players from Cash Converters. They were sold as a pair and both had something wrong. Being 'techies' she said they fixed one as soon as they got them home, selling it on eBay and covering what they had paid for both of them. The other is set up and they now have a collection of Rod Stewart, Fleetwood Mac, (Rumours), The Best of 10cc, ("I love 10cc" she said), Cat Stevens and Dark Side of the Moon which she ordered specially as it was her boyfriends' favourite. "I bet your neighbours love you" I said. Apparently the 'old lady' next door had come up to her and said "Was that Rod Stewart you were playing?", "I love Rod Stewart". "What she really meant" I said; "That Rod Stewart LP you were playing was SO loud, I could hear every word, turn it down!". It was funny hearing someone who had grown up in the CD generation telling me how the sound was so much better on vinyl.


Back in the record store, there was a 1940s telephone for sale.

I wondered if you lifted the receiver you could hear The Big Bopper say "Hello Bay-by". Looking at the phone it was more a case of "Ring, Telephone, Ring", (The Ink Spots). Maybe, if you ran a cleaning cloth over the Aladdin/Cliff rarity as it spun on the turntable, a genie would crackle into life and appear as if by magic like The Shopkeeper in Mr Benn.

Just a minute, who's this city gent coming in?
Could it be ... Mr Benn?
No, it's just Patch in his new bowler hat!

Patch, with the 1948 London Olympics Torch.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

More Cocktail Cabinet Goodies

Zebra teapot a present to Mr B when we lived in London, (ie years ago!), from The Tea Shop in Covent Garden.

Deers were a present from a school friend for my 11th, (possibly?), birthday.

Duck napkin rings. Amongst other things, we have a collection of 'duck' things.

Barney Rubble bookends.

Vintage 'poorly' dog. Pressie from Mr B because I love boxer dogs.

Vintage 'log' vase.

Vintage cat, another present from Mr B because I fell in love with a very expensive Watcombe cat in an antique shop in Plymouth.

The gold cherub is actually a candle! A golden seashell/starfish candle holder. A moulded glass shell, a present from a work colleague.

Having been together for coming up to 24 years, we have quite a large collection of Valentine 'stuff'! And tins!

Ceramic candle holder. A teeny-tiny teddy bear whose provenance I can't remember!! A really cute idea this little house. You look thru' a viewfinder, press the chimney and get about half-a-dozen views of Switzerland. I am not very well travelled, but I have been to Switzerland and one day I will go back!

Another duck. I {heart} ice hockey. Go Pluto! Go Pluto! Dancing girl, (Macca D's?).

A rubbish pic of bobbly things on the end of thick wires that fit into a metal base. Don't know what you'd call it, but I guess it is from the 50s and I have never seen another one.

My fabulous Mr Surfer. Way back in the 80s, (I think...God, my memory is getting worse!) we used to travel down to Newquay every Summer for the World Surfing Championships at Fistral Beach. When I was a Technical Librarian I had a young girl come and work on placement with me and this was what she made me as a 'thank you'. How amazing was that? I guess she must've enjoyed it!

Yep...more Valentines 'slush'!

A few snowglobes from another one of our collections!

A lot of you will know what Mr B's name is but I won't reveal it generally, but when he does The Nutcracker ballet at Christmas he tends to get given some 'casuals' to work with him. They have become known as A***s' Angels and I got this as a Christmas pressie for him as we both adore Betty Boop. How cute is this figurine?

So, a few more goodies recorded and only a third of the cabinet packed!!

Sorry, I have been probably noticeable by my absence on the 'comment' section of your blogs. Just not been 100% recently. Over-done it a bit and have had problems with my teeth which has now been referred to the hospital. I also now have the 4th different support worker in a year, which takes a bit of getting used to and I have found it all a bit unsettling.
I have a list of new followers to say 'hello' to, so please bear with me!
I hope to be more 'social' soon!
Z xx

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Packing Up The Cocktail Cabinet

In readiness for the on-coming onslaught of building works, I am trying to record and pack, all manner of 'stuff'!

Starting with these bits from the cocktail cabinet in the hallway. Everyones favourite, those cute, 'but-when-the-heck-does-anyone-use-them?' cocktail forks. Just love those candy-coloured handles. Next is a set of 6 ballet-themed coasters ; 2 of each design. Too pretty by half!

More pics to follow...

Sunday, 1 April 2012

The Disaster That Is ...

...called "Going In The Shed"!

The Jumble Sale find of a handmade silk dress with silk lace overlay from most-likely the 50s.

My 'quilt' started probably before I hit double figures and long before I knew anything about fabric 'grain'. But full of memories - stuff made by me, stuff made by my mum. Stuff!

Pieces of vintage curtain fabric. Some 'classy' like this Heals piece, some from the bloke who worked in curtaining for offices, hotels and the like, and who bought my parents house in 1976. OMG...some of the patterns really make my eyes hurt!

The neckline of another handmade silk dress, all but worn out. But I can't chuck it away. Look at the craftsmanship (craftswomanship?) that went into that. Faggoting, that's what it's called; joining two pieces of fabric together with an embroidery stitch. Beautiful.

A red corduroy jerkin, with my school name tab in. Started but never finished. A navy blue skirt that was a promo made to a design of my dads' for British Telecom, if I remember rightly. A fail safe 'dressing up' item for a budding fashionista! A vintage waistcoat back removed and replaced by me for my dad.

A 'Herald' of London cocktail dress. Partly taken apart by me to do something with, but never quite got there. Maybe I should just sew it back together and send it on to one of you?

My favourite curtain. Hung up at a myriad of windows over the years.

Bags of 'Stuff'. The offcuts from things I made bloody years ago! A bag of fur fabric bits.

Two of my mums dresses, again used for dressing up and eventually turned into skirts. (I can't believe how tiny my waist was on that floral one. I think I may do a close-up of that with a tape measure!!) The scarlet one may well be revamped for the summer!
A fabulous Welsh woolen top that was a jumbly find for coppers, way back when, and worn a million times because I loved it so much. A pair of FU jeans I think.

Now, this was a surprise! Didn't know we had a cuddly brown bear in the shed! Can't even remember where this came from! It needs a lot of fresh air, so haven't got up too close to it yet!

And to finish...a collage of old bags!
Don't you dare say a word!!

Mr B thinks the alternative title of this post should be "The Shed That Time Forgot"!
I think he has a point!

Have a great week!