Sunday, 24 May 2015

Cuba Libre

When I started my blog I didn't expect many people to take much of an interest. I'm a bit niche to say the least. A middle-aged woman with no interest in fashion, celebrities or high street shopping. A weirdo who gets excited by rummaging through other people's cast-offs at car boot sales, who doesn't give a toss about age and can happily shop at Poundland and live on a diet of Lidl noodles & oranges if that's what it takes to afford to do what I consider the important things in life - seeing the world & having a laugh. 

Turns out I was wrong. In the six years I've been blogging I've found hundreds of people from all over the world just like me, many becoming real-life friends. One of which is Walsall-based artist Glen, a fellow vintage-loving, bargain hunting, rum drinking, intrepid traveller and vegetarian. On meeting in the park a couple of years ago (HERE) he told me that he was a fan of my blog. We often bump into each other at car boots and a couple of weeks ago he handed us an invite to his 60th birthday party. 

A Cuban themed dance party with a vintage dress code and a photo-shopped image nicked off the best TV programme in the world, Peaky Blinders? Hell, yes! By a massive stroke of luck it was the first weekend in weeks we didn't have a fair booked so we could go, drink rum and stay out late.

We met Liz & Al in the Queen Vic pub, known locally as The Katz despite reverting back to its original name almost twenty years ago, for a few cheeky ales and a catch up (it had been a month since we'd last seen them) before heading down the road to the deaf institute where we were issued with Mojitos on arrival.

Glen, the birthday boy (on the left) in head-to-toe vintage and a bad ass necklace from Poundland.

With his brother, Vincent. Glen's originally from Brighton but, like many, went to college in Walsall and never went home.

Glen's gorgeous wife, Annette.

The guests had made a splendid effort in keeping with the vintage theme.

Good tunes,

And great characters. The best type of night out.

Dressed to impress.


We loved this chap's amazing orange trousers.

Who knew that publishing a few words on the internet could lead to so much fun?

After a lethal mix of real ale, cheap white wine and rum we said our goodbyes, staggered walked home and collapsed into bed.

We're having a lazy day today as it's far too wet & miserable for booting. I could crack on with some sewing or price up some stock ready for next weekend but I'll probably watch crap on the TV and eat crisps instead. We're keeping our fingers crossed that it's sunny for tomorrow's Bank Holiday car boot.

See you soon!

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Riviera Style Via The Black Country

Photograph: Lancashire County Council
What is it they say about life being a series of strange coincidences? I was going to write about something completely different until I opened Facebook earlier & saw that Patti had shared a link from The Guardian about an exhibition celebrating a century of swimwear about to open at the London Museum of Fashion & Textiles. The images had me captivated.

Photograph: Lancashire County Council

Photograph: Lancashire County Council
Photograph: Lancashire County Council

Photograph: Lancashire County Council

The coincidence? I've added another three vintage 1960s swimsuits to my collection in the last few days.

I can't take the credit for this one, Lyndsey Boomerang found the fabulous St Michael floral number.

Sadly it's a bit too big so it'll be appearing on our rails very soon, where it will hopefully find a more buxom wench to adore.

This purple swimsuit is by Silhouette and, together with the Slix black fishnet costume, was from a charity shop in a market town a hour's drive away. We only visit a handful of times a year but the manager always saves any vintage donations for me to look through first. Talk about once seen, never forgotten!

This has never been worn as the plastic gusset is still intact. It must have been bought as a school uniform as the previous owner's name tag is sewn inside. Its a raunchy little number for a schoolgirl, isn't it?

I'm dedicating today's post to Kathryn & the gang, my amazing fan club in St Louis, a seniors' care home in the States who've followed me for years and send the most hilarious emails. Clyde (who is 87) says he'll kick the ass of any haters out there so, if seeing me in swimwear causes you to become so outraged that you troll me, watch it.

See you soon.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

What's Cooking? Bloggers, Brixton, Bristol & Balti

When we get home after a long day of vintage trading the last thing we want to do is cook so, more often than not, we'll just collapse on the sofa and dial a pizza or an Indian takeaway. 

"What we need is a slow cooker" I said to Jon last Wednesday and, lo and behold, moments later we spotted this unused 1970s Gordon Bleu model on a stall at the car boot sale for £2. I shan't be making any 1970s dishes in it though, having lived through them I can confirm that the era wasn't great for us vegetarians, little wonder I was such a scrawny child.

We're trying it out today by cooking one of our favourite dishes in it and the smell of mixed vegetable Balti is almost driving us insane with hunger. 

Talking of vintage selling we did another double this weekend, setting the alarm for 5am to make the journey down to Bristol and the achingly hip area of St Paul's. I was so excited at meeting beautiful Amie, after knowing her virtually for almost six years , that I forgot to take a photo, so I've cheated! If possible she was even lovelier than she comes across on her blog. I can't wait to catch up with her again.

After a successful day trading we loaded the van and took the two hour journey to the outskirts of London to check into a hotel at Heathrow, avoiding the long drive back to Walsall and the evil 4am start the following morning to reach trendy Brixton. Jon and I killed ourselves laughing when, on our way to reception, I was approached by a very posh guest who asked if I was performing at her function later. God knows who she thought I was! We checked in, showered, had a couple of beers and a plate of nachos (the cheapest thing on the menu) and went to bed, setting the alarm for 5.45am.

Despite the hotel being a mere 12 miles from Brixton it took over an hour and a quarter to get there. London traffic really is mad, even on a Sunday morning. Staying over meant we hadn't the facilities to make our usual cheese cobs which was just as well as we wouldn't have had time to eat them anyway, over a thousand people visited the fair, we never stopped all day. I was thrilled to meet the gorgeous Sarah & her lovely boyfriend Sam who'd crossed the river to come and visit. 

My excitement continued when Kezzie turned up. She was as sweet and pretty as she is on her blog. I just wish I'd had a chance to spend more time chatting.

All in all the weekend was a roaring success, our stock went down phenomenally well and the van was a heck of a lot lighter on the journey back to the Black Country. We've got this weekend off which is no bad thing as some serious re-stocking is required. Our rails are decimated.

Despite the heavy workload I did find time for a little treat. I spotted this 1970s psychedelic towelling maxi on a neighbour's stall in Bristol and had to make it mine. You can't really miss it, can you?

I'm off to eat curry and drink rum. See you soon!

Linking to Patti's Visible Monday. Better late than never. 

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Purple Haze

If you're not in the UK you'll probably be wondering why I'm wearing a floor length heavy velvet dress & diaphanous nylon sleeves when my last post featured bare arms, sandals & sunglasses. That's British Springtime, the schizoid season that sees us basking in glorious sunshine one minute and scraping the frost off the car the next.

Not a problem. It gives me the perfect opportunity to wear my new-to-me 1970s maxi dress which was a gift from fellow seller, Mandy. She'd been carrying it around with me in mind since we met at a vintage fair almost three years ago. We bonded after discovering we'd both been crowned Vintage Queens (I'm HERE). You can see for yourself just how fabulous she is HERE.

It looks like the house is quite tidy from this angle but, take it from me, it isn't. After spending the last couple of days vintage hunting there's freshly laundered clothes hanging from every door frame, buffed up handbags and steamed hats cluttering up every available surface and we're constantly tripping up over rows of newly polished shoes (including some amazing vintage Made in England cherry red Doc Martens.....someones going to be lucky). Vintage trading is no career for the house proud.

We don't even need to leave the house to acquire stuff. These tables came from our friend Phil's late Great-Aunt's house. The duck design is completely made from feathers.

This folding tray table is the perfect height for displaying our box of vintage scarves at fairs.

Talking of fairs we'll be trading in Bristol (HERE) & Brixton (HERE) this coming weekend. We won't be upping our prices for the London trip, we'll be as affordable as we always are and if you do come and see us, don't expect the hard sell, we're not like that. Great clothes sell themselves, no need for glib sales talk.

Vintage velvet maxi dress worn with Indian pendant from the gorgeous Ilaria Novelli, Indian earrings from the fabulous Helga. Lime green nails by Barry M
I wonder what I'll be wearing next time, a bikini, a fake fur coat, wellies, all three?

See you soon!